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Albéniz, Isaac (Manuel Francisco)

Albéniz, Isaac (Manuel Francisco) (b Camprodón, Catalonia, 1860; d Cambô-les-Bains, France, 1909). Sp. pianist and composer. From 1880 toured widely, playing many of own pf. works, of which he comp. 250 between 1880 and 1892, most of them employing Sp. rhythmic and melodic idioms. For his Eng. banker patron F. Money-Coutts ( Lord Latymer) he set 3 opera libs., Henry Clifford (Barcelona 1895), Merlin, and Pepita Jiménez (Barcelona 1896). Settled in Paris 1893, being influenced by Fauré and Dukas. His Iberia, 12 pf. pieces, was pubd. in 4 vols., 1906–9. Also wrote operettas, songs, orch. rhapsody Catalonia, pf. conc., and 5 pf. sonatas. Iberia was orch. by Arbós, and Suite española by R.Frühbeck de Burgos.

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Albéniz, Isaac

Isaac Albéniz (ēsäk´ älbā´nēth), 1860–1909, Spanish pianist and composer. He made his debut as a pianist at the age of four. When still young, he ran away from home and traveled in North and South America and Spain, supporting himself by playing the piano. As a composer, he was influenced by Liszt and studied with D'Indy and Dukas, among others. He in turn influenced Debussy and Ravel in their piano compositions. Filipe Pedrell interested him in Spanish music. Although he wrote operas, songs, and many short piano pieces, he is best remembered for his later piano works (especially Iberia, 1906–9), which combine a stylized use of Spanish folk material with a brilliant pianistic idiom.

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Albéniz, Isaac

Albéniz, Isaac (1860–1909) Spanish composer and pianist. The majority of his compositions are for piano. He often used Spanish folk elements in his compositions, notably in the piano suite Iberia (1906–09).

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Albéniz, Isaac (Manuel Francisco)

Albéniz, Isaac (Manuel Francisco)

Albéniz, Isaac (Manuel Francisco), eminent Spanish composer and pianist; b. Camprodón, May 29, 1860; d. Cambo-les- Bains, May 18, 1909. He began piano lessons at a very early age with Narciso Oliveros in Barcelona. He was only 4 when he made his first public appearance as a pianist there with his sister Clementina. In 1867 the family went to Paris, where he had some instruction from A.-F. Marmontel. The family returned to Spain in 1868, and in 1869 Albéniz enrolled in the Madrid Cons, to study with Ajero and Men-dizábal. He quit the Cons, by the time he was 10 and set out to roam his homeland, supporting himself by playing in various venues. After an adventuresome sojourn in South America in 1872–73, he returned to Spain to give concerts. In 1875 he played in Puerto Rico, and then visited Cuba and the U.S. before pursuing his studies at the Leipzig Cons, with Jadassohn and Reinecke. In 1877 Count Guillermo Morphy provided Albéniz with a scholarship to study at the Brussels Cons, with Brassin (piano) and Gevaert and Dupont (composition), where he graduated with a 1st prize in 1879. In 1880 he met Liszt who gave him valuable advice. Albéniz subsequently pursued a concert career in Spain and abroad. After settling in Paris in 1894, he devoted himself principally to composing but also taught at the Schola Cantorum (1897–98). In 1900 he returned to Spain but was again in Paris in 1902 before settling in Nice in 1903. Albéniz helped to forge the Spanish national idiom of composition, one reflecting indigenous rhythms and melodic patterns. A gifted pianist, he composed a remarkable body of music for his instrument. His suite Iberia (1905–09) is an outstanding example.

Works

DRAMATIC: The Magic Opal, operetta (London, Jan. 19, 1893); San Antonio de la Florida, zarzuela (Madrid, Oct. 26, 1894); Henry Clifford, opera (Barcelona, May 8, 1895); Merlin, opera (c. 1895; unfinished); Pepita Jiménez, comic opera (Barcelona, Jan. 5, 1896). ORCH.: Rapsodia española for Piano and Orch. (Madrid, March 20, 1887, composer soloist); Piano Concerto (Madrid, Dec. 30, 1887, composer soloist); Escenas sinfónicas catalanas (Paris, April 25, 1889); Catalonia (1889). Piano: Suite española, 8 pieces (1886); Suite antigua (1887); Seis danzas españolas (1887); 12 piezas características (1888); España (1890); Serenata española (1891); Cantos de España (n.d.); Iberia, 12 pieces (1905–09); Navarra (n.d.; ed. by D. de Séverac); also 4 sonatas and many other pieces. VOCAL: El Cristo, oratorio (n.d.); songs.

Bibliography

H. Collet, A. et Granados (Paris, 1926; 2nd ed., 1948); A. de las Heras, Vida de A. (Barcelona and Madrid, 1940); V. Ruiz Albéniz, 7. A. (Madrid, 1948); M. Raux Deledicque, A.: Su vida inquieta y ardorosa (Buenos Aires, 1950); A Sagardia, 7. A. (Madrid, 1951); G. Laplane, A.: Sa vie, son oeuvre (Paris, 1956); P. Baytelman, 7. A.: Chronological List and Thematic Catalog of His Piano Works (Warren, Mich., 1993); W. Clark, 7. A.: A Guide to Research (Levittown, Pa., 1998); idem, 7. A.: Portrait of a Romantic (Oxford, 1999).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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