Laura Lootens: Albéniz

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Klasyczna Muzyka Gitarowa
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Who can avoid thinking of flamenco, bolero, paso doble, and guitars when they hear the term “Spanish music”?
Born in 1860, Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz was mainly a pianist and wrote primarily for the piano. More than any other musician, he succeeded in incorporating the Spanish guitar idiom and folklore into his style. Thus, for instance, his works contain allusions to rasgueado, a guitar technique that strums all six strings percussively in rapid succession, as we often hear in flamenco.
Thus it is no wonder that many of Albéniz’s piano works have also been performed on the guitar: particularly Asturias (from the Suite Española), a piece that has become a staple in practically every guitarist’s repertoire. But things are different when we come to Albéniz’s Iberia, a suite of piano pieces so complex that few solo guitarists have ever attempted to transcribe and perform them (although a few guitar ensembles have managed to accomplish the feat).
Once I fell in love with guitar playing, I could not avoid becoming familiar with the music of Spain, which drew me immediately under its spell, thanks to its fiery character, grace, and astoundingly gorgeous melodies coupled with vibrant rhythms
I was particularly fascinated by Isaac Albéniz’s music, which is why I desired to devote my first CD to him, with my own arrangements of his music.
In these transcriptions, I have endeavored to stay as close to the original as possible in order to retain the original pieces’ complexity.
My selection stems from Albéniz’s most well-known cycles: Iberia (El Albaicín, Evocatión), Suite Española (Aragón, Asturias, Cádiz, Castilla, Cataluña, Cuba, Granada, Sevilla), and España (Capricho Catalán, Malagueña).

Laura Lootens was born in 1999 in Marktoberdorf (Bavaria). Her passion for the classical guitar was kindled when she took her very first guitar lesson at the age of eight. Ever since then, she has found artistic fulfillment by thrilling audiences with the infinite variety of sonorities the guitar offers.
In 2022, Laura won the First Prize at one of the most important guitar competitions worldwide: the Andrés Segovia Competition in Spain, where she was also awarded the Special Prize for the Best Interpretation of the Obligatory Piece. She scored a further success when the renowned German Music Competition selected her for a scholarship; on the same occasion, she was awarded the Special Prize of the German Musikleben Foundation.
When she was fourteen, Laura began her studies as a selected young student in Munich under the guidance of Professor Franz Halász while attending a secondary school specialized in the arts.
Only one year later, her acknowledged talent for classical guitar allowed her to enroll in Bachelor’s degree studies as one of the youngest students at the Munich University of Music and Performing Arts. At fifteen, she also gave her orchestral début with Joaquín Rodrigo’s renowned Concierto de Aranjuez. Laura obtained her Master’s degree cum laude, followed by an Excellence in Performance diploma, the equivalent of a doctorate.
In 2021, at the age of 22, Laura was selected among several competitors to occupy a teaching post at the Munich University of Music and Performing Arts.
Laura’s music has led her to perform in renowned classical music venues in Germany and abroad: at the Gasteig in Munich, the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, and the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. She can also be heard and seen on radio and television broadcasts recorded by Bavarian Radio (Munich), by the German national ARD channel, and by Austrian public radio station Ö1.

Laura Lootens: guitar

Albéniz: Espagne
Albéniz: Iberia, book 1
Albéniz: Iberia, book 3

wydano: 15 September 2023
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