Manuel Saumell *


Manuel Saumell (1818 – 1870) was a self-taught musician who lived and worked in Havana, the Cuban capital. He was a forerunner of the Cuban national movement (something like the Spanish national movement around Pedrell, with Albeniz and Granados as its important representatives) in which composers started to use their native music as subject in ‘serious’ classical music.

Although Saumell wrote a number of ‘serious’ works, he gained most acclaim with his piano arrangements of popular Cuban music, so many triplets and 3/4 – 6/8 rhythms. These contradanzas are a striking example of this style.


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