Manuel de Falla
   20th Century
This century opens with the foundation of a Symphonic Orchestra in Madrid (1904), followed by that of Barcelone (1910).
   Spanish music in 20th century needs updating itself reaching the level of other european musics. That is called “Burning Stages” and implies in this case studing symphonism, atonalism and dodecaphonism.
   The most important artist, Manuel de Falla (Cádiz, 1876-1946), began his work writing operas as: The Short Life, rewarded in 1905 and performed in Paris (1907). It would be followed by Seven Spanish Songs (1915).

Spanish Works (1909)
   Three nocturnes for piano and orchestra are known as Nights in Spanish Gardens (1911-1916). A year before he had combined in The Sorcerer Love jondo singing with spanish andalusism. He collaborated with Picasso writing Three Cornered Hat (1919) for Diaghilev. The same year he composed his Baetica Phantasy for piano.
   In Granada he wrote the Homage à Debussy (1920), two pages that sum his “integral” for guitar. He projected in The Altarpiece of Maese Pedro (1923) traditional spanish motifs. He composed Psyché (1924) and the Concert for Clavicembal and Five Instruments (1926), maybe his masterpiece. Then he created A Sonnet to Cordoba (1927), Ballad of Mallorca and Suite of Hommages (1938-9) to Dukas, Pedrell, Arbós and Debussy.

Authograph of
The Sorcerer Love


Homenaje a Debussy
   His reason for living in Argentina after Spanish Civil War is not clear. There, he composed Atlantida, an ambitious project finished by his disciple Ernesto Halffter.
   Falla is the spanish music best known out of his land.
   Conrado del Campo (Madrid, 1878-1953) stood out because of his kindness and virtuousism in violin. This casticist admirer of R.Strauss composed a huge work with pieces as The Divine Comedy (1909) and Castilian Phantasy (1939). He was critized because of uniformity of his style close to 19th century.

Hommage à Debussy


Joaquín Turina
   Joaquín Turina (Sevilla, 1882-1949) succeeded, as Falla, in Paris. Procession of the Rocío (1912), sevillanist symphonic poem, was followed by Phantastic Dances (1919) and Sevillian Symphony (1920). The Prayer of the Bullfighter (1925) was composed for a quartet of lutes. Then he wrote a Sonata (1932) for guitar and a Symphonic Rapsodia (1934). After Spanish Civil War, he enjoyed a comfortable and favoured situation.
Procession of the Rocío

   Julio Gómez (Madrid, 1886-1973) deserved friendship from his colleagues because of his advanced ideology. His Suite in A (1917) for orchestra was followed by Spanish Vignettes (1929), Maese Pérez the Organ Player (1941) and Plateresque Quartet (1948). He also stood out as a music scholar.
   The nacionalist Jesús Guridi (Vitoria, 1886-1961) began his carrer writing opera and zarzuela: after Mirentxu (1910) he composed Amaya (1920). He made a trial in symphonic art with An Adventure of Don Quixote (1916) or In a Fenicious Boat (1927) and succeeded with Ten Vasque Melodies (1940). He also composed chamber music.

Jesús Guridi


Xavier Montsalvatge, Eduardo Toldrá and Óscar Esplá
   Óscar Esplá (Alicante, 1886-1976) closes an era for spanish music. His Dream of Eros (1912) was a success as The Devil’s Christmas Eve (1923) and Don Quixote veiling his arms (1924), symphonic poems. He composed music for piano and chamber music. Though inspired in folklore, Esplá added a local air to his music with an original diatonic scale.

   Other artists of this moment are Joaquín Nin, Jaime Pahissa, Andrés Isasi, Beltrán Pagola or Eduardo López-Chávarri.
   Scholars underline the works of catalan piano player and composer Federico Mompou (1893-1987), from his Intimate Impressions (1914) to Silent Music (1959-67). He also wrote a Compostelanean Suite (1962). He will be remembered because of his sentimentalism and lyrism.
   A stimulus for religious music can be found in letter Motu Proprio (1903). Anyway, its achievements in Spain were not important.

Federico Mompou


Comments to his
Concert for Violin and Orchestra
   Zarzuela decays in spite of Amadeo Vives (1871-1932), Pablo Sorozábal (1897-1988) and Federico Moreno Torroba‘s (1891-1982) enthusiasm. The latter also composed symphonies and music for guitar.
   A new generation came in 1927, inspired by Falla and Stravinski and fostered by Adolfo Salazar: the “Group of the Eight” from Madrid. It was composed by Juan José Mantecón, Fernando Remacha (1898-197) -who composed in exile a Concert for Guitar and Orchestra (1955) or Jesus Christ on the Cross (1964)-, Rodolfo Halffter (1900-1987) -author of Tripartita (1959) in exile- and his brother Ernesto (1905-) -whose production includes Sinfonietta (1925) and Concert for Guitar and Orchestra (1969)-.

