Thursday, December 1, 2016

Goyescas: A Piano Suite and an Opera

Last time we looked at the Spanish flavor found in the music of Isaac Albeniz. Today, let’s look at Enrique Granados (1867–1916), who often collaborated with Albeniz during his lifetime. Like Albeniz, Granados was a pianist who studied with Spanish nationalist Felipe Pedrell. He is primarily known for his piano works, chamber music, opera and other vocal works, and symphonic poems. His piano suite Goyescas (1911) is perhaps what he is best known for. This piece provides Granados’ reflections on the artwork of Spanish painter Francisco de Goya. Granados believed de Goya’s work exceptionally displayed a Spanish character that he hoped to convey in his own suite. Following the completion of the piano suite, he went on to adapt the work into an opera that premiered in New York City in 1916. While traveling home from the premiere, Granados drowned in the English Channel after his boat was torpedoed.
Here you can enjoy Goyescas both as the piano suite and the opera by Granados. Do you sense a Spanish character?

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