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Suite Espanol Asturias

By Isaac Albeniz

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Concert band - Grade 4
Composed by Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909). Arranged by Juan Vicente Mas Quiles. Arrangements of Classical Compositions/Countries. Classic Arrangement. Recorded on Great Transcriptions by J. V. Mas Quiles (ML.311052720). Full set. Duration 6 minutes, 36 seconds. Published by Molenaar Edition (ML.011421070).

Item Number: ML.011421070

SUITE ESPANOLA 1. Granada - 2. Cataluna - 3. Sevilla - 4. Cadiz - 5. Asturias - 6. Aragon. It was in 1886 that Isaac Albnniz started writing this eight part suite for piano, shortly after his study period with Liszt. His manuscript only comprises the first three and the last of the actual set of eight pieces. The other parts were added, after the composer's death, by his publisher who extracted them from other compositions. These impressions of various Spanish regions illustrate the composer's ingenuity in portraying characteristic rhythms and his ear for refreshing keychanges. With the exception of 'Cataluna', all the pieces are ternary in structure, the central section being a 'copla', a sung interlude in a dance form, usually marking a turn from major to minor tonality. 1. GRANADA is a serenade evoking the city which was very deeply marked by the Moorish culture. In this part, the guitar accompaniment is clearly suggested by simple chords underlying the melody. 2. CATALUNA, the first part to be written, is dedicated to his mother and is also an ode to his native region. It is a'corranda', a somewhat mournful dance in 6/8. 3. SE-VILLA starts with a characteristic 'sevillana', followed by a melancholic middle part in the form of a 'saeta', a typical Andalusian song which is improvised during the Holy Week processions. 4. CADIZ has the more connected melodic line of a song. It is a melodious evocation of the southern Andalusian harbour at the Atlantic Ocean that used to be the gateway to South America. 5. ASTURIAS is subtitled 'legend' and consists of a 'solea', an Andalusian Gipsy dancing song with verses consisting of three lines of eight syllables. The central part has been borrowed from 'Cantos de Espana' and has nothing in common with the popular Asturian music; it rather evokes a Moorish or oriental atmosphere. 6. ARAGON. This region is suggested by the popular 'jota aragonese', a dancing song in 3/4 or 3/8 which was very popular in the nineteenth century. The jota consists of a quiet 'copla' (stanza) and an 'estribillo' (chorus). The central part slinks along languidly in thirds. It is the most pianistic of all parts, whereas the other parts seem in fact idiomatic to the guitar. Juan Mas Quiles wrote an orchestration for symphonic band of the first six parts - the last two 'Cuba' (Capricho) and 'Castilla' (seguidillas) have been omitted of this arrangement.

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