Albeniz, Isaac Manuel Francisco

Camprodón, Catalogna (Girona) 1860 - Campô-les-Bains 1909




Spanish composer, Albeniz began early (from his youth) an adventurous and nomadic life as a concert pianist. He studied in Madrid and Paris; he was the first composer to take Andalusian Folk Music outside of his country. He was a concert pianist in Argentina, Mexico, Germany, and the U.K. with great success.


From 1893 he wanted to dedicate himself only to composition. Albeniz moved to Paris where he wrote Papita Jeménez, the musical comedy St. Antonio de la Florida and Henry Clifford, the rhapsody Catalonia for orchestra, his masterwork, and the suite Iberia which is one of the most significative works of the XX century.
Albeniz's large musical production counts over 500 compositions, but most of them are unfortunately lost. Amongst his early works are: suites Espagnole and Moresque, caprichos Andaluces and many other folkloristic compositions. Mature compositions suffered the influence of Faurè, D'Indy, Dukas, Debussy, Chausson. However, his last works already reveal his own original style particularly in his greatest success, Iberia; his twelve piano pieces are characterized by a solid formal architecture and refined and harmonious gusto, plus a bright rythmic variation typical of Spain.


The Kunst der Fuge Biographies of Composers: Albeniz by Nausica Th. Classical.
Contribution for the translation: B.K. Drabsch. Special thank to F. Vettori for the collaboration.
Credits: Enciclopaedie Federico Motta editore; L'Enciclopedia di Repubblica, M. Mila., © 2003. All rights reserved.