Enrique Granados

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Enrique Granados Campiña

Enrique Granados Campiña (27 July 1867 – 24 March 1916) was a Spanish pianist and composer of classical music.[1] His music is in a uniquely Spanish style and, as such, is representative of musical nationalism.

Life[edit]

Enrique Granados and Andrés de Segurola in 1915

He was born in Lleida, Spain, the son of Calixto Granados, a Spanish army captain, and Enriqueta Campiña. As a young man he studied piano in Barcelona, where his teachers included Francisco Jurnet and Joan Baptista Pujol. In 1887 he went to Paris to study. He was unable to become a student at the Paris Conservatoire, but he was able to take private lessons with a conservatoire professor, Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot, whose mother, the soprano Maria Malibran, was of Spanish ancestry. Bériot insisted on extreme refinement in tone production, which strongly influenced Granados’s own teaching of pedal technique. He also fostered Granados's abilities in improvisation.[2] Just as important were his studies with Felip Pedrell. He returned to Barcelona in 1889. His first successes were at the end of the 1890s, with the zarzuela Maria del Carmen, which attracted the attention of King Alfonso XIII.

In 1911 Granados premiered his suite for piano Goyescas, which became his most famous work. It is a set of six pieces based on paintings of Francisco de Goya. Such was the success of this work that he was encouraged to expand it. He wrote an opera based on the subject in 1914, but the outbreak of World War I forced the European premiere to be canceled. It was performed for the first time in New York City on 28 January 1916, and was very well received. Shortly afterwards, he was invited to perform a piano recital for President Woodrow Wilson. Prior to leaving New York, Granados also made live-recorded player piano music rolls for the New-York-based Aeolian Company's "Duo-Art" system, all of which survive today and can be heard – his very last recordings.

The delay incurred by accepting the recital invitation caused him to miss his boat back to Spain. Instead, he took a ship to England, where he boarded the passenger ferry Sussex for Dieppe, France. On the way across the English Channel, the Sussex was torpedoed by a German U-boat, as part of the German World War I policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. In a failed attempt to save his wife Amparo, whom he saw flailing about in the water some distance away, Granados jumped out of his lifeboat and drowned. He had a morbid fear of water for his entire life, and he was returning from his first-ever series of ocean voyages. The ship broke in two parts and only one sank (along with 80 passengers). Ironically, the part of the ship that contained his cabin did not sink and was towed to port, with most of the passengers on board. Granados and his wife left six children: Eduard (a musician), Solita, Enrique (a swimming champion), Víctor, Natàlia, and Francisco.

The personal papers of Enrique Granados are preserved in, among other institutions, the Biblioteca de Cataluña.

Music and influence[edit]

Granados wrote piano music, chamber music (a piano quintet, a piano trio, music for violin and piano), songs, zarzuelas, and an orchestral tone poem based on Dante's Divine Comedy. Many of his piano compositions have been transcribed for the classical guitar: examples include Dedicatoria, Danza No. 5, Goyescas.

His music can be divided into basically three styles or periods:

  1. A romantic style including such pieces as Escenas Romanticas and Escenas Poeticas.
  2. A more typically nationalist, Spanish style including such pieces as Danzas Españolas (Spanish Dances), 6 Piezas sobre cantos populares españoles (Six Pieces based on popular Spanish songs).
  3. The Goya (Goyesca) period, which includes the piano suite Goyescas, the opera Goyescas, various Tonadillas for voice and piano, and other works.

Granados was an important influence on at least two other important Spanish composers and musicians, Manuel de Falla and Pablo Casals. He was also the teacher of composer Rosa García Ascot.

Some important works[edit]

Enric Granados by David Santsalvador. 1936.
  • 12 danzas españolas (1890) for piano; Op. 37, H. 142, DLR 1:2. The contents of the four volumes are: Vol. 1: Galante (or Minueto), Orientale, Fandango (or Zarabanda); Vol. 2: Villanesca; Andaluza (or Playera); Rondalla aragonesa (or Jota); Vol. 3: Valenciana; Sardana (or Asturiana); Romántica (or Mazurca); Vol. 4: Melancólica (or Danza Triste); Zambra; Arabesca.
  • María del Carmen (1898), opera
  • Allegro de concierto (1903)
  • Escenas románticas (1903) for piano. The individual "scenes" are: Mazurca; Berceuse; Allegretto; Mazurka; Allegro appassionato; Epílogo
  • Dante (1908), symphonic poem
  • Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, H136 (1910) for voice and piano, settings of a group of poems by Fernando Periquet. Titles of individual songs in the collection are: 1.Amor y odio; 2.Callejeo; 3.El majo discreto; 4.El majo olvidado; 5.El majo tímido; 6.El mirar de la maja; 7.El tra-la-la y el punteado; 8.La maja de Goya; 9.La maja dolorosa I (Oh muerte cruel!), II (Ay majo de mi vida!), y III (De aquel majo amante); 10.La currutacas modestas (duet).
  • Canciones españolas for voice and piano. Titles of individual songs in the collection (perhaps in the right order) are: Yo no tengo quien me llore; Cantar I; Por una mirada, un mundo; Si al retiro me llavas...; Canción; Serenata; Canto gitano.
  • Cançons catalanas for voice and piano. Titles of individual songs in the collection (perhaps in the right order) are: L'ocell profeta; Elegia eterna; Cançó de Gener; Cançó d'amor; Cançoneta; La boira.
  • Goyescas (1911), suite for piano, subtitled "Los majos enamorados". It consists of 6 pieces in 2 books. Movements are: Book 1: Los requiebros; Coloquio en la reja; El fandango de candil; Quejas ó La maja y el ruiseñor; Book 2: El amor y la muerte; Epilogo (Serenata del espectro). El pelele, although not published as part of the Goyescas, is usually appended to it. In performance it is played as the seventh and last piece. It is based on the music of the opening scene of the opera Goyescas, in which a "pelele" is being tossed in the air by the "majas."
  • Bocetos (1912) which contains: Despertar del cazador; El hada y el niño; Vals muy lento; La campana de la tarde
  • Colección de canciones amatorias (1915) for voice and piano. Titles of individual songs in the collection are: Descúbrase el pensamiento de mi secreto cuidado; Mañanica era; Llorad, corazón, que tenéis razón 'Lloraba la niña'; Mira que soy niña; Iban al pinar 'Serranas de Cuenca'; Gracia mía.
  • Goyescas, opera, 1916
  • 6 Estudios expresivos
  • 6 Piezas sobre cantos populares españoles, which include: Añoranza; Ecos de la parranda; Vascongada; Marcha oriental; Zambra; Zapateado
  • Madrigal, for cello and piano
  • 8 Valses Poéticos, for Piano, including No 6 Vals Poético
  • Trio, for piano, violin, and cello.
  • Military March, for piano Op.38

Media[edit]

Granados' "Danza No. 5" is one of the 12 danzas españolas (1890) for piano. It is commonly transcribed for classical guitar as presented here by Sharon Isbin at the White House Classical Music Student Workshop Concert (2009-11-04)

Problems playing this file? See media help.
Performed by William Riley. Courtesy of Musopen

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References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Enrique Granados, in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1-56159-174-2
  2. ^ Harumi Kurihara, Selected Intermediate-Level Solo Piano Music of Enrique Granados: A Pedagogical Analysis

Sources and further reading[edit]

Recordings by Granados[edit]

External links[edit]