He is one of the foremost composers of the Post-Romantic era who also had a significant influence on his contemporaries and younger composers.
Asturias (Leyenda) by Albéniz (Free PDF)
He is best known for his piano works based on Spanish folk music idioms. His concert career began at the age of nine when his father toured both Isaac and his sister, Clementina, throughout northern Spain. This can be attested by comparing Isaac's concert dates with his father's travel itinerary. In , after a short stay at the Leipzig Conservatory , he went to study at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels after King Alfonso's personal secretary, Guillermo Morphy , obtained him a royal grant.
In he met the teacher and composer Felip Pedrell , who inspired him to write Spanish music such as the Chants d'Espagne. The first movement Prelude of that suite, later retitled after the composer's death as Asturias Leyenda , is probably most famous today as part of the classical guitar repertoire, even though it was originally composed for piano.
Money-Coutts commissioned and provided him with librettos for the opera Henry Clifford and for a projected trilogy of Arthurian operas. The first of these, Merlin — , was thought to have been lost but has recently been reconstructed and performed. In he started to suffer from Bright's disease and returned to writing piano music. Between and he composed his final masterpiece, Iberia , a suite of twelve piano "impressions".
In the composer married his student Rosina Jordana.
They had two children who lived into adulthood: Laura a painter and Alfonso who played for Real Madrid in the early s before embarking on a career as a diplomat. Another child, Blanca, died in , and two other children died in infancy. A number of works written before this are now lost. He also wrote at least five zarzuelas , of which all but two are now lost.
He is quoted as commenting on his earlier period works as:. There are among them a few things that are not completely worthless. The music is a bit infantile, plain, spirited; but in the end, the people, our Spanish people, are something of all that.
In all of them I now note that there is less musical science, less of the grand idea, but more colour, sunlight, flavour of olives. That music of youth, with its little sins and absurdities that almost point out the sentimental affectation They are more valuable than all else of Moorish Spain, which though we may not like it, is the true Spain.
Pedrell was a leading figure in the development of nationalist Spanish music.
The dance rhythms of Spain, of which there are a wide variety. The use of cante jondo , which means deep or profound singing. It is the most serious and moving variety of flamenco or Spanish gypsy song, often dealing with themes of death, anguish, or religion.
The use of exotic scales also associated with flamenco music. The transfer of guitar idioms into piano writing. By he had written over 50 piano pieces.
Clark says that pieces from this period received enthusiastic reception in the composer's many concerts. Chase describes music from this period,.
The five pieces in Chants d'Espagne , Songs of Spain , published in are a solid example of the compositional ideas he was exploring in the "middle period" of his life. His orchestral works of this period include Spanish Rhapsody and Catalonia , dedicated to Ramon Casas , who had painted his full-length portrait in As a result of his extended stay in France and the friendship he formed with numerous composers there, his composition technique and harmonic language has influenced aspiring younger composers such as Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.
His activities as conductor, performer and composer significantly raised the profile of Spanish music abroad and encouraged Spanish music and musicians in his own country. Selections from Iberia have rarely been attempted on solo guitar but have been very effectively performed by guitar ensembles, such as the performance by John Williams and Julian Bream of Iberia's opening "Evocation".
Asturias : Guitar tab (Music by Isaac Albéniz, tab from Ahmet Kanneci)
More recently, a guitar version of Granada functions as something of a love theme in Woody Allen 's film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The horror film Mirrors incorporates the theme from Asturias into its score. It was produced in Argentina. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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