Isaac Albeniz: Portrait of a Romantic

By Walter Aaron Clark | Go to book overview

Introduction
Step by Step

THE year 1909 represented a significant milestone in the passage from the Romantic period to the Modern. German expressionism was in full career as Wassily Kandinsky painted his first abstract Compositions and Arnold Schoenberg experimented with atonality in his monodrama Erwartung and the Five Orchestral Pieces, Op. 16. Igor Stravinsky began collaborating with Sergey Diaghilev on The Firebird ballet for its 1910 premiere in Paris, where Pablo Picasso was laying the foundation for cubism in his paintings Harlequin and Ambroise Vollard. Sigmund Freud lectured to American audiences on psychoanalysis, and Frank Lloyd Wright designed his innovative Robie House in Chicago. The king who gave his name to a decade of relative calm and prosperity, Edward VII, was in the last full year of his reign.

At 7.15 p.m. on 5 June of that eventful year, a train bearing a casket from the French Pyrenees pulled into the estació de França on the east side of Barcelona near the harbour. The station, serving as a funeral chapel for the occasion, was fragrant with the scent of numerous floral arrangements sent by the Orfeó Català, Acadèmia Granados, Real Conservatorio in Madrid, city councils of Camprodon and Tiana, Asociació Municipal de Barcelona, and many other organizations and individuals. Throughout the night, friends and admirers of the deceased maintained a vigil as the public filed by to view the corpse. The following day dawned partly cloudy, humid, and warm, moderated by a refreshing breeze that blew in from the Mediterranean.1 At 9.15 a.m., a great multitude of people began to congregate in the patio of the station, mainly representatives of various organizations of writers, painters, sculptors, architects, scientists, and economists, as well as musicians and politicians bearing their various banners and standards. Gradually large numbers of onlookers formed around the nucleus of officialdom. Fifteen minutes later, mounted troops of the municipal guard arrived holding aloft the city flag, trimmed with the black crepe of mourning. At 9.45 other

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1
Humidity 90%, temp. 31.5 °C (89°F), wind at 20 km/hr. (12 miles/hr.).

-1-

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Isaac Albeniz: Portrait of a Romantic
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Contents ix
  • List of Plates x
  • List of Tables xii
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • List of Musical Examples xiv
  • Introduction - Step by Step 1
  • 1 - The Phenomenon 1860-1875) 16
  • 2 - With Distinction (1876-1888) 34
  • 3 - Veni, Vidi, Vici (1889-1893) 73
  • 4 - Prophet Without Honour (1894-1895) 109
  • 5 - A Man of Some Importance (1896-1897) 136
  • 6 - The Imperfect Wagnerite (1898-1904) 178
  • 7 - Iberia (1905-1909) 220
  • 8 - The Legacy of Albéniz 268
  • Appendix I 292
  • Appendix II - List of Works 295
  • Bibliography 301
  • Index of Works 311
  • General Index 314
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