Albéniz, Isaac Manuel Francisco


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Albéniz, Isaac Manuel Francisco

 

Born May 29, 1860, in Camprodón, Catalonia; died May 18, 1909, in Cambo-les-Bains in the French Pyrénées. Spanish composer and pianist; founder of modern Spanish music.

Albéniz studied piano with E. Compta in Barcelona; piano with L. Brassin and composition with F. Gevaert in Brussels; piano with F. Liszt in Budapest; and composition with F. Pedrell in Madrid. He gave concerts in many European countries and in North and South America. In 1894, Albéniz moved to Paris. His friendship with C. Debussy influenced Albëniz’ later compositions. The turning point in his career came with his decision to employ themes derived from Spanish folklore, which the composer called “a gold mine of national art.”

Albéniz’ piano compositions, which combine the traditions of the native song and dance genres of various parts of Spain—the jota, seguidilla, zortziko, and malaguena—with those of classical music, form the best part of his music legacy. Among his best-known compositions are Spanish Suite (1886), Spain (1890), Two Spanish Dances, Spanish Melodies, Iberia (1905–09), and Navarra (completed by the French composer Déodat de Séverac). Other compositions by Albéniz include the symphonic suite Catalonia (1899); the zarzuelas Saint Anthony (1894, Apollo Theater, Madrid), Pepita Jiménez (1896, Liceo Theater, Barcelona); the opera Henry Clifford (1895, Liceo Theater, Barcelona); and various songs.

REFERENCES

Baisbord, M. “Vydaiushchiisia ispanskii kompositor.” Sov. Muzyka, 1959, no. 9.
Baisbord, M. “Isaak Al’benis.” Muz. zhizn’, 1960, no. 10.
Laplane, G. Albéniz. [Geneva], 1956.
Collet, H. Albéniz et Granados, new edition. Paris, 1948.

M. A. BAISBORD