Last updated Aug 31, 2020 | Published on Jan 13, 2016

Winner of a fellowship at the Bayreuther Festspiele, Mr. Griglio’s conducting has been praised for his “energy” and “fine details”. Mr. Griglio took part in the first world recording of music by composer Irwin Bazelon and conducted several world premieres like "The song of Eddie", by Harold Farberman, a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize. Principal Conductor of International Opera Theater Philadelphia for four years, Mr.Griglio is also active as a composer. His first opera, Camille Claudel, debuted in 2013 to a great success of audience and critics. Mr. Griglio is presently working on an opera on Caravaggio and Music Director of Opera Odyssey.


“Canción” literally means ‘song’. Of the “Siete canciones populares españolas” this is the only one that does not come from a particular region of Spain, but is based on a melody largely known throughout the State. It’s, once again, about love, lost and betrayed. The focus is on the betrayed lover, and on his regained strength once he decides to finally bury his feelings. Reading through the lines though, we learn the bitterness that is left in him when he throws a curse at the person who left him.

Very shortly set in a A-A1 structure, with only a couple of bars of piano solo in between, the piece is built on one fragment
Cancion ex.1
This very same idea is repeated with small variations and around the middle part of each section serves as a pattern for a canon between the singer and the piano
Cancion - ex.2
While the singing line is built on short and syncopated notes, giving it a playful character, the piano accompaniment unifies the piece with a guitar-like arpeggio on pedals of tonic and both primary and secondary dominant.
Cancion - ex.3

The piece remains in G major throughout, but even with its uplifting key and rhythm there’s a sort of anger pervading it, which only fades away at the very end, when the feelings of the lover are buried in the lowest G of the keyboard.

Here’s this Canción, sung, as usual, by Conchita Supervia.

A note on the lyrics: words like “Madre” or “Del aire” are interjections derived from the flamenco tradition of using small phrases or call words in their performance. The flamenco pieces are mostly improvised and these words do not necessarily relate to the text of the piece directly but, rather, to the feeling of it 


Por traidores, tus ojos, voy a enterrarlos;
No sabes lo que cuesta,
“Del aire” Niña, el mirarlos.
“Madre a la orilla”
Niña el mirarlos
Dicen que no me quieres,
Y a me has querido…
Váyase lo ganado,
“Del aire”
Por lo perdido,
“Madre a la orilla”
Por lo perdido,

As traitors I should bury your eyes
You don’t know what it costs,
“From the air”
Darling, to look at them,
“Mother, at the shore”
Dear, to look at them
They say you do not love me
and you’ve wanted me
Take what you earned,
“From the air”
“Mother, at the shore”

Here you can find all the articles related to the Siete canciones populares españolas:


Cover image by Lucas Craig from Pexels

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Gianmaria Griglio is an intelligent, exceptional musician. There is no question about his conducting abilities: he has exceptionally clear baton technique that allows him to articulate whatever decisions he has made about the music.

Harold Farberman

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