The Maiden and the Nightingale

The Maiden and the Nightingale (Spanish: Quejas, o la Maja y el Ruiseñor) is a piano piece by the Spanish composer Enrique Granados. The piece, which lasts about six minutes, is part of his suite Goyescas which was inspired by the work of the painter Goya.

While the girls known as majas are a frequent subject of Goya, the piece has not been associated with a particular painting. The piece starts with the queja (in English, plaint or sad cry) of the maiden. Near the end there are glittering bird-like trills representing the nightingale.


The composer recorded the piece on piano roll. Other 20th-century pianists who played the work included:

Arrangements and related worksEdit

Goyescas (opera)Edit

In 1915 Granados adapted the music to form a soprano aria for the third scene of his opera Goyescas. His librettist Fernando Periquet y Zuaznabar provided a metrically suitable Spanish text which begins "¿Por qué entre sombras el ruiseñor?" While the piano version is a standard part of the repertoire for that instrument, the opera is not often performed, perhaps because of the deficiencies of the libretto.[3]

Piano duo versionEdit

The piece was arranged for two pianos by Bartlett and Robertson who were active as a piano duo in the 1930s and 1940s. This version was published by J & W Chester of London. A digital recording of the arrangement was made in 2011 by a more recent piano duo Goldstone and Clemmow.[4]

Bésame MuchoEdit

The melody is said to be the inspiration of the much-recorded song Bésame Mucho by Consuelo Velázquez.[5]

Jazz: Bill Evans TrioEdit

The theme was recorded on September 29,1965, in the Van Gelder Studios, New Jersey, titled "Granadas", played by the trio of Jazz pianist Bill Evans (with Chuck Israels, b and Larry Bunker, dr), as part of a "hybrid" recording of classical pieces and Jazz tunes, arranged by Claus Ogerman for Jazz Trio and Symphony Orchestra; published 1966 on Verve Records (Bill Evans Trio With Symphony Orchestra, Nr. 821 983-2)[6]


  1. ^ "Rubinstein Collection". AllMusic.
  2. ^ "Alicia de Larrocha: complete EMI recordings". Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  3. ^ "Granados: Goyescas (review)". Limelight. 2019. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  4. ^ "Delicias: Spanish delights for Piano Duo". AllMusic.
  5. ^ Fox, Margalit (January 30, 2005). "Consuelo Velázquez Dies; Wrote 'Bésame Mucho'". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Granadas, retrieved 2021-09-15