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The String Quartet in Spain


Edited By 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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Preface (Christoph Flamm)


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In recent times, the vision of a global music history has been fostered from many sides and with much intensity: it is by now a big musicological movement which aims at both leaving behind the old Eurocentric and elitist patterns of a “History of Western Art Music”, and opening new non-hierarchical, post-colonial, globalized perspectives on music as a social and cultural phenomenon of all humankind, at once overcoming the former separation of historical, systematic and ethnological disciplines within musicology. In the wake of such rethinking of historiographical positions and methods, it might seem problematic to continue writing music histories of single nations and repertoires. But negotiating or abolishing former definitions of musical peripheries and musical centres does not mean to ignore geographical and cultural boundaries completely, the more so if the subject of research is connected in its time to notions of cultural identity and nationality; nor does a widened view on less exclusive musical practices, styles and aesthetical levels necessarily lead to ignoring the existence and the significance of specific traditions of musical forms and genres.

Despite its far-reaching resistance against folkloristic and programmatic elements, the string quartet has not been immune towards questions of cultural and national identity, on the contrary. Its history has been written usually along the narrow lines of Austro-German models dominating the rest of Europe, thus ascribing to all composers of other nations the role of successors or imitators, and measuring...

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