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Emmanuel Chabrier 1841 - 1894
From July to December 1882, Chabrier and his wife toured Spain. His letters written during his travels were full of good humor, keen observations, and his reactions to the music and dance he came across. He detailed his researches into regional dance forms, giving notated musical examples. Chabrier promised that on his return to Paris he would compose an 'extraordinary fantasia' shich would incite the audience to a pitch of excitement with its voluptuous melodies.
Althought at first Chabrier worked on the piece for piano duet, this evolved into a work for full orchestra. Composed between January and August 1883. it was originally called "Jota" but was renamed "Espana" in October 1883. Encored at its first performance and received well by critics, it sealed Chabrier's fame overnight.
This flute orchestra version maintains the colorful and rythmic vitality of the Spanish character.