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Biography of

Enrique Granados

27 jul 1867 (Lérida) - 24 mar 1916 (sea)
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Enrique Granados
Born Enrique Granados y Campiña
July 27, 1867(1867-07-27)
Lleida, Spain
Died March 24, 1916 (aged 48)
English Channel, on the way from Folkestone to Dieppe
Cause of death Drowning (After torpedoes struck the ship on which he was traveling.)
Resting place His body was never found
Residence Lleida and Santa Cruz de Tenerife; 1874-1916, Barcelona; 1887-1889, Paris
Nationality Spaniard
Occupation Composer and pianist
Known for Goyescas, Danzas españolas
Spouse Amparo Gal
Children six: Eduard (musician), Solita, Enric (swimming champion), Víctor, Natàlia, Francesc
Parents Calixto Granados (army captain), Enriqueta Campiña

Enrique Granados y Campiña (Lleida, 27 July 1867 – English Channel, 24 March 1916) was a Spanish Catalan pianist and composer of classical music. His music is in a uniquely Spanish style and, as such, representative of musical nationalism. Enrique Granados was also a talented painter in the style of Francisco Goya.



He was born in Lleida (in Spanish Lérida), Catalonia (Spain), the son of Calixto Granados, an army captain, and Enriqueta Campiña. As a young man he studied piano in Barcelona, where his teachers included Francisco Jurnet and Joan Baptista Pujol. In 1887 he went to Paris to study with Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot and, most importantly, Felipe Pedrell. He returned to Barcelona in 1889. His first successes were at the end of the 1890s, with the zarzuela Maria del Carmen, which earned the attention of King Alfonso XIII.

In 1911 Granados premiered his suite for piano Goyescas, which became his most famous work. It is a set of six pieces based on paintings of Goya. Such was the success of this work that he was encouraged to expand it; he wrote an opera based on the subject in 1914, but the outbreak of World War I forced the European premiere to be canceled. It was performed for the first time in New York City on 28 January 1916, and was very well received. Shortly afterwards, he was invited to perform a piano recital for President Woodrow Wilson. Prior to leaving New York, Granados also made live-recorded player piano music rolls for the New-York-based Aeolian Company's "Duo-Art" system all of which survive today and can be heard - his very last recordings.

The delay incurred by accepting the recital invitation caused him to miss his boat back to Spain. Instead, he took a ship to England, where he boarded the passenger ferry Sussex for Dieppe, France. On the way across the English Channel, the Sussex was torpedoed by a German U-boat, as part of the German unrestricted submarine warfare policy during World War I. In a failed attempt to save his wife Amparo, whom he saw flailing about in the water some distance away, Granados jumped out of his lifeboat, and drowned. Ironically, he had a morbid fear of water for his entire life, and he was returning from his first-ever series of ocean voyages. Ironically too, the ship broke in two parts and only one sank (along with 80 passengers); the other part of the ship where his cabin was did not sink and was towed to port, with most of the passengers. They left six children: Eduard (a musician), Solita, Enric (a swimming champion), Víctor, Natàlia, and Francesc.

Music and influence

Granados wrote piano music, chamber music (a piano quintet, a piano trio, music for violin and piano), songs, zarzuelas, and an orchestral tone poem based on Dante's Divine Comedy. Many of his piano compositions have been transcribed for the classical guitar: examples include Dedicatoria, Danza No. 5, Goyescas.

Granados was an important influence on at least two other important Spanish composers and musicians, Manuel de Falla and Pablo Casals. He was also the teacher of composer Rosa García Ascot.

Some important works

  • 12 danzas españolas (1890) for piano. The contents of the four volumes are: Vol. 1: Galante (or Minueto), Orientale, Fandango (or Zarabanda); Vol. 2: Villanesca; Andaluza (or Playera); Rondalla aragonesa (or Jota); Vol. 3: Valenciana; Sardana (or Asturiana); Romántica (or Mazurca); Vol. 4: Melancólica (or Danza Triste); Zambra; Arabesca.
  • María del Carmen (1898), opera
  • Allegro de concierto (1903)
  • Escenas románticas (1903) for piano. The individual "scenes" are: Mazurca; Berceuse; Allegretto; Mazurka; Allegro appassionato; Epílogo
  • Dante (1908), symphonic poem
  • Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, H136 (1910) for voice and piano, settings of a group of poems by Fernando Periquet. Titles of individual songs in the collection are: 1.Amor y odio; 2.Callejeo; 3.El majo discreto; 4.El majo olvidado; 5.El majo tímido; 6.El mirar de la maja; 7.El tra-la-la y el punteado; 8.La maja de Goya; 9.La maja dolorosa I (Oh muerte cruel!), II (Ay majo de mi vida!), y III (De aquel majo amante); 10.La currutacas modestas (duet).
  • Canciones españolas for voice and piano. Titles of individual songs in the collection (perhaps in the right order) are: Yo no tengo quien me llore; Cantar I; Por una mirada, un mundo; Si al retiro me llavas...; Canción; Serenata; Canto gitano.
  • Cançons catalanas for voice and piano. Titles of individual songs in the collection (perhaps in the right order) are: L'ocell profeta; Elegia eterna; Cançó de Gener; Cançó d'amor; Cançoneta; La boira.
  • Goyescas (1911), suite for piano, subtitled "Los majos enamorados". It consists of 6 pieces in 2 books. Movements are: Book 1: Los requiebros; Coloquio en la reja; El fandango de candil; Quejas ó La maja y el ruiseñor; Book 2: El amor y la muerte; Epilogo (Serenata del espectro). El pelele, although not published as part of the Goyescas, is usually appended to it. In performance it is played as the seventh and last piece. It is based on the music of the opening scene of the opera Goyescas, in which a "pelele" is being tossed in the air by the "majas."
  • Bocetos (1912) which contains: Despertar del cazador; El hada y el niño; Vals muy lento; La campana de la tarde
  • Colección de canciones amatorias (1915) for voice and piano. Titles of individual songs in the collection are: Descúbrase el pensamiento de mi secreto cuidado; Mañanica era; Llorad, corazón, que tenéis razón 'Lloraba la niña'; Mira que soy niña; Iban al pinar 'Serranas de Cuenca'; Gracia mía.
  • Goyescas, opera, 1916
  • 6 Estudios expresivos
  • 6 Piezas sobre cantos populares españoles, which include: Añoranza; Ecos de la parranda; Vascongada; Marcha oriental; Zambra; Zapateado
  • Madrigal, for cello and piano
  • 7 Valses Poéticos, for Piano, including No 6 Vals Poético
  • Trio, for piano, violin, and cello.


References and further reading

  • Enrique Granados, in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1-56159-174-2
  • Enrique Granados; Poet of the Piano. Walter Aaron Clark, Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 9780195140668

External links

Recordings by Granados

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Enrique Granados. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
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