Today would have been Isaac Albeniz's birthday, he was born on the 29th May 1860.
Albeniz, the Spanish composer and pianist, is one of the most important figures in Spain's musical history.
He was a child prodigy who at the age of four, so amazed the audience with his performance, that they suspected trickery. Famously as a young child, he stowed away on a ship to South America where he entertained audiences by playing with his back to the piano and other amazing antics.
Albeniz performed for most of his life, and, continued composing until his death on the 18th May 1909.
Albeniz composed, 'Suite Espanola', of which the fifth movement is possibly one of the most famous classical guitar pieces, 'Asturias'.
Although originally composed for piano it was later transcibed for guitar by Francisco Tarrega, along with many other pieces by Albeniz.
In fact Albeniz once declared that he preferred Tarrega's transcription of Asturias to his own original piano version.
Asturias can be heard on Robin's, 'Virtuoso' album.
If you go over to Jessica Duchen's blog you will see that it is also Korngold's birthday!
Update on previous blogs:
The other day I mentioned an article by Ben Quinn on an elderly pop group called, 'The Zimmers'. Their version of 'My Generation', by The Who, has been viewed by more than two million people on YouTube. Read, 'Pensioners pop on course for number one', for the full story.
Well done to The Zimmers, and also to Tim Samuels of the BBC, for putting the group together, and highlighting the needs of the elderly - or not!
There's also a further twist to the tale about the 'code cracking' antics of Thomas and Stuart Mitchell. I first mentioned them on the 1st of May, and it appears that Stuart Mitchell has been contacted by a Mexican astronomer who claims the same hexagonal shape can be seen on Saturn.
Apparently, in musical terms, this shape represents a B natural, suggesting more code cracking is needed.
I'm not making it up, read Ausian Cramb's article, 'The Da Vinci chapel echoes to the sound of Saturn', for the full story.
'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman