Isaac Albéniz’s “Asturias” (also known as “Leyenda,” which was actually Albéniz’s title) is one of the most durable pieces in the classical guitar repertoire—even though the Spanish composer (1860–1909) wrote the piece for piano originally. The groundbreaking Spanish guitarist Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909) was among the first to write a transcription of the piece for guitar, but in the modern era it is the great Andrés Segovia’s transcription that truly popularized the work worldwide. It has been recorded countless times by classical guitarists, and rock fans might recognize that its hypnotic main riff was copped by Robbie Krieger of the Doors for the beginning of the song “Spanish Caravan,” from the group’s 1968 album Waiting for the Sun (one of my personal faves).
Here, it is performed by the very talented Croatian guitarist Ana Vidovic, who has long been one of the most popular artists in the classical-guitar world. Prepare to be astounded! —Blair Jackson