“La Vega” depicts the view over the plain of Granada, as seen from the Arabian palace, the Alhambra. The attractive landscape inspired Albéniz to compose this delicate, impressionistic work with an almost meditative character. Claude Debussy was so impressed that he would have liked to have visited the place immediately. “La Vega” has survived in two very different versions, both of which we have reproduced in their complete form in our Urtext edition. Thus, the player is afforded a unique insight into Albéniz’ compositional methods.
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Isaac Albéniz (1860–1909) regularly concertized throughout Europe and the Americas during the 1880s. Following a triumphant concert in Paris at the invitation of the Erard piano company in 1889 (the audience included Debussy, Dukas, Fauré, and Ravel), Albéniz embarked on a concert tour of Great Britain. Successful engagements throughout the country brought him renown, and … more
About the composer
He numbers among the most important Spanish composers. His oeuvre consists predominantly of piano music and stage works.
|1860||Born in Camprodón (Gerona province) on May 29; soon thereafter his family moves to Barcelona; first piano instruction with his sister at age three and a half, first public performance at age five, subsequent piano studies with Narciso Oliveras.|
|from 1867||Eventful youth due to concert tours with his father and sister to Paris, the Spanish provinces, then on his own to Puerto Rico and Cuba.|
|1876–79||Studies in Brussels.|
|1883–86||Studies composition in Barcelona with Felipe Pedrell, who persuades him of the value of Spanish folk music. This results in piano compositions such as “Recuerdos de viaje,” Op. 71 (1886–87); “España: Seis hojas de album,” Op. 165 (1890); “Cantos de España,” Op. 232 (1891–94).|
|1889||Breakthrough as a pianist, concertizing in Paris and London.|
|1890–93||Engaged in London by the agent Henry Lowenfeld; operetta “The Magic Opal” (premiere 1893).|
|1893||Relocation to Paris, studies with Vincent d’Indy and Paul Dukas.|
|1895/96||Premieres in Barcelona of his operas “Henry Clifford” (1895) and “Pepita Jiménez” (1896) with Spanish colorings in the libretti and music.|
|1898–1903||He plans the trilogy “King Arthur” (“Merlin,” “Lancelot,” “Guenevere”), of which just “Merlin” is completed; concert performance of the original version does not take place until 1998.|
|1905–08||Composes “Iberia,” one of his chief works for piano, in which he reworks the sounds and rhythms of Spanish folk music.|
|1909||Death in Cambô-les-Bains (Basses-Pyrénées) on May 18.|
About the authors
Ondanks de moeilijke toonsoort is Henle’s nieuwe Urtext een zeer overzichtelijke partituur.