   The group was completed by Julián Bautista, Gustavo Pittaluga, Rosa García Ascot and Salvador Bacarisse (1898-1963), who caused a scandal with his Heralds (1923) for piano. He declined in France, in spite of his popular Concertino (1957) for guitar and orchestra.
   In Catalonia, a similar group was formed by Roberto Gerhard (1896-1970), then exiled in U.K., Eduardo Toldrá, Joaquín Salvat, Grau, Manuel Blancafort

Roberto Gerhard


“Rodrigo Festival”
Japan, 1973
   It has been said that Spanish Civil War (1936-39) did not change too much the delicate musical panorama, but 40s implied a cultural isolation.
   The masterpiece of these years is signed by Joaquín Rodrigo (Sagunto, 1901-1999), already known because of his Remote Zarabanda and Villancico (1930). He offered the Concert of Aranjuez (1938-39), written in Paris, for guitar and orchestra. Its success took its author to a certain repetition in Phantasy for a Gentleman (1954) or Divertimento Concert (1981). His religious and piano works are specially important.

Joaquín Rodrigo with Andrés Segovia


Rodolfo and Cristóbal Halffter
   Other musicians of this moment are Jesús García Leoz, José Muñoz Molleda, Rafael Rodríguez Albert, Matilde Salvador and Vicente Asencio (1903-1979).
   Xavier Montsalvage (Gerona, 1912-) stood out in the fifth decade of the century with his Mediterranean Symphony. His music introduced habaners rythms.
   Gerardo Gombau (1906-1971) worked with new techniques as well as Joaquín Homs. Juan Comellas, Ángel Cerdá, Juan-Eduardo Cirlot and Antonio Ruiz Pipó (Málaga, 1933-2001) belongs to the Circle Manuel de Falla from Barcelone.
   A change took place with the Generation of 1951, who learnt from Stravinski and Bela Bartok, and was dodecaphonist and atonal.

   Its name was found by Cristóbal Halffter, composer of Microforms (1960). It includes the catalonian group Open Music -formed by Mestres-Quadreny, Josep Cercós and Juan Hidalgo- and the New Music Group (1958): Ramón Arce, Cristóbal Halffter, Antón García Abril, Luis de Pablo, Manuel Moreno Buendía, etc.
   Juan Hidalgo (Las Palmas, 1927) produced electronic music in Ukanga (1957). He also did it in Rose Selavy (1976).
   Cristóbal Halffter (Madrid, 1930) and Luis de Pablo (Madrid, 1930) are seen as complementary musicians. The former evolutioned from Scherzo (1951) and Concertino (1956) for strings to expressionism of Brechtlieder (1967). He deals with popular forms in Tiento (1981).

Work by Cristóbal Halffter


Luis de Pablo
   The latter begins with Gárgolas (1953) and follows Bela Bartok in Módulos (1963-67). Elephants Ivres I-IV (1972-73) fused tradition and modernity. Darkness of the Water (1978) is a trial with electronic music.
Luis de Pablo,
Trio for strings (1978)


Works by Bernaola
   Other artists in this group are Carmelo Bernaola (1929-2002), author of Surfaces numbers I and II (1961-62), Changed (1963) for violin and guitar, Varied Superpositions (1976) for clarinet and magnetophones, and two symphonies (1974 and 1980). Also Ramón Barce (Madrid, 1928) experimented with his Sonate for piano (1956) or Study on Sonorities (1962).


Leonardo Balada
   The catalan group was formed by Josep María Mestres-Quadreny (Manresa, 1929), author of Moving Inventions (1961) and Piece for a Mechanic Saw (1963); Josep Cercós and Xavier Benguerel -composer of a Concert for guitar and orchestra (1971)-.
   Joan Guinjoan (Tarragona, 1931), Leonardo Balada (Barcelona, 1933), author of works for many instruments and the opera Cristopher Colombus (1992); Antón García Abril (1933), Claudio Prieto (1934) and Salvador Pueyo (1935) are important composers.

Works for Guitar
by Claudio Prieto

   Next generation comes with Miguel Ángel Coria (Madrid, 1937) and the critic and composer Tomás Marco (Madrid, 1942), from his Trivium (1963) to Dead Nature with Guitar (1976) to end with his Austral Concert (1981) for oboe and orchestra. Panorama can be completed with clarinetist Jesús Villa Rojo (Guadalajara, 1940), and his Three Pieces for Unvirtued Rythms (1966) or his Antilogy (1980) for orchestra; Carlos Cruz de Castro (Madrid, 1941) –Menage (1970) for tools of table and cooking- and Carles Guinovart (Barcelone, 1941).
   After them we enjoy music by Francisco Guerrero (Linares, 1951), José Ramón Encinar (Madrid, 1954), José Luis Turina (1951), José Iges (1951), Enrique Macías and the catalan opera-writer Carles Santos.
   Music today is not clearly protected by official supports. It has been rather fostered by radio stations that looked for a specialized audience. Music is still absent in institutions like University.

Carlos Cruz de Castro
meets Rodolfo Halffter