Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga
   19th Century
   This century begins with unfortunate Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga (Bilbao, 1806-1826). This precocious musician learnt in Paris. In 1819 he wrote The Happy Slaves, opera with a libretto by L. Comella, from wich we just keep the Oberture. In 1824 his quartets for strings and his Simphony in D minor appeared in Paris.
   Conservatoire in Madrid, was founded in 1830 -Barcelone’s Liceum in 1837, followed by Bilbao’s and Valencia’s-. In 1835 Madrid Ateneo was created. Other institutions were announced by specialized magazines.
   Jesús de Monasterio created in 1863 the Society for Quartets, that performed works by Marqués, Chapí and Bretón. He created in 1866 with Asenjo Barbieri and Gaztambide the Society for Concerts: he offered, for the first time in Spain, Symphonies by Beethoven.

   Jesús de Monasterio (Santander 1836-1903) stands out as a classicist in violin. He took part on alhambrism in his time and helped new generations. Pablo de Sarasate (Navarra, 1844-1908) was a virtuos whose kindness made him be loved for people of his age.
   Piano will be the most important instrument in Romanticismo. First spanish piano compositions were written ca.1773: Pedro Albéniz (1795-1855), son of Mateo Pérez Albéniz connects with the music of the prior century. Other piano composers were Santiago de Masarnau (1805-1880), Eduardo Ocón (1834-1901). José Tragó (1857-1934) and Joaquín Larregla (1865-1945), did learn out of Spain.

Pablo Sarasate


Fernando Sor
   This is a good century for guitar because of Fernando Sor‘s hands (Barcelona, 1778-1839), who also cultivated opera. As he was a partisan of french cause, he left Spain and succeeded as a guitarist in London and Paris, where he died. He composed for his friend and guitar player Dionisio Aguado (Madrid, 1784-1818) Two Friends. They are authors of both methods for guitar still reprinted today.


Francisco Tárrega
   The most important guitarrist was born in Castellón: Francisco Tárrega (Villarreal, 1852-1909). After succeeding in Madrid he did it in Paris, U.K., Belgique, Suisse and Italy. Among his transcriptions of classic european musicians -or even Albéniz ones- his original Preludes and his Souvenirs from the Alhambra are often remembered.
Manuscript Prelude by Tárrega


Paloma’s Verbena
   Choral music attracted artists like Gabriel Rodríguez because of european lied. Other authors tried to rescue opera: a good sample of it would be Marina (1855) by Emilio Arrieta (1823-1894) helped by Ramón Carnicer (Tárrega, 1789-1855).
   Musical theater offered musicians immediate income. It contributed to the rebirth of zarzuela, dramatic partially sung composition from 17th century, whose name was taken from a little royal palace close to El Pardo. Its local setting has made it be rejected by many scholars. The fact is that musicians and theater-writters wrote zarzuela plays. Among the former, stands out Ruperto Chapí (Villena, 1851-1909), attached to Madrid and author of The Court of Granada, The King Who Raged (1891). Among the latter, Ricardo de la Vega, author of La Revoltosa (1897) and The Dove Verbena.

   Tomás Bretón (Salamanca, 1850-1923), composed The Lovers of Teruel (1889), an opera that showed artistic features not coming from Italy. Best known are La Dolores (1895), Farinelli or The Dove Verbena.
   Joaquín Gaztambide (Tudela, 1822-1870) composed The Herald Woman (1849). At Cuba he performed The Conquest of Madrid.

Joaquín R. Gaztambide


Asenjo Barbieri
   Asenjo Barbieri (Madrid, 1823-1894) did fight for the sake of music. He wrote on music and is the author of Bread and Bullfighting and -with a text by Luis Mariano de Larra- The Little Barber of Lavapiés (1874). Other composers were Manuel Fernández Caballero (1835-1906), author of The Nephews of Capitan Grant or Gerónimo Giménez (Seville, 1854-1923), writer of The Dancing of Luis Alonso (1896) and The Wedding of Luis Alonso (1897).
   Federico Chueca (Madrid, 1846-1908) composed The Fun of the Garden (1900). He was loved because of his sense of humour and his sympathy towards the working class: he often played in bars, in spite of its lack of experience writing music. He composed -with a text by ValverdeLa Gran Vía (1886), a collection of scenes close to the revista, and Water, Sugar Pieces and Liquor.

   Zarzuela is included in Little Gener. This name points out to the brevity of this kind of plays that was close to theater by hours.
   A trial of symphony was promoted by religious Miguel Hilarión Eslava (Navarra, 1807-1878) -master in Royal Chapel since 1847- and by Marcial del Adalid, Gabriel Balart (1824-1893), Casimiro Espino (1845-1888), Pedro Miguel Marqués (Palma de Mallorca, 1843-1918) -the spanish “Beethoven”, composer of four symphonies-, Daniel Ortiz, and others. Religious music was decadent, in spite of the works by Rodríguez de Ledesma (1779-1848) or Hilarión Eslava himself.

The Little Barber of Lavapiés


Hilarión Eslava
   Among critics like Hilarión Eslava, Peña y Goñi or Pablo Piferrer, Felipe Pedrell (Tortosa, 1841-1923) stands out with his Bilingual Dictionary of Musicians and Music Writers (1897). He composed La Celestina and a scenic trilogy: Los Pirineos (1902). He was an admirer of Wagner.
   Wagnerianism was practiced in Barcelone, by artists as Apeles Mestres (1854-1936).

   Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909) was born in Camprodón (Gerona) and surprised because of his precociousness. He gave concerts in theaters as well as in café-bars as a piano player. His inspiration comes from popular music, though his original works went beyond. He deserved the estimation of Listz and the friendship of Debussy, Paul Dukas, Fauré and Vincent d’Indy. In Spain he met Enrique Fernández Arbós (1863-1939). Albeniz succeeded in Europe and America.
   His works are collected in collections as Spanish Suite (1886), including Granada, Cádiz, Sevilla and Asturias; Remembers of a Traveller (ca.1887) -with Rumours of the Caleta– and Songs from Spain (ca.1898). In Niza, he composed the Suite Iberia (1905-1909): twelve pages for piano in four cahiers, almost finished at his death. His music for scene was less successful: The Magic Opal and Merlin. His personality marked an era for spanish music.

Albéniz con G.Fauré


Enrique Granados
   The works by Enrique Granados (Lérida, 1867-1916) have been less popular. It shares with musicians of his age a nationalism and a postromanticism, compatible with a deep interest for 18th century spanish music. That will take him to write Twelve Spanish Dances (1892) and two cahiers of Goyesques. The Majos in Love (1914) would be performed as an opera in the U.S.A. Granados was a professional and a teacher of piano since he was thirteen. He wrote Tonadillas and Love Songs for voice and piano and the Suite Elisenda for orchestra. He died drowned when he tried to save his wife since the boat where both travelled was attacked by a german submarine.