Personalities | Isaac Albéniz | Late Romantic | Classical
(E’-zak Al-ba’-neth) 1860–1909
Spanish pianist and composer
Albéniz led the revival of a Spanish national musical style at the turn of the twentieth century. He studied composition with Felipe Pedrell (1841–1922), famous for his pioneering collections of Spanish folk and classical music that also inspired Albéniz’s contemporary Enrique Granados and, a little later, Manuel de Falla (1876–1946). Aged 20, he abandoned his virtuoso career in favour of composition, producing, during nearly 30 years, over 250 piano works of Spanish character. Among the most popular are the suites España, Tango, Navarra and Iberia (1906–09), composed in Paris, where Albéniz studied from 1903 with Paul Dukas (1865–1935) and D’Indy. In his masterpiece Iberia, the pyrotechnics of Liszt and the exotic impressionism of Debussy are combined with Spanish dance rhythms, ingenious pianistic imitations of guitar sounds and flamenco or gypsy ornamentation.
Iberia; Granados: Goyescas, Alicia de Larrocha (Decca)
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