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Isaac Albéniz


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Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz (1860–1909) was a Spanish pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on Spanish folk music.

Born in Camprodon, Girona, Catalonia, on 29th May 1860, Albéniz was a child prodigy who first performed at the age of four. At the age of seven he passed the entrance examination for piano at the Paris Conservatoire, but he was refused admission because he took out a ball from his pocket and broke a glass window while playing with it. By fifteen, he had already given concerts worldwide. After a short stay at the Leipzig Conservatory, in 1876 he went to study in Brussels. In 1880, he went to Budapest to study with Franz Liszt, only to find out that Liszt was in Weimar, Germany.

In 1883 he met the teacher and composer Felipe Pedrell, who inspired him to write Spanish music such as the Suite Española, op. 47. The fifth movement of that suite, called Asturias (Leyenda) is probably most famous these days in the classical guitar world, even though it was originally composed for piano and only later transcribed to guitar by Francisco Tárrega. Many of his other compositions were also later transcribed to guitar - Albéniz himself preferred Tárrega’s guitar transcriptions to his original piano works.

During the 1890s Albéniz lived in London and Paris and wrote mainly theatrical works. In 1900 he started to suffer from kidney disease and returned to writing piano music. Between 1905 and 1909 he composed his most famous work, Iberia (1908), a suite of twelve piano “impressions”.


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  • ballseven

    Asturias is a masterpiece for guitars.

    6 Jan 2014 Reply
  • surajsharma

    if you care about him smoking a cigar in the picture you're a [f*****g] moron [3]

    29 Jun 2013 Reply
  • SUSEHurricane

    if you care about him smoking a cigar in the picture you're a moron [3] I cannot tolerate that user's stupidity

    11 Jun 2012 Reply
  • Alexface21

    if you care about him smoking a cigar in the picture you're a moron [2]

    3 May 2012 Reply
  • Taxes


    13 Nov 2011 Reply
  • jewmastrsupreme

    if you care about him smoking a cigar in the picture your a moron

    30 Aug 2011 Reply
  • denisbastos

    I don't so the problem in showing him smoking.

    30 Aug 2011 Reply
  • Parisblues

    There's a large choice of pictures without doing tabacco incitation. please vote.

    21 Aug 2011 Reply
  • DoctaMario

    Francisco Tarrega was also responsible for setting some of Albeniz' piano works to guitar (Asturias being one of Tarrega's arrangements.)

    9 May 2011 Reply
  • Faraxxe

    for everyone who keeps saying stuff like "no body understood classical guitar as Albeniz did!", please bare in mind that Albeniz never wrote anything but for piano. The guitar versions were written by other composers such as Andres Segovia.

    5 Mar 2011 Reply
  • deadgrave

    Asturias is probbaby the best guitar solo song

    30 Oct 2010 Reply
  • NatassjaEternal

    A kindred spirit indeed. A very kindred spirit.

    7 Oct 2010 Reply
  • Kamelanne

    He wrote the most beautiful music!

    22 Jun 2010 Reply
  • ReggeaFun

    Asturias is my fav.Especially John Williams version

    19 Mar 2010 Reply
  • deadgrave

    Asturias fantastic

    12 Dec 2009 Reply
  • DotsDisconnect


    18 May 2009 Reply
  • Tomodachi

    Anyone have "Asturias (Leyenda)" full track in piano, quality piece from the Lexus commercial ? Who played the ad version?

    2 Mar 2009 Reply
  • BlueSlumber

    no body understood classical guitar as Albeniz did! :)

    8 Dec 2008 Reply

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