ALBENIZ - STARR; Zortzico in E Minor, a Basque dance for string orchestra and percussion (ad libitum)

Isaac Albeniz
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page one of ALBENIZ - STARR; Zortzico in E Minor, a Basque dance for string orchestra and percussion (ad libitum)

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Full details

A zortzico is a Basque round dance in quintuple meter in which the five beats are always grouped 3 + 2. The dance is hypnotic and sensual in character. The repetitive pattern of a zortzico has dotted rhythms on beats 2 & 4. Albeniz was Catalan, not Basque – but evidently he was fascinated by the seductive rhythm of the zortzico, since he composed two of them. The present one, in E minor, is a evocative and mesmerizing piece of about 5 minutes in duration. In my opinion, the string orchestra is an ideal medium for this luscious music. Only sustained instruments, such as strings, can execute the numerous extended crescendos and diminuendos on long tones that fill the central section of the work. The string orchestra, especially in the sections with mutes, imparts a mysterious tone to this beguiling dance. Browsers who would like to know molre about this beguiling work are directed to my essay on page 2 of the full score. The page is accessible with Scorch by using the player’s page arrows.

In addition to viewing the score online with Scorch and hearing it with basic MIDI sounds, you can also listen online to an MP3 of Zortzico, made with enhanced musical sounds. And if you wish, you can download free-of-charge this MP3 file for repeated listening.

Orchestral parts are available on rental from Noteworthy Musical Editions. For more information about renting orchestral performance materials for this work, please visit Noteworthy Musical Editions’ website at

Here is a link to this score on the website of Noteworthy Musical Editions:

Please let me know what you think of this arrangement of Albeniz’s ZORTZICO – either by email (click the button marked EMAIL THE PUBLISHER) or with an online review. Thank you.

Score ID
Isaac Albeniz
Year of composition
Year of arrangement
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
6 minutes
String orchestra
Classical music

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