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Thread: Is Spain least musically talented nation of Europe?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Kontrapunctus's Avatar
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    Let's not forget Cristobal Halffter.

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  3. #17
    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchflorida View Post
    Yes, I never thought about it before. But Greece is a big zero when it comes to Classical Music.
    That's probably because like Arabic Countries and Japan the music system they use is completely different.
    I'm sure that one of our musicians can explain this properly.
    Fools talk because they have to say something, wise men talk because they have something to say.

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  5. #18
    Senior Member BurningDesire's Avatar
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    Just because its less famous doesn't mean its less good. Many composers are raised to god-like status, and certain ways of writing or thinking about music are held as superior to others, but that doesn't make it truth. There is a ton of fantastic music from Spain, which is interestingly heavily influenced by Arabic music. Obscurity doesn't mean bad, popularity doesn't mean good.

    If you'd like to hear some awesome Spanish composers, I recommend Granados, Barrios, Taurega, Rodrigo. They're pretty magnificent ^_^

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrapunctus View Post
    Let's not forget Cristobal Halffter.
    Or his uncle, Ernesto Halffter. His Sinfonietta is great!

    Arriaga has been mentioned. I suspect he would have been the greatest Spanish composer of the last couple of hundred years if he hadn't been so thoughtless as to die young. His string quartets are available on NML or Spotify -- written at 18!


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  9. #20
    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    Rodolfo was another Halffter. One almost gets Half-confused. But Rodolfo worked in Latin-America too, and Cristobal usually wrote in the most modern style among the three.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Jan-05-2013 at 19:53.

  10. #21
    Member palJacky's Avatar
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    <<For a country that is supposed not to have produced many great composers taking into account the size, history and population of the place there have been many non-Spaniards who have composed works with a Spanish flavour and/or using texts by the likes of Lorca. >>

    I think this is actually part of the conundrum. Everyone knows what a Spanish work 'sounds like" but more often than not when we hear one, it was composed by a non Spaniard.
    Wherever you go, there you are

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  12. #22
    Senior Member Flamme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perotin View Post
    How come, there are so few good composers in spanish history? When I think of Spain, only a handful of minor composers comes to my mind, say, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Enrique Granados, Isaac Albéniz, Manuel de Falla. In comparison to other big european nations, like Russia, Germany, France, Italy, this is a really modest contribution to world classical music. Why is that so? Did politics, religion, poor economy or cultural isolation hinder the developement of music? What is your opinion on that?
    Well i think they are talented for non classical musical styles like flamenco or something also they have very good classical guitar players probably the best in the world...They didnt have the poor economy for centuries, on the contrary, mostly cause of the gold and other precious metals they imported from across the sea...

  13. #23
    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamme View Post
    Well i think they are talented for non classical musical styles like flamenco or something also they have very good classical guitar players probably the best in the world...They didnt have the poor economy for centuries, on the contrary, mostly cause of the gold and other precious metals they imported from across the sea...
    Nobody has mentioned the musical artists,Victoris de los Angeles ,Domingo,etc. many pianists and conductors.
    Fools talk because they have to say something, wise men talk because they have something to say.

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    Senior Member violadude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchflorida View Post
    Other than Spanish Guitar, Spain has contributed little to Classical Music. They are right up there with the Arabic countries.
    Why has Italy contributed so little to the Spanish Flamenco tradition? Are they the least talented country in Europe?

    Why has Germany contributed so little to the Arabic musical tradition? They must be the least talented nation in the world.

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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    Aside from what others have been saying about the culture of the classical composing tradition, not being of as much interest to a lot of mediterranean cultures save Italy, Spain suffers from a similar fate to England. And I'll explain why.

    The Spanish composers of the Renaissance(the forever impossible word to spell without looking up) were no joke. Though not so many big names will stick out, there are some like De Cabezon and a fairly healthy list around him. There was some good stuff happening in the much later classical/baroque time of Soler. By the fully fledged classical era though, the Spanish just couldn't keep up anymore. Same thing happened to the English. 20th century and late Romantic salon piano music saw a bit of a Renaissance.

