Enrique Granados: Wikis


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Pantaléon Enrique Costanzo Granados y Campiña (27 July 1867 – 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.

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 (1910) for voice and piano. Titles of individual songs in the collection are: Amor y odio; Callejeo; El majo discreto; El majo tímido; El mirar de la maja; El tra-la-la y el punteado; La maja de Goya; La Maja Dolorosa I, II y III; Ay majo de mi vida!, Oh muerte cruel!, De aquel majo amante; La currutacas modestas; Sí al retiro me llevas; El majo olvidado
  • Goyescas (1911), suite for piano. Movements are: Los Requiebros; Coloquio en la Reja; El Fandango de Candil; Quejas ó la Maja y el Ruiseñor; El Amor y la Muerte; Epilogo (Serenata del Espectro).
  • 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. Individual songs are: Descúbrase el secreto; Mañanica era; Mira que soy niña; Gracia mía; Iban al Pinar; Lloraba la niña; No lloráis ojuelos.
  • 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.


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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

Simple English

Enrique Granados (born Lérida, Spain, 27 July 1867; died in the English Channel, 24 March 1916) was a Spanish composer and pianist. He lived most of his life in Barcelona. His favourite painter was Goya and his best work, the piano pieces called Goyescas, are inspired by Goya’s paintings.



Early career

Granados started having piano lessons in Barcelona and then went to Paris where he studied privately with Charles de Bériot. He returned to Barcelona in 1889 and the following year gave his first piano recital. He wrote a zarzuela (light opera) called Maria del Carmen. The king liked it very much and gave him an award.

During the following years he composed a lot and performed with famous musicians such as Jacques Thibaud, Pau Casals and Camille Saint-Saëns. His piano suite Goyescas was first performed in Barcelona in 1911 and then in Paris in 1914 where it soon became extremely popular.

Goyescas and the fateful voyage

He was persuaded to make Goyescas into an opera. The opera was going to be performed at the Paris Opéra but, because of World War I it was performed in New York instead. Granados was invited to go to New York to watch the first performance of his opera. He was very frightened of the sea, but eventually was persuaded to go. The opera was a great success when it was performed on 26 January 1916. Granados felt that he was at the beginning of a successful career. President Wilson invited him to play the piano at the White House. Because of this invitation he missed the ship that would have taken him back to Spain. He took a ship to England instead. In Liverpool he got off the ship and got onto another one which would take him to Dieppe in France. The ship was called the Sussex. When the Sussex was in the middle of the English Channel it was torpedoed by a German submarine. Granados managed to get onto a lifeboat, but then he saw his wife in the sea and he jumped in to try to save her, but they both drowned.

His music

Granados wrote mainly piano works and songs. He was influenced by Romantic composers such as Grieg, Schumann and Liszt, but he was starting to make his music sound very Spanish. His songs include some of the best written by a Spanish composer. His piano works include Ten Spanish Dances, which are not too difficult to play, and the suite Goyescas which is mostly quite difficult to play. The most popular piece in this suite is called Lament, or The Maiden and the Nightingale. It has a very romantic tune which is repeated several times.


The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians ed. Stanley Sadie, 1980

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