Aranjuez comes to Bemidji

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
October 8, 2009

St. Paul, Minn. — Petar Jankovic is performing a work that is so familiar to concert-goers, we might even start humming along - Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez."

Rodrigo was blind most of his life, so he evokes not images, but sounds and smells - "the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds, and the gushing of fountains" - as well as the feeling of the gardens at the Royal Aranjuez Palace.

The most famous portion of the concerto is its melancholy second movement. After a few chords, the English horn plays the melody and it's answered nostalgically by the guitar. Simple and heart-felt, it was Rodrigo's wife who claimed he wrote the music to pour out his sadness at the loss of their baby.

"It's powerful, it just takes me right in from the very first note."
- Petar Jankovic on playing the slow movement from the "Aranjuez" Concerto

Petar has been living and working in Indiana since the early '90s. He says he enjoys the varied life of teaching and performing at Indiana University and says the two disciplines feed each other. Much of what he tells his students comes from real-life experiences playing on-stage--finding out what works and what doesn't.

One thing that does work for Petar is playing the "classics", one of which he'll play in Bemidji this Sunday.


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