Does Iberia offer a real view of Spain at the beginning of the twentieth century?
Torres: Yes and no. Albéniz was thoroughly familiar with the Spain of his time. He lived, worked and suffered in this country. From childhood, he traveled throughout Spain, and he knew every facet of it, from the palaces of the aristocracy to the taverns and brothels.
He was aware that the country was in the midst of change after losing the last scraps of its old empire but at the same time remained caught up in the dark side of its history. In this respect, Albéniz had a highly critical view of Spain. But at the same time, his is a loving, nostalgic and idealized view. Iberia was written in far-off Paris and this distance manifests itself in melancholy and idealization. According to Manuel de Falla, the value of Iberia lies essentially in the fact that it reflects a Spain that by then had ceased to exist and would never return.
Dr Jacinto Torres (Albéniz specialist)