Isaac Albéniz and the village of Camprodón

Isaac Albéniz’s masterpiece, the “Iberia” suite for piano, is a series of twelve picturesque pieces evoking the Spanish landscape and it is based -more or less- on traditional dance rhythms and folk material.

Accomplished piano players agree that Iberia is one of the most difficult pieces in the repertoire, requiring immense strength from its interpreters, chewing-gum-hands and divine inspiration.

Claude Debussy once said of Iberia: “Never has music achieved such diversified, such colorful impressions: one’s eyes close, as though dazzled by beholding such a wealth of imagery.”

I hope you won’t close your eyes now. If you keep them open you’ll see in the pics below the tranquil and wonderful village of Camprodón (province of Girona). The great composer Isaac Albéniz was born here on May 29, 1860.

Pyrenees

The village of Camprodón has not any special feature: no awesome Gothic cathedral, no famous open-air market, no world-class museum, no legendary ruins … It is just an agreeable, pleasant, copacetic, hunky-dory, ducky, wonderful village, where life passes by at a leisurely pace.

Casal Camprodoní

The word “Camprodón” comes from the Latin “Campus Rotondus”, which means “Round Field”. Don’t ask me why the Romans called this little corner of their mighty Imperium Campus Rotondus. The only “rotondus” (round) things I know from Camprodón are the fantastic cookies produced by the old “Birba” artisans.

Not only cookies. In fact, Camprodón is a paradise for gourmets and for gourmands. For example, this little gourmand (pic below) seems truly interested in this butcher’s shop.

Butcher's shop at Camprodón

The magnificent Pyrenees Mountains surround Camprodón. That means lots of mountaineering, skiing, climbing, hiking, trekking, bicycling, wandering, musing, contemplation, meditation, cogitation … and all these physical, mental and spiritual activities indefectibly make you hungry. Don’t worry: outstanding sausages, meats, veggies and pastries are sold in this village. Camprodón is self-sufficient at this regard.

Camprodón 4

Camprodón 5

Camprodón 6

Camprodón 7

As I told you before, Camprodón has no awesome Gothic cathedral, but it has a nice Romanesque-Gothic-Baroque church called Santa María …

Church of Santa María

This village has also a nice Romanesque monastery: Sant Pere, consecrated in the year 1168 …

Sant Pere Camprodón

Sant Pere interior

The “Ter” River crosses Camprodón. The river’s birth is located not very far away from the village, at an approximate altitude of 2400 meters (7874 feet), at the foot of a glacial cirque in the Pyrenees Mountains (what a nice trek!). The river follows a course of 210 Kilometers (130 miles) and discharges into the Mediterranean Sea, into the middle of my beloved Costa Brava. One of these days I should post something about this river …

By the way, an impressive medieval bridge crosses the Ter River in Camprodón:

Gothic bridge

Taking into account that the villagers of Camprodón enjoy the purest air, eat well, walk through beautiful forests, contemplate, meditate and cogitate a lot, as a result they love to chat among themselves. I am not talking about online chatting; I am talking about al fresco chatting …

Main street Camprodón

Camprodón bridge

Well, I don´t know what more to say about Camprodón …

Camprodón 14

river Ter

Balcony at Camprodón

Camprodón 17

Camprodón 18

House Camprodón

Maristany Avenue, Camprodón

Definitively I don’t know what more to say about this charming village. I’m suffering from a complete lack of inspiration. Look at this clothing store:

Isaac Albéniz

The guy of the b/w portrait to the right of the shop is Isaac Albéniz. He certainly had tons of inspiration. And he still inspires the whole village of Camprodón.

I like his music very much.

Albéniz birth place

Above: “In this house was born Isaac Albéniz”

There is a museum in Camprodón dedicated to Isaac Albéniz (temporarily closed):

Albéniz Museum

I’m about to finish this uninspired post. Camprodón is a very nice village. Isaac Albéniz was a great composer. Isaac Albéniz was born in Camprodón.

Albéniz monument in Camprodón

I think I finish this post just now. I’m going to listen to my old and beloved Cd of Albéniz’s Iberia, played by the late Alicia de Larrocha. That is inspiration.

Albéniz's Iberia

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About Covetotop

A Mediterranean blogger
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16 Responses to Isaac Albéniz and the village of Camprodón

  1. harri8here says:

    Just a couple of days ago i started asking friends – and Blippers (http://www.blipfoto.com/entry/3411164) – for song/music choices, for possible playlists to accompany my Camino walk, so this entry is supremely timely. Thank you so much for the introduction … i’m listening now :-).

    Wow … you have caught Camprodón so beautifully. You really do have the knack of capturing the essence of a place, and then communicating it; making the magic tangible.
    I love that all the physical and spiritual activities can be rewarded with deliciousnesses.

    • Covetotop says:

      Thank you Harriet! What a nice and delicious compliment! –totally undeserved-

      And if you are looking for song/music choices to accompany your Camino walk, I’d suggest an outstanding record: “Pilgrimage to Santiago”, by The Monteverdi Choir, directed by a compatriot of yours: Sir John Eliot Gardiner. It is a compilation of ancient music from the Codex Calixtinus and the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat, and by Tomás Luis de Victoria, Clemens non Papa, Dufay, Lassus, Morales, Mouton and Palestrina.

      Just take into account that this music is very old. It requires lots of patience, concentration and sensitivity from the listener … but it is really rewarding. You’ll find more info about it in Mr. Gardiner’s webpage: http://www.monteverdi.co.uk

      • harri8here says:

        No, totally deserved.

        I’m listening to The Monteverdi Choir now. It’s hauntingly beautiful, thank you so much. Pilgrimage to Santiago will be on my ipod for the walk.
        Of course I shan’t be listening to music all the time; i want to enjoy and appreciate the sounds around me, but i think, being an inexperienced hiker, it might be a good thing to have up my sleeve …

      • Covetotop says:

        Great! And yes … the sounds of nature will be a great soundtrack for your walk too. I hope you’ll have a wonderful, musical and fulfilling experience.

      • harri8here says:

        Thank you so much 🙂

  2. Sarah says:

    “Al fresco chatting”…I think America could use a lesson or two in that. I think people are forgetting how to communicate face to face and it makes me sad.
    Lovely little town. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Tyran Grillo says:

    One of your best posts yet! A marvelous evocation of place, music, and time…

    • Covetotop says:

      I’m glad (an honoured) that you liked it. Thank you, Tyran. Certainly Camprodón is one of those scarce and marvellous places strangely located somewhere between sound and space …

  4. Trish says:

    This post is very interesting. It’s about the kind of village I like to visit and stay in, so I’ve taken note of it for my next trip to that region. And I really love Albéniz – I like to listen to his pieces when I’m writing. Thanks for the recommendation of the de Larrocha version – I’ve just found it online and am listening to it.

    • Covetotop says:

      Thank you, Trish. Camprodón and its surroundings are really wonderful. Nature at its best, and there are some Romanesque masterpieces not far away from it (Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery, Ripoll monastery, etc.). I’m sure you´ll like it very much. I’m glad you like Albéniz too; he was great.

  5. Uninspired post? Nonsense! An inspired post about a very inspiring place! Thanks for taking us there Covetotop 🙂

  6. Pingback: 113: Poetry, Music, Type, Fashion – and plus. | Almofate's Likes

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