Joaquin Rodrigo. 1939. Concierto de ARANJUEZ. Classical guitar. His best known work. What could have inspired him to compose this most moving, soothing masterpiece?




Rodrigo was blind nearly all his life. He played the piano, never the guitar. Yet he composed this piece for guitar as a solo instrument in an orchestra. He drew inspiration from the gardens of Palacio Real in ARANJUEZ. As intended, his composition captured the “rhythm” and “quiet melody” of the royal estate from the flower gardens to the ponds to the forest and hunting grounds.







Don’t even dare walk the entire length of the estate. The royal gardens around the Palacio Real is fine. Meander through the tulip gardens, the magnolias and the plane trees lining the river walk. But hop on the “Chiquitren” to visit the rest of the gardens cum hunting grounds. It is said that members of the royal family had such diverse interests — hunting, boating, music, etc — and it looks like they each had their fill here. The tiny train plays the concierto while weaving around the estate. Nice.






When you are done, head back to the Palacio Real and find a seat under the sun. Order the town’s famous Freson con Nata. That’s strawberry with cream for us. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Paid €8 just for the famous dessert (which I can easily whip up) and a bottle of agua PLUS a view of the entire length of the Palace. ☺






I bet you’d be humming “Concierto de Aranjuez” upon leaving town. . As you do, take one last look at the Royal Palace, then hop back on that Strawberry Train.