  18. #26
    Senior Member ArtMusic's Avatar
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    Spain had/has many, many composers surely most of these names are talented.


    Renaissance
    Juan de Anchieta (1462–1523)
    Cristóbal de Morales (1500–1553)
    Luis de Milán (c. 1500–1561)
    Miguel de Fuenllana (1500-1579)
    Antonio de Cabezón (1510–1566)
    Diego Ortiz (1510–1570)
    Alonso Mudarra (1510–1580)
    Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611)

    Baroque
    Joan Pau Pujol (1570–1626)
    Carlos Patiño (1600-1675)
    Urbán de Vargas (1606-1656)
    Pablo Bruna (1611–1679)
    Juan Hidalgo de Polanco (1614–1685)
    Joan Cererols (1618–1680)
    José Marín (1619-1699)
    Cristóbal Galán (1630–1684)
    Miguel de Irízar (1635–1684)
    Gaspar Sanz (1640–1710)
    Juan Bautista José Cabanilles (1644–1712)
    Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco (1644–1728)
    Juan de Araujo (1646–1712)
    Francisco Guerau (1649–1717/1722)
    José de Torres y Martínez Bravo (1665–1738)
    Antonio de Literes (1673–1747)
    Santiago de Murcia (1673-1739)

    Classical era
    Joan Baptista Pla (1720–1773)
    Antonio Soler (1729–1783)

    Romantic
    Fernando Sor (1778–1839)
    Ramón Carnicer (1789–1855)
    Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga (1806–1826)
    Emilio Arrieta (1821–1894)
    Jaime Nunó (1824–1908)
    Felip Pedrell (1841-1922)
    Pablo de Sarasate (1844–1908)
    Federico Chueca (1846–1908)
    Joaquín Valverde Durán (1846–1910)
    Tomás Bretón (1850–1923)
    Ruperto Chapí (1851–1909)
    Francisco Tárrega (1852–1909)
    Isaac Albéniz (1860–1909)
    Enrique Granados (1867–1916)

    Modern/Contemporary
    Amadeo Vives (1871–1932)
    Eduardo Torres (1872 - 1934)
    Pascual Marquina Narro (1873–1948)
    Joaquín "Quinito" Valverde Sanjuán (1875–1918)
    Manuel de Falla (1876–1946)
    Ramón Montoya (1880–1949)
    Joaquín Turina (1882–1949)
    Jesús Guridi (1886–1961)
    José María Usandizaga (1887–1915)
    Federico Moreno Torroba (1891–1982)
    Federico Mompou (1893–1987)
    Roberto Gerhard (1896–1970)
    Fernando Obradors (1897-1945)
    Pablo Sorozábal (1897—1988)
    Ricard Lamote de Grignon (1899–1965)
    Rodolfo Halffter (1900–1987)
    Joaquín Rodrigo (1901–1999)
    Niño Ricardo (1904–1972)
    Ernesto Halffter (1905–1989)
    Joaquin Homs (1906–2006)
    Sabicas (1912–1990)
    Xavier Montsalvatge (1912–2002)
    Manuel Valls (1920–1984)
    Josep Mestres Quadreny (born 1929)
    Cristóbal Halffter (born 1930)
    Luis de Pablo (born 1930)
    Leonardo Balada (born 1933)
    Antón García Abril (born 1933)
    Antonio Ruiz-Pipò (1934–1997)
    Gonzalo de Olavide (1934–2005)
    Fernando Arbex (1941–2003)
    Tomás Marco (born 1942)
    Manolo Sanlúcar (born 1945)
    Camilo Sesto (born 1946)
    Pablo Herrera
    Juan Pardo
    Paco de Lucía (born 1947)
    Pedro Vilarroig (born 1954)
    Alberto Iglesias (born 1955)
    David del Puerto (born 1964)
    Juan J. Colomer (born 1966)
    Vicente Amigo (born 1967)
    Ramon Lazkano (born 1968)
    José María Sánchez-Verdú (born 1968)
    Alejandro Sanz (born 1968)
    Manuel Alejandro (born 1969)
    Gabriel Erkoreka (born 1969)

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  20. #27
    Senior Member Flamme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgtr0660 View Post
    I'm not sure why, under those terms, Spain would rank lower than Greece, Sarajevo, Portugal, and many many more.

