Iberia (Albéniz, Isaac)
Arrangements and Transcriptions
For Piano solo (Godowsky)
|Alternative Title||12 Impresiones Españolas|
|Movements/Sections||12 pieces in 4 books
|Year/Date of Composition||1905-1908|
|Dedication||Madame Ernest Chausson (Cahier 1)|
Blanche Selva (Cahier 2)
Marguerite Hasselmans (Cahier 3)
Madame Pierre Lalo (Cahier 4)
|Piece Style||Early 20th century|
One of the most important works in the Spanish piano literature. Iberia is a wonderful mixture of Spanish music with impressionist influences. It is probably one of the most dificult Spanish works, with Granados' Goyescas or Falla's Fantasía Baetica.
In the first book, we find Evocación, a little easy introduction to Iberia; El Puerto - de Cádiz? - [The Cadiz Port], a very funny zapateado - an Andalusian dance; and the impressive El Corpus en Sevilla [The Corpus-Christi in Seville], a musical version of the story of these celebrations.
The Rondeña is the first dance in Iberia's second book. It is based in peteneras, Andalusian dances with continuous metric change - 3/4 and 6/8. After that comes the famous Almería with the copla based in a fandango - a Spanish dance. Triana - a popular Sevillian district - is probably the most brilliant piece in the whole collection. It is a fireworks' spectacle of Andalusian essence with an important gitana influence.
In Albaicín, Albéniz expresses his vision of Granada's gyspy district. It has more melancholy than any other piece in Iberia. El Polo is a palo flamenco, a flamenco dance in which the cantaor sings with a supernatural anguish. Lavapiés, not "feet washing" but one of the most popular Madrilenian districts, is a habanera - a Spanish dance with Cuban origins - devoid of Spanish frivolities, but with an apotheosis of lo castizo. The spectacular Málaga is full of movement so typical of the malagueñas - Andalusian dances in flamenco style. It demands a completely overwhelming virtuosity. In Jerez - a little Spanish city between Huelva and Portugal with an important agricultural industry -, Albéniz gives us one of the most exquisite coplas with a dense compositional texture. Finally, the brilliant and happy Eritaña has a determination that hardly requires further interpretation.
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