“Spanish music with a universal touch”: that is what Isaac Albéniz set out to compose, and he brought it off to perfection in his Iberia Suite. At last all four “books” of this late-romantic masterpiece will be issued in an urtext edition worthy of the name, with top-quality appearance and engraving. Being manageable in their technique, Evocation, El Puerto, and Fête-Dieu à Séville – the three pieces in volume 1 – are especially popular. Enjoy these pieces in the same manner as Debussy, who wrote of Iberia: “One closes one’s eyes and is bedazzled by the sheer wealth of invention in this music!”
Read more about this edition in the Henle Blog.
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- Iberia · First Book
Iberia, by Isaac Albéniz (1860 –1909), is a central masterpiece of late romantic piano music at the threshold to modernity. As early as 1913 no less a musician than Claude Debussy summed up the singular position occupied by this Spanish composer and his opus magnum of 1905 –8: “Now let us consider Isaac Albéniz. Having first achieved fame as an incomparable virtuoso … 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
Hervorragende Neuausgabe des 1906 komponierten ersten Heftes der Sammlung "Iberia" ... mit ausführlichem Vorwort, kritischem Bericht und … sehr hilfreicher Übersetzung der zahlreichen französischen Vortrags- und Tempobezeichnungen ins Deutsche und Englische (sehr empfehlenswert).
Een uitgebreid historisch voorwoord met o.a. citaten uit Debussy’s lofrede en een gedetailleerde bronnenvergelijiking maken deze uitgave een ware schat om te koesteren.
L’apparato critico, a fine volume, rende conto dettagliatamente delle varianti riscontrate nelle suddette fonti, mentre la prefazione fornisce tutti i necessari dettagli relativi alla genesi dell´opera e alle sue vicissitudini editoriali.