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Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola (Read 10805 times)

Offline freakofnature

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Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
« on: August 27, 2005, 11:43:50 AM »
Hey guys!

I'm starting to learn Granada out of Albeniz' Suite Espanola - I love that piece and the whole suite - especially Asturias a.k.a. Leyenda. I'm planning on learning the whole suite over the next months or years and would like to know, in which order of difficulty these piece stand. Could someone sort them from easiest to hardest and possibly give them difficulty grades?

The pieces are:
Granada
Cataluna
Sevilla
Cadiz
Asturias
Aragon
Cuba
Castilla

I think, Granada is (one of) the easiest and Asturias the hardest, but maybe I'm wrong...

Thanks,
FoN

Sheet music to download and print: España by Albéniz



Offline arensky

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #1 on: August 27, 2005, 06:35:11 PM »
These are great pieces. Feel free to create you own Suite Espanola, in your own sequence with as many of these as you like. I don't think there is a Suite specific order involved here, in fact Asturias is originally from Cantos de Espana, and Cuba is from anothr collection, can't recall which at the moment... I will put them in diffuclty order from harder to easier, but this is just my opinion based on my own abilities and experience (I've played through most of these pieces). BTW I do not believe in grade levels. Anyway from harder to easier;

Aragon
Castilla
Sevilla
Cuba
Asturias
Cadiz
Cataluna
Granada

Keep us posted on how it goes, and which ones you selet, or all of them...enjoy!!! :D

=  o        o  =
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"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline freakofnature

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #2 on: August 27, 2005, 06:54:46 PM »
Thanx a lot!!! I thought, Asturias would end higher up on that list regarding difficulty (I started to learn it half a year ago but couldn't improve the big jumps...). I guess over the years I will learn more or less every piece out of it - they are all great!

Offline arensky

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #3 on: August 28, 2005, 02:06:45 AM »
Thanx a lot!!! I thought, Asturias would end higher up on that list regarding difficulty (I started to learn it half a year ago but couldn't improve the big jumps...). I guess over the years I will learn more or less every piece out of it - they are all great!

Well, it's relative; Asturias is probably equal with Cuba, yes the jumps are tricky! But in Cuba you have all those octaves, and they have to be done using 4-5 so they sound correctly, they are melodic, not bravura. But Aragon, what a little minefield! And it doesn't sound as hard as it should, at least for me. And the LH stretches in Sevilla are very difficult too. But I'm sure you'll get them; these are wonderful pieces, and they're about the music, not the difficulty. You might also want to learn Cordova from Cantos de Espana, I think it's one of the most profoundly beautful pieces in the whole piano literature...
=  o        o  =
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"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline freakofnature

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #4 on: August 28, 2005, 09:47:15 AM »
Just listened to Cordoba played by A. De Larrocha (I love that old lady ;-)) - it's really beautiful!!! Seems that my Suite Espanola is now one piece longer...

Offline lava

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #5 on: August 30, 2005, 05:40:07 PM »
I love to play Asturias. I think everybody knows it (usually on guitar) and it's so great to play. It really gives a drive. I wonder why I don't hear it often played on piano.

The jumps are indeed very tricky. Well to solve the problem, you could omit the first and/or last 16th note in the right hand when the jumps become too big. I heared professional pianists play it that way. At those points sustain the notes, but release the peddle shortly after that. That gives a great effect and no one will hear you omit a note. Obviously the melody is in the left hand and gets much more emphasis so who cares.

Make sure to keep the beats steady.

Offline arensky

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #6 on: December 30, 2005, 06:56:56 AM »
I have changed my program again, substituting four of these for Schumann's Symphonic Etudes. So I'm bumping this up, These pieces are great, is anyone else doing any Albeniz right now? I'm doing...

1. Granada
2. Cataluna
3. Sevilla
4. Asturias

I've played Granada and Asturias before, the other two are new...
=  o        o  =
   \     '      /   

"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline burstroman

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #7 on: December 31, 2005, 02:35:36 AM »
Albeniz is one of my great loves, and so is de Larrocha.  I plan to play a complete Iberia in 06.

