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The String Quartet in Spain


Christiane Heine and Juan Miguel González Martínez

This is the first monograph from a scientific perspective dealing with the String Quartets composed in Spain from the eighteenth century up to the present. It is the outcome of the research and thorough study of specific works, undertaken by twenty-one musicologists, archivers and performers, together with four Spanish composers. It aims both to offer an overview of the current state of research on the primary and secondary sources available, and to trace the history of the genre by examining its genesis, development and reception in the European context. All this fosters an understanding of: (1) the position of the genre in Spain from its emergence until nowadays, (2) its aesthetics and main compositional features in each period, (3) its idiosyncratic peculiarities, and (4) the particular challenges that it has posed along its history. In addition, other goals are: to banish some prejudices about Spanish chamber music, to contribute to the recuperation of a significant part of the Spanish musical heritage, and to provide scholars and performers with the musical sources, aiming at facilitating the knowledge and diffusion of a corpus of noteworthy yet barely known works.

Der Band befasst sich mit der Entwicklung des Streichquartetts in Spanien vom achtzehnten Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart. Er enthält 24 Studien zu Komponisten und konkreten Werken aus unterschiedlicher Perspektive und gibt Auskunft über die bis dato lokalisierten Primär- und Sekundärquellen.

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The String Quartet in Spain after 1960: Some Aesthetic Remarks (Germán Gan-Quesada)


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The String Quartet in Spain after 1960: Some Aesthetic Remarks1

The apparent scarcity, discontinuity and dispersed nature of the information available to offer an overview of the situation of the string quartet in the last sixty years in Spain has implied, to a great extent, the small place it has occupied in the studies about that period – although its general development convincingly illustrates the main evolution paths followed by Spanish music along these decades2 – and its oversight by the musicological literature. This disregarding oscillates between its absolute absence3 and the limited analysis of a handful of examples, mainly grounded on recorded and bibliographical references,4 and forces the ← 301 | 302 → researcher to a thoughtful selection of the commented repertoire, in order to accomplish, at least, a steady departure point for future specific studies. At the same time, the lack of any general survey on the topic moves the research into an “open field” nature, matching the mere inventory of composers and works and their more detailed commentary, both for their intrinsic relevance and their ability to represent a wider stylistic and aesthetic state.

Some aspects will remain, therefore, in a relative shade in this essay, mainly because of their reduced impact over the inner panorama of the genre in Spain and despite their chronological simultaneity with the initial stage of the process about to be discussed and their clear interest. Indeed, the contributions of Robert Gerhard (1896...

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