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Difficulty (Explanation)
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Asturias (Leyenda)
6 medium

About the Composer

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Isaac Albéniz

He numbers among the most important Spanish composers. His oeuvre consists predominantly of piano music and stage works.

1860Born 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 1867Eventful youth due to concert tours with his father and sister to Paris, the Spanish provinces, then on his own to Puerto Rico and Cuba.
1876–79Studies in Brussels.
1883–86Studies 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).
1889Breakthrough as a pianist, concertizing in Paris and London.
1890–93Engaged in London by the agent Henry Lowenfeld; operetta “The Magic Opal” (premiere 1893).
1893Relocation to Paris, studies with Vincent d’Indy and Paul Dukas.
1895/96Premieres in Barcelona of his operas “Henry Clifford” (1895) and “Pepita Jiménez” (1896) with Spanish colorings in the libretti and music.
1898–1903He 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.
1905–08Composes “Iberia,” one of his chief works for piano, in which he reworks the sounds and rhythms of Spanish folk music.
1909Death in Cambô-les-Bains (Basses-Pyrénées) on May 18.

© 2003, 2010 Philipp Reclam jun. GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart

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Pianist, 2014

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