Burgos awakens an unpublished opera by a composer shot within the Civil War | Culture | EUROtoday

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On Sunday, February 18, almost 600 folks from Burgos attended an uncommon occasion on the Teatro Principal of Burgos: the primary stage efficiency of an opera that was composed virtually 100 years in the past.

His rating was written in 1925, on the age of twenty-two, by Antonio José Martínez Palacios from Burgos (artistically “Antonio José”), who could be shot in 1936 with out accusation or trial by the troops rebelling in opposition to the Republic, when he had turned solely 33. He nonetheless It is unknown what unreason led to that homicide.

In his very brief life, Antonio José directed the Orfeón Burgalés, composed the Hymn to Castile and he created greater than 150 works. Some of them have been then carried out by the pianist Arthur Rubinstein and the guitarist Regino Sainz de la Maza (the identical one who premiered The Aranjuez live performance, by maestro Joaquín Rodrigo) and by prestigious Spanish and European symphonies, together with the Bilbao Orchestra guided by Vladimir Golschmann in 1929 and, extra just lately, the Dresden Philharmonic in 2010. At barely 30 years outdated, the Burgos musician himself performed in November in 1934 a number of of his items on the head of the Madrid Symphony Orchestra on the Monumental theater. Maurice Ravel stated of him that he was going to be the nice Spanish composer of the twentieth century.

The day after that live performance in Madrid, the newspaper Abc commented (November 13, 1934): “(…) Antonio José, young composer and author of many works, directed a prelude and a popular dance, and the audience rewarded him with a prolonged ovation and an exit to the stage. (…) The prelude has something of a sentimental and loving evocation, which is followed by the youthful irruption of girls and boys who dance in plain tunes of joy, and honest composition and numbers of noble Castilianism. (…). The author goes through an ordeal analogous to the one Falla went through one day with his Short life and may heaven wish that, like the glorious Cádiz master, the pilgrim from Burgos obtains the achievement of his generous adventures, for modern Spanish music is in great need of these manifestations of pure art.”

A moment from the work 'Minatchi'.
A second from the work 'Minatchi'.Burgos Main Theater

Furthermore, Antonio José compiled a really priceless songbook with melodies that he himself collected within the cities: the Collection of widespread songs from Burgoswith which he gained the nationwide music prize in 1932.

But Franco's dictatorship lined his life, his dying and his legacy with a cloak of lead. The household saved all of the pentagrams with zeal and worry in a chest underground, till democracy arrived. And the native and regional authorities later delayed in elevating that slab, as proven by this late premiere and likewise by the truth that the opposite opera written by him, The mule boyhas not but had a stage efficiency, however solely a musical and vocal interpretation (in 2017!), even though the rating was discovered virtually full, missing a part of the orchestration of the second of its three acts.

In reality, Antonio José performed on the piano in that very same Teatro Principal de Burgos some fragments of that opera – primarily based on a passage from the Quixote ― on July 18, 1936, hours earlier than the information of the army rebellion in opposition to the Republic reached town. Four months later that they had already shot him.

The lyrical drama that premiered on Sunday is ready in colonial India and is titled Minatchi, title of a princess. The musical model of it was premiered in 2022 in Burgos, and on this case it has lastly been proven on stage. Now, the rating that was preserved within the Municipal Archive solely accommodates the voices and the piano, and can also be lacking the libretto (which was authored by the priest Gaspar González-Pintado), so the unique plot has remained up within the air. .

Curiously, the non secular Cornelius E. Byrne translated the sung half into English (maybe additionally the lacking dialogues), a really distinctive rarity on the time however maybe explainable by the truth that Byrne lived in Burgos for a 12 months and that each he and González-Pintado They have been Jesuits.

A part of the work 'Minatchi'.
Part of the work 'Minatchi'.Burgos Main Theater

This opera, which concludes with a vibrant remaining refrain, narrates the return of Princess Minatchi to India after changing to Christianity, and the rejection she finds in a inhabitants that continues to worship pagan gods.

The Burgos director Javier Castro, 49 years outdated, an incredible connoisseur of the work of Antonio José, has accomplished that music and piano composition to develop it to a gaggle of 14 devices; and Edurne Rubio, the inventive director, has created an idea that hyperlinks the completely different scenes by means of labels projected on the background of the stage to contextualize the conditions, even categorical doubts in regards to the incomplete plot and let the viewers full the story for themselves. The solo performances have been led by the sopranos Sandra Redondo (Minatchi), Ana Romero and Ana Serrano, the tenor Adolfo Muñoz and the baritone Daniel Estévez, supported by the Ars Nova choir and the instrumental group of the Burgos Symphony Orchestra. Elena Davidson was accountable for stage administration.

The viewers, standing up, rewarded all of them with an ovation of just about six minutes, they usually needed to repeat the succession of ultimate greetings one after the other.

Minatchi is the third nice work of Antonio José, after The mule boy and his Castilian Symphony. Andrés Ruiz Tarazona, then music critic for EL PAÍS, wrote in 1981 that his Burgos dances for piano have been worthy of being positioned alongside one of the best Spanish dances of Granados.

Director Javier Castro discovered about Antonio José Martínez Palacios round 1986, when he was 12 or 13 years outdated. His music instructor, Javier Zárate, gave him a duplicate of the biography written by the Burgos musicologist Miguel Ángel Palacios (no household relation to the composer), the poet Jesús Barriuso and the historian Fernando García Romero. Just a few years later, he was already singing with a choir from his metropolis the harmonizations that Antonio José had devised on these widespread melodies. And he himself composed some extra polyphonies primarily based on different conventional songs recovered by the composer.

The orchestra director Javier Castro, in a promotional image on his website.
The orchestra director Javier Castro, in a promotional picture on his web site.JUAN LUIS

At the tip of 2018, Castro learn the rating of Minatchi saved within the Municipal Archive. That woke up a brand new curiosity in him, as he says over a beer and a skewer in a bar in Burgos: “I dedicated the first part of my research to finding the script. And then the time came to accept that we don't have it and to take action looking for a way to put the story back together. We simply have to humbly assume that we cannot recreate the dramaturgy of the work as it was, and that we will always be inventing our own solution. But from the beginning I tried to make this fact not a frustration but a challenge.”

From there, he started working increasing the piano rating for orchestra.

-Did you are feeling that Antonio José was watching you from behind?

“Not exactly feeling like he was watching me…, rather I've had the feeling of getting to know him better, of becoming more friends.”

Once launched Minatchi This previous Sunday in Burgos, with municipal assist, the problem of reaching the entire stage illustration of The mule boy. Castro reveals his doubts on this regard, but additionally a sure confidence: “It is difficult, due to the situation of Spanish opera. In general, due to the little real interest there is in the large programming of theaters and concert halls to preserve and disseminate our musical heritage. And yet, they make me optimistic about the premiere of The mule boys its enormous quality and its strength; It is a powerful work that also accompanies a dramaturgy that can work very well. I am convinced that he will ever get the opportunity he deserves.”

When that occurs, if it occurs, there’ll nonetheless be one final debt owed to Antonio José: discovering his mortal stays, buried close to Estépar, about 20 kilometers from Burgos, in a spot that’s solely recognized to have been there on October 9, 1936. Gunshots broke the silence of the early morning.

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