Born: 1860, Camprodón, SpainDied: 1909, Cambo-les-Bains, France
“I want the Arabic Granada, that which is art, which is all that seems to me beauty and emotion.”
A true child prodigy, Albéniz passed the piano entrance exam for the Paris Conservatoire when he was seven, but was refused admission because he was too young. The son of a customs official, he traveled and concertized widely as a child and continued to do so as an adult performer. He also composed prolifically, mostly character pieces for the piano, but also zarzuelas and operas. Study with the musicologist Felip Pedrell in 1883 was decisive for his solid grounding in Spanish traditions, which he illuminated in his best music.
Further listening:Pepita Jiménez (opera, 1896; 1905)Carol Vaness, Plácido Domingo, et al.,Madrid Community Orchestra & Chorus, José De Eusebio (Deutsche Grammophon)
Iberia (solo piano, 1906-1908)Alicia De Larrocha (EMI Classics)