    Also, it's about quality. Italy produced million composers but not all of them are Verdi. Spain's De Falla is a towering figure.

    But yes, compared to the Germanic nations, England, France, and even Hungary, Spain ranks lower. I haven't dug into that too deeply. I guess popular music got too strong of a hold in Spanish history. Also, I guess their nobility was not as music-minded as that in the Germanic nations. There are too many possible reasons.
    Sarajevo is a City...In Bosnia lol

  21. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aecio View Post
    Maybe it's related to the weather. Spain is a sunny country with a very intense light and it has produced lots of good painters. People live outside and socialize a lot. Germany and Russia are much colder, with less light and not many first-rate painters. And there is another funny caracteristic of spanish music : it's generally short. No big symphonies, concertos or string quartets but many short charming pieces for piano or guitar.....)
    I think there being a sunny climate is a good point. Same with Australia. Australians love the outdoors, basically because of the climate and our wide open spaces. Maybe being a country surrounded by water is an aspect of it too.

    With Spain, politics/history can be an issue too. You got quite repressive things there in the past, such as the Spanish Inquisition. You also got a relationship between church and state (the monarchy) in the past that was similar to that in Russia. Don't forget that even Russia, classical music basically got going there big time in the 19th century, pretty late in the piece compared to Western Europe. Maybe Spain's situation feeds into this.

    I think that flamenco is Spain's greatest contribution to music though, and of course much of their classical music feeds off that, as well as folk music that is not flamenco/gypsy. Also the musical legacy of the Moors, who colonised Spain for a long period, their culture having an impact (eg. not only their music but various buildings they left behind - eg. the Alahambra).

    Of composers not mentions, I like Carlos Surinach. I got one of his string quartets and also his piano concerto (there's an Eloquence label cd of Alicia de Laroccha playing his and some other Spanish concertos). He was taught by Richard Strauss so was kind of comfortable in these kinds of larger/traditional "canonic" genres/forms, but his style is more modern than Strauss. He incorporates flamenco a bit like Bartok did Hungarian and other folk musics of South East Europe.

    & I think that politics in the 20th century may be a factor too for Spain's lack of prominence in terms of classical musics. Surinach went into exile due to the Franco regime. So did de Falla (even though Franco offered him a plum job as director of music for something, de Falla ended up voting with his feet and leaving, I think he died in Argentina). Gerhard left as well due to the dictatorship, which only ended with Franco's death in the 1970's.

    I think though as people have pointed out, "big names" like de Victoria, Granados, Albeniz, de Falla, Rodrigo all having works that are firmly in the core repertoire of their respective genres/eras.
    Last edited by Sid James; Jan-05-2013 at 21:53.

  22. #29
    Senior Member Flamme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aecio View Post
    Maybe it's related to the weather. Spain is a sunny country with a very intense light and it has produced lots of good painters. People live outside and socialize a lot. Germany and Russia are much colder, with less light and not many first-rate painters. And there is another funny caracteristic of spanish music : it's generally short. No big symphonies, concertos or string quartets but many short charming pieces for piano or guitar...
    If you follow my way of reasoning and you look at France, which is geographically between Germany and Spain you will see that french have better musicians than Spain and better painters than Germany. And even if there are some good french symphonies (Saint-Saens, Berlioz...) or orchestral pieces ( Debussy, Ravel) the french musicians are specially good on short piano images and somewhat "sunny" Chamber music (Faure, Ravel...)
    Yes national and tribal characteristics must be taken into consideration...Slavs are special Germans too Anglo saxons Latins,where Italians Frenchmen and Spaniards fall into...

  23. #30
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchflorida View Post
    Yes, I never thought about it before. But Greece is a big zero when it comes to Classical Music.
    Dimitris Mitropoulos / Nikos Skalkottas / Iannis Xenakis

    As to the OP: Everyone knows that the British are about as good with music as they are with food.
    Last edited by PetrB; Jan-05-2013 at 23:34.

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