Offline arensky

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #8 on: December 31, 2005, 05:19:31 PM »
Albeniz is one of my great loves, and so is de Larrocha.  I plan to play a complete Iberia in 06.

Wow! I  presume you've done several of the pieces, already? I intend to make these pieces (Book II probably) my next foray into Albeniz. I like the way they work as books. The earlier works are lovely too, but I find they don't go well with the Iberia pieces, which seem to almost be by another composer, they are much more complex and advanced than Suite Espanola, Cantos de Espana et. al. .

Now the stupid pianist question; which one do you find to be the most difficult? You are way ahead of me with these pieces, but I have played a couple (Malaga, Almeria) and read through them all. I would give this distiction to Lavapies...what do you think?

Yes Alicia rules in this repertoire! She is wonderful.... :D
=  o        o  =
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"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline burstroman

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #9 on: December 31, 2005, 10:46:20 PM »
Hi, To be honest from Lavapies onward is rough going for me.  Alicia plays most everything very well!  I heard her play the Ravel Concerto in G once.  During the cadenza she stopped, got up, and walked off stage.  She was "indisposed".  Anyhow, after a pause, she came back out on stage started the cadenza over and finished the concerto.  Amazing!

Offline zahara000

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Albeniz suite espagnole,, can the order of the pieces be altered at a recital
«Reply #10 on: December 03, 2008, 04:25:53 AM »
Hi, just wondering  if Im to play about 3 pieces of these dances, in a programme, is it ok to change the order of in which they are performed. for example to first play the leyenda, and then the aragon, caus eit makes a better ending piece?

Offline arensky

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Hi, just wondering  if Im to play about 3 pieces of these dances, in a programme, is it ok to change the order of in which they are performed. for example to first play the leyenda, and then the aragon, caus eit makes a better ending piece?

Sure, there's no problem with that.
=  o        o  =
   \     '      /   

"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline quantum

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Hi, just wondering  if Im to play about 3 pieces of these dances, in a programme, is it ok to change the order of in which they are performed. for example to first play the leyenda, and then the aragon, caus eit makes a better ending piece?

Sure.  It's fine.  One of my past teachers is a Latin American music specialist.  I've heard her do that many times with this cycle. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline guitarxx

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #13 on: February 10, 2018, 05:13:17 PM »

Have you capricho Catalan by Albeniz, one of the most beautiful, and easiest of his pieces. I first learnt it on classical guitar and now play it on piano.

Good luck.



Hey guys!

I'm starting to learn Granada out of Albeniz' Suite Espanola - I love that piece and the whole suite - especially Asturias a.k.a. Leyenda. I'm planning on learning the whole suite over the next months or years and would like to know, in which order of difficulty these piece stand. Could someone sort them from easiest to hardest and possibly give them difficulty grades?

The pieces are:
Granada
Cataluna
Sevilla
Cadiz
Asturias
Aragon
Cuba
Castilla

I think, Granada is (one of) the easiest and Asturias the hardest, but maybe I'm wrong...

Thanks,
FoN

Offline georgey

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #14 on: February 10, 2018, 06:25:10 PM »
Have you capricho Catalan by Albeniz, one of the most beautiful, and easiest of his pieces. I first learnt it on classical guitar and now play it on piano.

Good luck.


I know classical guitar requires long, well shaped and polished fingernails on the right hand.  I used to play a lot of Albinez, Granados, etc. on the guitar.  Piano requires short nails.  Just curious how you can manage to play both guitar and piano.  Thanks.

Offline georgey

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Re: Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espanola
«Reply #15 on: February 10, 2018, 07:06:38 PM »
I know classical guitar requires long, well shaped and polished fingernails on the right hand.  I used to play a lot of Albinez, Granados, etc. on the guitar.  Piano requires short nails.  Just curious how you can manage to play both guitar and piano.  Thanks.

Maybe you play guitar without fingernails like Fernando Sor did in the early 1800's.  Aguado (contemporary to Sor) was the person who championed the use of fingernails and fingernails are used today by pretty much all modern classical guitarists.  I don't see how it is possible to play piano with long fingernails, but maybe it can be done.