ALBENIZ - STARR; Zortzico in E minor (for symphony orchestra)

a Basque dance arranged for symphony orchestra by Mark Starr from Albeniz’s original composition for piano solo)

Isaac Albeniz
Year of composition
Year of arrangement
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
6 minutes
Classical music
Instrumental parts
Not available

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 an evocative and mesmerizing piece of about 5-6 minutes in duration.

In my opinion, the orchestra is an ideal medium for this luscious, exotic music. Only sustained instruments, such as strings and winds, can execute the numerous extended crescendos and diminuendos on long tones that fill the central section. The timbres of contrasting orchestra sections adds color and variety to the work. The strings impart a mysterious tone to this beguiling dance.

Sets of orchestral parts are available on rental exclusively from Noteworthy Musical Editions. For more information about renting orchestral parts for this work for public concerts and/or commercial recordings, please visit Noteworthy’s website at

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

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This score was published on Score Exchange by Mark Starr. When you buy it, you are granted a license that includes the following:

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