Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz y Pascual (1860 – 1909)
was a Spanish pianist and composer best known for his
piano works based on folk music idioms. Transcriptions
of many of his pieces, such as Asturias (Leyenda),
Granada, Sevilla, Cadiz, Córdoba, Cataluña, and the
Tango in D, are important pieces for classical guitar,
though he never composed for the guitar. The personal
papers of Albéniz are preserved, among other
institutions, in the Biblioteca de Catalunya.
Isaac Albéniz’s Suite española, Op. 47, is a suite for
solo piano. It is mainly composed of works written in
1886 which were grouped together in 1887, in honour of
the Queen of Spain. Like many of Albeniz’s works for
the piano, these pieces depict different regions and
musical styles in Spain.
The work originally consisted of four pieces: Granada,
Cataluña, Sevilla and Cuba. The editor Hofmeister
republished the Suite española in 1912, after Albéniz's
death, but added Cádiz, Asturias, Aragón and Castilla.
The other pieces had been published in other editions
and sometimes with different titles (Asturias was
originally the prelude from the suite Chants
Each of these works refers to the geographical region
portrayed. From Granada in Andalusia there is a
Serenata, from Catalonia a Curranda or Courante, from
Sevilla a Sevillanas and from Cuba (which was still
part of Spain in the 1880s) a Notturno in the style of
a habanera, from Castile a seguidillas, from Aragon a
Fantasia in the style of a jota, and from Cadiz a
saeta. This last example, like Asturias (Leyenda), is
Although originally created for Piano, I created this
Interpretation of the Cataluña (Courante) for String
Quintet (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).