Isaac Albéniz: Navarra
Isaac Albéniz (1860 - 1909)
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The transcription for two pianos of Isaac Albeniz's "Navarra", competed in 1937 by Frank Marshall, must be considered as a work similar to the one done years before by his teacher Enrique Granados, of Albeniz's "Triana".
Enrique Granados, besides being a wonderful composer and piano teacher, was himself a brilliant pianist who cooperated with other artists of first quality in the interpretation of pieces for two pianos. The recitals of Granados (together with Risler and Malats) which took place in Barcelona in 1906 and 1909 are still remembered. Both Granados and Marshall, this last one student at the academy which Granados founded and later responsible for running its continuation, were of the opinion that theses works by Albeniz contained so many superimposed and intermingled themes and ideas that were impossible to be played properly on one piano. For this reason, looking for richer harmonies and the possibility of enhancing each of the themes, they decided to arrange these versions which are truly wonderful.
The respect for Albeniz's original is absolute and the sharing of the themes between the two pianos has been done in such a way to make the listener believe in a stereophonic orchestral interpretation but harmonically integrated so that it sounds as if coming from one instrument. To achieve this effect it is very important to have two pianos of similar conditions.
The final result requires a very detailed study and the searching by each player for the most suitable sonorities as well as an agreement between the two on the dynamic expressions throughout the piece. The current edition of this work has been revised and fingered by pianists educated in the Marshall Academy who have completed all the indications of expressions following the original for one piano and preserving the same articulations. It includes some comments parenthetically, which have been suggested by Alicia de Larrocha.