“One closes one’s eyes and is bedazzled by the sheer wealth of invention in this music!” The person who spoke so enthusiastically about Albéniz, one of the founders of the Spanish national style, was none other than Claude Debussy. The “Suite espagnole” for piano is surely his most popular work. It reflects the manifold rhythms and melodies of different Spanish regions – and in the last piece even Cuba is represented. The much loved composition “Asturias” was also included in the collection. This work now joins “Iberia” and the “Chants d’Espagne” in our much renowned series of Albéniz’ piano works.
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- Suite espagnole op. 47
The genesis and publication history of the Suite Espagnole, op. 47, by Isaac Albéniz (1860–1909) cover more than one and a half decades. It all began with a recital that the Spanish composer and pianist gave in Madrid on 24 January 1886. Among the pieces he played was a three-movement Suite Spagnole consisting of a Serenata, Sevillana, and Pavana-capricho. The success was so … 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
Students will be interested to read the history of this work in the preface to the edition. Informative and well-researched footnotes will help to interpret some questionable markings.
With all the effort that has gone into the search for Truth this new edition is certainly worthy of serious consideration for aspiring interpreters.
Die vorliegende Ausgabe bringt Ordnung in das editorische Chaos, das sich nach zahlreichen mehr oder weniger sorgfältig erstellten Ausgaben in den letzten hundert Jahren eingestellt hat.