Granados Biography Essay

Submitted By henrykinsunl
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Pages: 4

Enrique Granados Campiña One of the great cultural centers of nineteenth century Spain was the northeastern Catalonia. The region held many cities including Barcelona, where architect Antoni Gaudi inspired the Modernisme movement to produce nationalistic art. Although the movement had a smaller effect on music, the melodies and harmonies of Enrique Granados was a symbol of Spanish nationalism.1 Granados was born in Lerida, Spain on July 27, 1867 and was the son of Calixto Granados Armenteros and Enriqueta Elvira Campiña. His father originated from Cuba, and at the time of Granados’ birth, he served as an officer in the Spanish army. At a very young age, Granados began piano and solfège lessons from Captain Josè Junceda who was the local bandmaster.2 At the age of seven, Granados moved with his family so Barcelona where he began formal piano lessons with Franceisco Jurnet. Joan Baptista Pujol, well-known for pedagogy, later taught Granados. Pujol’s studio graduated some of the greatest pianists in Spain including Isaac Albeniz and Joaquim Malats. Granados subsequently began composition lessons with Felip Pedrell after placing first in a piano competition in which Pedrell judged. Pedrell influenced Granados as well as Albeniz and Manuel de Falla to use Spanish folk songs in compositions. Due to financial instability, Granados had to prematurely discontinue his lessons with Pedrell.2
In hopes of formally studying music in Paris, Granados spent five hours a day as a pianist at Café de las Deliciasas and played as a soloist and an accompanist in chamber groups. Afterward, Granados met Don Edward Condè who was a wealthy businessman. Condè supplied Granados with generous aid, as he paid Granados one hundred pesetas a month to teach his children (Using nominal GDP to calculate inflation, 100 pesetas was equivalent to about $15,000 in 2009)3.
In 1887, Granados began his studies in Paris. Although he wished to study at the Paris Conservatory, he was unable to enroll due to an illness. Instead, he took lessons privately with Charles de Beriot who was a chief professor at the Paris Conservatory. Granados also sat in de Beriot’s classes on pedal technique and improvisation. Privately, de Beriot emphasized tone production of the piano.4
After two years in Paris, Granados returned to Barcelona where he lived for the rest of his life. In 1890, he debuted his solo compositions which included Arabesca, Serenata española, and the first few Danzas españolas at the Lírico Theatre. He especially won acclaim for his Danzas españolas, as a critic from La Vanguardia compared him with Edvard Grieg.5
Beginning in 1892, Granados briefly drifted from his musical career when he met a woman, Amparo Gal y Lloberas, who he later married. After two years, they had their first child and later had five other children. Due to the his attachment to his family, Granados did not perform publically until 1895.6
After a short leave from music, Granados performed in chamber music concerts in Societat Filharmonica, which was founded by Matthieu Crickboom who was a renowned Belgian violinist. He also appeard in two-piano recitals at the society with Joaquin Malats. After observing the lack of symphonic music in Barcelona, Granados founded Societat de Concerts Classics to expand the public’s exposure to the music. However, the society was discontinued the same year after low attendance.7 In 1901, he created Academia Granados, which was a music school that offered many courses including theory, composition, orchestration, and solfège as well as instruction in piano, cello, and violin. Granados taught his own courses in tone production and pedal techniques. The school gained reputation after Granados arranged performances with pianists such as Malats, Casals, as well as himself.8
In 1909, Granados…