Isaac Albéniz (1860−1909) was the first composer to value and promote Spanish music as universal music beyond the national sphere. Iberia, a set of 12 compositions for piano published in four books, is Albéniz’s most representative work. Its earlier title was Espagne, and it sometimes is called Suite Iberia, based on the fact that the orchestration of these pieces was gathered in four suites. The series for piano was composed in Paris and Nice, where the Albéniz family lived between December 1905 and January 1908. The work was first performed in May 1906−January 1909 by pianists Blanca Selva and Joaquim Malats, who completed the cycle only three months before the death of the composer. The books were published in Paris by Édition Mutuelle, managed by the Castéra brothers. Albéniz revised the second print run of the first edition, which also included changes in the engravings made by his daughter Laura and established the definitive order of the 12 compositions. The manuscript presented here contains the first works of the third book (L’Albaicin) and of the first book (Prélude, later called Évocation), and the three works that correspond to the fourth book (Málaga, Jerez, and Eritaña) and Navarra, bound according to the order of composition. This last composition was to have been part of the fourth book, but it was finally rejected. The manuscript adds the second work of the first book (El Puerto) in orchestral version, and La Vega, from the suite La Alhambra. The personal collection of works by this composer and pianist was donated to the Biblioteca de Catalunya by his widow, Rosina Jordana, in 1927.
Composer: Albéniz, Isaac, 1860-1909
Place: Europe; Spain
Institution: National Library of Catalonia
Physical description: 99 folios ; 36 centimeters