Julian Bream plays Sevilla (Albéniz)

Albéniz – Sevilla and Cádiz (Julian Bream)

English classical guitarist and lutenist Julian Bream plays Sevilla and Cádiz, two pieces by the Spanish pianist and composer Isaac Albéniz (29 May 1860 – 18 May 1909).

Sevilla is actually a piece written for the piano, but since it has been transcribed for classical guitar it has become one of the most important works of the classical guitar repertoire. It is generally played in the key of G major. Albéniz premiered Sevilla himself in a piano performance on 24 January 1885 and dedicated it to the wife of Count Morphy (Guillermo Morphy y Ferríz de Guzmán, best known as Conde Morphy or Count Morphy, February 29, 1836 – August 27, 1899; the Spanish aristocrat, music critic, musicologist, historian, educator, composer and politician).

Cádiz is originally written for piano too. After the composer’s death, his publisher included it in an enlarged edition of the Suite española. The suite comprises pieces with geographical titles; in this case the title refers to the Spanish city of Cádiz or its province. Since it has been transcribed for classical guitar by the Catalan classical guitarist Miguel Llobet (18 October 1878 – 22 February 1938), it has become one of the most important works of the classical guitar repertoire. It is a patriotic, bright sounding piece, generally played in the key of A major.

“It is, however, his earlier pieces and in particular the Suite Española Opus 47 which initially brought Albeniz such fame and succes in his lifetime. This Suite was published 1886. It consists of four highly impressionistic tone poems. The evocation of Granada -surely one of his most Idyllic pieces, the exhilarating portrait of Sevilla and the gay and busling Saeta Cadiz.” (Julian Bream, 1982)

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