From the exhilarating impact of Isaac Albeniz at the beginning of the century to today’s complex and adventurous avant-garde, this complete interpretive history introduces twentieth-century Spanish music to English-speaking readers. With graceful authority, Tomas Marco, award-winning composer, critic, and bright light of Spanish music since the 1960s, covers the entire spectrum of composers and their works: trends and movements, critical and popular reception, national institutions, influences from Europe and beyond, and the effect of such historic events as the Spanish Civil War and the death of Franco. Marco’s penetrating aesthetic critiques are threaded throughout each phase of this rich account.
Marco provides detailed coverage of the key figures, induding a chapter devoted entirely to Manuel de Falla—Spain’s most celebrated twentieth-century composer—and a panoramic survey of recent arrivals on the contemporary music scene. Exploring the rise and fall of the zarzuela, the author highlights innovative works in this authentic Spanish genre. He analyzes the attempts to find an audience for Spanish opera; demonstrates the flowering of symphonic and chamber music at the beginning of this century; traces currents such as romanticism, impressionism, and neoclassicism; and tracks the influence of Spain’s distinctive regional folk traditions. Covering musical innovation after Spain’s emergence from its period of isolation, Marco notes the speed with which many composers absorbed the work of Stravinsky and Bartok, the twelve-tone system, aleatory forms, electronic techniques, and other European developments.
English-speaking scholars, musicians, critics and general readers have for decades been without full information on the rich and varied work coming out of Spain in this century. This lively history fills a long-felt need and fills it superbly, with the knowledge and insights of a major figure in the musical world.