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Thread: Joaquín Turina

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    Default Joaquín Turina

    Joaquín Turina Pérez (1882-1949) was born in Seville on December 9th, 1882, into a middle-class family. His father, Joaquín, from Italian descent, was born in Seville in 1847, was a painter trained at the Escuela Provincial de Bellas Artes (Provincial School of Fine Arts) and was a distinguished member of the Escuela sevillana. His mother, Concepción, was born in a small town near Seville.

    When he was four years-old he gained the reputation of being a child prodigy because of his improvised playing of an accordion that was given to him by a housemaid. He got his first music lesson at the Santo Ángel School and also accompanied the girls’ choir at that same school.

    He studied high school at San Ramón School and began his piano lessons with Enrique Rodríguez. In 1894 he started to study harmony and counterpoint with Evaristo García Torres, who Turina always remembered with much affection and admiration.

    Success first came to him as a performer and a composer with a piano quintet he established with friends and which was named La Orquestina, who performed at parties and gatherings. He also played four-hand piano with his teachers.

    His official presentation to the public was on March 14th, 1897, at the Piazza de Sevilla, playing in a recital organized by the Sociedad de Cuartetos (Quartet Society), where he interpreted on the piano, Fantasia on Rossini´s ‘'Moses'' , by Segismond Thalberg. The reviews by the local news stood out his success and the ability to overcome the difficulties of the piece.

    Ten months later he played again successfully, for both the critics and the public, on the same place and it is when he began to explore the composition of the keys or chamber ensembles. His first orchestral piece was Coplas al Señor de la Pasión, written for the Hermandad de Pasión (Passion Brotherhood) and premiering at the Church of El Salvador with a small orchestra composed of twenty musicians, a men´s choir, a tenor and a baritone, all of them directed by the author.

    His desire to create a more important piece took him towards writing an opera when he was only fifteen years-old and which he named, La Sulamita, based on the book by Pedro Balgañón. The author confessed having written and orchestrated the three-act opera by giving all his enthusiasm, and thought it would be easy to premiere at the Royal Theater of Madrid. Sometime later he would celebrate that he never premiered it.

    He initiated and later abandoned his studies of medicine and instead decided to dedicate himself professionally to music. His teacher, García Torres, showed him the need to move to Madrid. He had his father´s support for this, and his father even used testamentary dispositions so his son could have the resources needed to widen his studies outside of Seville.

    In Madrid Turina met Manuel de Falla and was further influenced by the prevailing currents of musical nationalism. Study in Paris at the Schola Cantorum was followed, in 1914, by a return to Madrid, where he made his subsequent career, in spite of the difficulties he and many others of his background encountered during the days of the Republic.

    (more of a great biography at http://www.joaquinturina.com/biography.html)

    Orchestral music. Turina won success in 1913 with his symphonic poem La procesión del Rocío, a work that remains in popular repertory along with the later Danzas fantásticas and the Rapsodia sinfónica for piano and orchestra.

    Chamber music. Turina’s chamber music includes La oración del torero for string quartet or string orchestra, and a number of works that declare their national allegiance and inspiration in their titles. Recuerdos de la antigua España for lute quartet was written in 1929 and the 1911 String Quartet ("de la guitarra") was so called because its theme contains the notes of the guitar’s open strings.

    Piano music. A similar element is present in piano compositions by Turina. These form a significant body of work, from the early suite Sevilla, representing a recurrent element of his inspiration, to the 1943 Por las calles de Sevilla (Through the Streets of Seville).

    Vocal music. Songs by Turina include the interesting Poema en forma de canciones, a cycle of five songs with words by Campoamor.

    Guitar music. Turina wrote music for guitar that is an important part of the repertoire of this essentially Spanish instrument. These works include Sevillana, Fandanguillo, Ráfaga, Sonata and Homenaje a Tárrega.

    ―JoaquinTurina.com, Naxos


    A few more notes about Turina:

    Firstly, I consider Joaquín Turina to be one of the Spanish greats and am surprised (as always) that he isn't on here. I think his music is very refreshing and unique compared to the rest of western Europe or even his countrymen for that matter. This is part of why I love composers from the Spanish-speaking world. You can almost always tell whether you're listening to a Turina or a Rodrigo or a de Falla or a Granados/Albéniz.

    Turina's piano works are simple but give off very complex feelings. That's the best way I can put it. Here are two of my favorites to see what I'm talking about:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQP-WOkLxnE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be5lushRXYw


    Maybe I'm praising this guy waay too much, you tell me! I'm a big Turina fan.

    Anyways, other favorites include this late fantasia for piano trio:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ryjpXhJ-dE

    Excited to see what you guys think,
    Portamento
    Last edited by Portamento; Feb-22-2017 at 05:42.

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    I really enjoy Turina's music, his Concierto sin orquesta Op.88 is the one I most love to play.

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    Vocal music. Songs by Turina include the interesting Poema en forma de canciones, a cycle of five songs with words by Campoamor.
    These I can dream, sung by the ever gracious Pilar Lorengar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cimirro View Post
    I really enjoy Turina's music, his Concierto sin orquesta Op.88 is the one I most love to play.
    Yes, that is a great work.

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    I very much enjoy Turina's piano works, especially as played by Alicia de Larrocha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettina View Post
    I very much enjoy Turina's piano works, especially as played by Alicia de Larrocha.
    When I got my first contact with Turina's music it was almost impossible to get any standard classical CD in the south of Brazil, there was no Turina CD as you can guess.
    I had to read a lot of scores in order to know such works - no doubts this helped me a lot as I was in my student days.
    Anyway, In this case after your comment I need listening to Larrocha's recordings! Thank you for the tip!
    All the best
    Artur
    Last edited by cimirro; Feb-22-2017 at 07:55.

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