Roman Maciejewski Works in detail

Spanish Suite for two guitars

The circumstances of the writing of the Spanish Suite for two guitars are not known. According to one hypothesis, the composition has its sources in the incidental music to the play Palabras divinas (Divine Words, Guds ord På Landet) by Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, presented at Göteborg’s Municipal Theatre in a production directed by Ingmar Bergman (1951). The incidental music to Palabras divinas (unfortunately, only some sketches have survived) was also written for two guitars and was performed as intermezzi before the acts of the play. However, sometimes 1948 is accepted as the year of the composition, so perhaps it was a stand-alone piece which later was adapted for the needs of a theatrical production? Or the two compositions have little in common? Such speculations stem from the fact that the composer’s legacy is yet to be thoroughly studied.

Maciejewski’s Spanish Suite for two guitars comprises the following movements: Cancion, Habanera, Perpetuum mobile, Cancion II and Fandango. In its nature it is saturated with the colours of the Iberian Peninsula – primarily thanks to the instrumental line-up, so unequivocally associated with the flamenco – as well as e.g. rhythm (the habanera). The structure of the cycle is based on an arch and its undoubted asset is its melody – catchy and faithfully conveying the specificity of Spanish colour.

The Suite was premiered on 12 September 1952 during the Summer Serenade concert of the Huntington Hartford Foundation. It had to wait 43 years to be heard in Poland for the first time…