Asturias from Suite Española No.1 for String Quartet
Asturias, like most of Albeniz's works were for the piano, although he did write some operas. Surprisingly, his most popular works, the Suite Española Nos. 1 and 2, and the Suites España and Iberia, all for the piano are have become better known in transcriptions for the classical guitar. Asturias (Leyenda) from Suite Española No.1 is heard most often on the guitar. Similarly, Granada, Sevilla, Cadiz, Cataluña, Cordoba, the Tango in D. and several other pieces are more familiar from performances by guitarists. Albeniz wrote Asturias during early 1891 while living in London. It was published the next year by a Spanish publisher as the opening Preludio of a three-movement set entitled Chants d' Espagne, Op. 232. The music was entirely inspired by the region of Andalusia in the south of Spain, land of the guitar and the flamenco dance. In 1911, a well-known German publisher brought out a so-called "complete" version of the Suite Española, now numbered Op. 47. In this version, the name Preludio was changed to Asturias (subtitled Leyenda a legend) and it was placed fifth. But the music is not that of the the northern region of Asturias, whose music is characterized by the bagpipe. None of this is important, however, in view of the wonderful and evocative music.
Sadly, Albeniz wrote no chamber music, however, arrangements of several of the above mentioned works, such as Asturias, are every bit as effective, if not more so, for an ensemble such as the string quartet as they are for the guitar. It is in this spirit that we present our arrangement of Asturias for string quartet.
Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909) was born in the Spanish town of Camprodon. He began to study the piano at an early age and it was quickly discovered that he was a child prodigy of the highest order. He studied piano with a series of famous teachers and pianists, including Antoine Marmortel, Reinecke and Franz Liszt. He enjoyed a career as soloist, but also as a conductor and composer. Albéniz's influence on Spanish music was profound. His activities as conductor, performer and composer significantly raised the profile of Spanish music abroad and encouraged Spanish music and musicians in his own country.
Parts & Score: $16.95