Arts & Leisure

A tribute concert to Spanish composer Enrique Granados

Posted on August 17, 2016

MANILA-BORN soprano Andión Fernández and Spanish musician Alberto Urroz take center stage to pay tribute to Enrique Granados, a pianist and composer with a uniquely Spanish style, in a special concert of piano music and art songs.

Organized by the Embassy of Spain and Instituto Cervantes de Manila in collaboration with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), it will be held on Aug. 21 at the CCP Little Theater.

The Philippine capital joins other music-loving cities around the world in doing homage to Granados which comes a hundred years after the artist drowned in the English Channel while attempting in vain to save his wife -- tragic casualties of the unrestricted submarine attacks of the First World War.

The concert explores three aspects of Granados’ diverse oeuvre for piano, which go far beyond the narrow stereotypes of Spanish music. Granados’ love of old Spanish music is exemplified in his recomposition of Domenico Scarlatti’s G major harpsichord sonata, K 520. The ballad “El amor y la muerte” from the monumental piano suite Goyescas reveals the profound inspiration Granados drew from Spanish art and culture. Finally, the varied faces of Spanish folk music are represented in three of his colorful Danzas españolas.

An unusual but fitting tribute to Granados is offered by the Berlin-based Filipino composer Jeffrey Ching as, following in the Spanish artist’s footsteps, he adds his own Sonata Domenica to the “Scarlattiana” tradition that Granados began. The work is dedicated to Mr. Urroz, who will be giving its world premiere at this concert.

The second half of the program consists of three highly individual song cycles that illustrate once again the extreme contrasts to be found among Spanish composers: Granados’ “Tonadillas en estilo antiguo,” Mompou’s “Combat del somni,” and De Falla’s well-known “Siete canciones populares españolas.”

An international award-winning Filipino-Spanish soprano, Ms. Fernández graduated with honors from the Universität der Künste in Berlin and studied voice with Karan Armstrong and contemporary music with Aribert Reimann. She has sung in major concert halls and opera houses across Asia and Europe, and was a soloist of the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 2001 to 2010.

Mr. Urroz graduated with honors from the Royal Conservatory in Madrid where he studied with Joaquín Soriano. He is a professor of piano at Alfonso X University in Madrid and at Arturo Soria Madrid Conservatory, and a founding member of the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA) in Spain where he serves as secretary.

Entrance to the concert is free on a first-come, first-served basis. For details, visit Instituto Cervantes’ Facebook page