Spanish composer and pianist Isaac Albéniz (1860–1909) was a child prodigy and extensively travelled in the company of his family in his youth. As many prominent Spanish composers before and after him had done, Isaac Albéniz spent many years living in Paris. However, his Mallorca 'Barcarola', Op 202, was written in London in 1890. His performances were very well received in Britain and, in 1890, he did an extensive concert tour there. The barcarole is usually associated with the soothing stroke of the Venetian gondoliers, or the rocking motion of lullabies; however, the barcarola of Albéniz’s Mallorca refers to a style of lament, particular to the island of Mallorca, which is sung by one grieving the loss of a fiancé who has died.
Although Albéniz did not write a single piece for the guitar, a great number of his works, originally composed for the piano, were taken up and transcribed by guitarists almost immediately after they were written, and they have remained an important part of the classical guitar repertoire ever since.