Enrique Granados : Poet of the Piano
Enrique Granados (1867-1916) is one of the most compelling figures of the late-Romantic period in music. During his return voyage to Spain after the premiere of his opera Goyescas at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1916, a German submarine torpedoed the ship on which he and his wife were sailing, and they perished in the waters of the English Channel. His death was mourned on both sides of the Atlantic as a stunning loss to the music world, for he had died at the pinnacle of his career, and his late works held the promise of greater things to come.Granados was among the leading pianists of his time, and his eloquence at the keyboard inspired critics to dub him the "poet of the piano." In Enrique Granados: Poet of the Piano, Walter Aaron Clark offers the first substantive study in English of this virtuoso pianist, composer, and music pedagogue. While providing detailed analyses of his major works for voice, piano, and the stage, Clark argues that Granados's art represented a unifying presence on the cultural landscape of Spain during a period of imperial decline, political unrest, and economic transformation. Drawing on newly discovered documents, Clark explores the cultural spheres in which Granados moved, particularly of Castile and Catalonia. Granados's best-known music was inspired by the art of Francisco Goya, especially the Goyescas suite for solo piano that became the basis for the opera. These pieces evoked the colorful and dramatic world that Goya inhabited and depicted in his art. Granados's fascination with Goya's Madrid set him apart from fellow nationalists Albeniz and Falla, who drew their principal inspiration from Andalusia. Though he was resolutely apolitical, Granados's attraction to Castile antagonized some Catalan nationalists, who resented Castilian domination. Yet Granados also made important contributions to Catalan musical theater and was a prominent figure in the modernist movement in Barcelona.Clark also explores the personal pressures that shaped Granados's music. His passionate affair with a wealthy socialite created domestic tensions, but it was also a source of inspiration for Goyescas. Persistent financial difficulties forced him to devote time to teaching at the expense of composition, though as a result Granados made considerable contributions to piano pedagogy and music education in Barcelona through the music academy he founded there.While Granados's tragic and early demise casts a pall over his life story, Clark ultimately reveals an artist of remarkable versatility and individuality and sheds new light on his enduring significance."
- Electronic book text | 304 pages
- 01 Dec 2006
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
About Walter Aaron Clark
Walter Aaron Clark is Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Riverside, where he is founder and director of the Center for Iberian and Latin American Music. He is the author of a critically acclaimed biography of Isaac Albeniz (Oxford, 1999) and the editor of From Tejano to Tango: Latin American Popular Music (Routledge, 2002)."
"Clark presents us with a multifaceted appreciation of Granados that combines biographical and analytical approaches, as well as deftly incorporating cultural history and critical reception of the works into the narrative.... In Enrique Granados: Poet of the Piano, Walter Aaron Clark has written another landmark volume on a Spanish musician."--Michael Chrisoforidis, Music and Letters"Already acclaimed internationally as the supreme authority on the life and works of Isaac Albeniz, Walter Aaron Clark now returns with an equally definitive portrayal of the career and compositions of Enrique Granados. Every page bears witness to the author's exhaustive command of primary and secondary source materials."--Robert Stevenson, Professor Emeritus of Musicology, University of California, Los Angeles"Walter Clark's brilliant biography of Enrique Granados is required reading for anyone interested in Spanish music. No comparable book of this scope on Granados has ever been published in any language. Based on exhaustive research, Dr. Clark's book is nothing short of vital to understanding the artistic forces and events that shaped one of Spain's greatest composers."--Douglas Riva, Pianist, Madrid, Spain"Walter Clark's book on Enrique Granados combines the most recent scholarship with a reassessment of previous research on the composer and insightful analyses of selected works. Clark is not afraid to challenge previous generations of musicologists who knew little or nothing of Spain's rich musical traditions and whose prejudices prevented them from seeing what is original and enduring in the work of composers like Granados."--Joseph R. Jones, Department of Hispanic Studies, University of Kentucky"This biography will be a revelation to those who seek to know and understand music within Spanish culture during the closing decades of the 19th century. Astute history, a sensitive personal portrait, lucid musical analysis, and elegant descriptive prose ar