JS Bach, Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 850

Albéniz, (1860 -1909) was a composer and virtuoso pianist, a leader of the Spanish nationalist school of musicians. He appeared as a piano prodigy at age 4.

Albéniz’ piano music is truly irresistible, in particular because of its dance-like elements and its Spanish atmosphere. Asturias combines these elements in a most sophisticated manner. It first appeared in 1892 as the Prélude to the Chants d’Espagne (HN 782), and again in 1901, this time with the title Asturias in the Suite Espagnole (HN 783), and the piece soon became one of the composer’s best-loved works.

The piece was originally published in 1892 as the opening section (“Preludio”) to a three-movement suite called Chants d’Espagne, which was expanded and republished in five movements in 1897. A slightly changed version, “Asturias-Leyenda,” was published in 1911 as the second movement of a nine-part suite.

Through Albéniz, Spain re-discovered its own rich, and various musical traditions. Isaac Albéniz, the Catalonian, gained his inspiration evidently from these folkloristic sources, and his Suite Española (originally for piano) is probably the first testimony of this artistic renaissance of the iberic regional music heritage.