Updated: November 1st, 2012

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Actualizado: 1ro de Noviembre, 2012

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Classical Music Archives Recognized Contributor


Isaac Albéniz (Spain, 1860-1909)

Granada is a movement from the “Suite Española” for Piano Opus 47.

It is a “Serenade”.

There are two types of Serenades:

The Serenade composed for small orchestra. This one evolved during the XVIII century. It has several movements and it is written for a small ensemble consisting of a limited number of strings and a few wind instruments. As a form, a mixture of elements taken from the baroque Suite characterizes this Serenade.

The other type of Serenade like Granada, is written as a single piece with a peaceful and "serene" character. Its melodies are written “in cantabile style” so they could be sung by the human voice with facility.

Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz was born in Camprodon, Catalonia, on May 29 1860. He was a child prodigy who first performed at the age of four.

At age seven he passed the entrance examination for piano at the Paris Conservatoire, but he was refused admission for his unruly behavior.

After going to the Madrid Conservatory, he ran away and became a vagabond, making a living by playing.

By age fifteen, he had already given concerts worldwide. After a short stay at the Leipzig conservatory, and with a pension from King Alfonso XII of Spain, he entered the Brussels Conservatory in 1876, graduating in 1879 with first prize in piano, which was awarded unanimously.

In 1880, he went to Budapest to study with Franz Liszt, only to find out that Liszt was in Weimar, Germany.

He returned to Spain to establish himself as an accomplished virtuoso; in addition he began to compose and conduct.

In 1883 he met the teacher and composer Felipe Pedrell, who inspired him to write Spanish music such as the Suite Española, Opus 47.

During the 1890s Albéniz lived in London and Paris and wrote mainly theatrical works. In 1900 started to suffer from kidney disease and returned to the writing of piano music.

Between 1905 and 1909 he composed his most famous work, Iberia (1906–1909), a suite of twelve piano 'impressions'.

Albéniz died in May 19, 1909 at age 48 in Cambo-les-Bains, France, and is buried in the Cemeteri del Sudoest, Barcelona.

Classical Guitar Music