Capricho Catalan Op. 165, No 5 (for solo classical guitar) 4 pp

Isaac Albeniz
Rod Whittle
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page one of Capricho Catalan   Op. 165, No 5      (for solo classical guitar)    4 pp

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for solo classical guitar 4 pp

Isaac Albéniz 1860 – 1909

Albéniz was born in the Gerona province of Spain. He was a child prodigy, first performing at the age of four. As a boy, after trying to run away from home several times, he traveled the world with his father giving concerts. He continued to perform, but became more and more interested in composition, inspired by the folk music and dances of his native land. Exceptional natural ability and years of learning, both in Spain and other European countries, added distinction to his work, much of the best of it for piano.

Although he did not compose for guitar – a Spanish development and key to musical expression there – it was a prominent influence in his writing, and a number of significant classical guitar transcriptions have resulted from the piano pieces. Mallorca is from a relatively early period of composition, about which Albéniz remarked, ' I believe that the people are right when they continue to be moved by Córdoba, Mallorca, by the copla of the Sevillanas, by the Serenata, and Granada. In all of them I now note that there is less musical science, less of the grand idea, but more colour, sunlight, flavour of olives … music of youth, with its little sins and absurdities …' Classical guitarists have a lot to discover, and to be grateful for, here.

Mallorca is a piece where it really pays to prepare by noting (and then attending to!) the changes in dynamics and tempo, which are frequent.

Capricho Catalán is a later piece from the Espana suite (Op.165). An enchanting melody holds it together, with typically elevating and apt departures, and it finishes with a fine coda.

Score ID
Isaac Albeniz
Year of composition
Rod Whittle
Year of arrangement
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
8 minutes
Solo instrument (Classical Guitar [notation])
Classical music

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