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The Compositions

  • Pequeña Danza Española. Originally performed as an improvisation during a medley of Infante pieces in Paris; later written down (year uncertain, probably early or mid-1920’s); performed many times publicly over the years. For some reason Iturbi frequently introduced this piece with the author’s name as his own pseudonym, Juan Navarro, causing some confusion over the years as to who really wrote the piece. Recording label information unknown. Dedicated to his daughter.
  • A symphonic poem, title unknown. It was to be a celebration of America, in particular the “colorful” American South, “with its many traditions.” Iturbi announced he was writing this when he obtained his American citizenship papers on August 24, 1941. Apparently never finished; disposition unknown.
  • Soliloquy (orchestral). Performed July 25, 1943 on the CBS radio program, “The New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.” Never recorded otherwise.
  • Seguidillas (orchestral). Recorded in 1950 on an RCA-Victor LP called “José Iturbi Conducts the Valencia Symphony Orchestra.” LM 1138. • A ballet, title unknown. This was to be co-written with his friend the famous Spanish classical dancer, La Argentinita (Encarnación Lopez), and was announced September 30, 1944. However, Argentinita’s death in 1945 so devastated Iturbi that he never finished it; he gave the completed parts to her sister, and it has been lost from public view.
  • Canción de Cuna. (Cradle Song.) Recorded in 1954 on a 10-inch LP (Concert Cameo) called “Iturbi Plays.” Probably written much earlier—possibly when his daughter was a baby. RCA Victor Red Seal. LRM7057.
  • Fantasy (for piano and orchestra). Performed in part on the Bell Telephone Hour (radio), May 14, 1956. Performed again—as an abridgement—on the Bell Telephone Hour TV show, probably 1962. Now available from this Bell Telephone Hour TV appearance on DVD, “The Art of José Iturbi,” produced and distributed by Video Artists International. Never recorded otherwise.
  • Mozart’s Concerto for 2 Pianos in E-flat major, K365—Iturbi wrote the cadenzas for the first and third movements of this work, and reviewers agree that they blend seamlessly into Mozart’s music. The Iturbis recorded this piece twice, in the late 1930’s and early 1950’s.
  • Rhapsody in Blue—Iturbi made a two-piano transcription of this popular George Gershwin work. He also transcribed it again for two pianos and orchestra. Both versions were recorded.
  • Ritual Fire Dance (Uncertain). Iturbi may have provided the two-piano transcription of Manuel de Falla’s popular work that Amparo and José used in the movie, Two Girls and a Sailor. He may have done it again as well, for two pianos, chorus and orchestra in Three Daring Daughters; unfortunately, this information has never been confirmed. However, people who knew Iturbi are certain he wrote the two transcriptions. Both have disappeared from view.

    (See “Discography” for more complete recording information.)