Musical culture in Spain has had a certain impact internationally through the work of opera singers like José Carreras and Plácido Domingo, instrumentalists of a previous generation such as Pau Casals, and composers such as Manuel de Falla. Like other cultural activities, however, music has not been well-supported financially by the state, especially during the Franco period. It is only since the transition to democracy, and the relative increase in prosperity, that music has enjoyed proper facilities in the form of concerthalls (see also Auditorio Nacional de Música) and the creation of regional orchestras. Musical education has been enhanced by the establishment of local conservatories, and the new syllabuses drawn up in the 1990s (see also LOGSE) include plans for the introduction of music at all levels of primary and secondary schools. Shortage of funds, however, and the lack of political will on the part of the conservative PP government elected in 1995, raise a question mark over how effectively these plans will be implemented. Although few musicians lost their lives as a direct consequence of the Civil War, the generation which had been active in the 1920s (essentially the heirs of Falla) went into exile, and disappeared from the musical scene in Spain, with a few exceptions such as Joaquín Rodrigo. The members of this generation had been concentrated in two main groups, both going by the name of "The Group of Eight". In Madrid, the "Grupo de los Ocho" included Rodolfo and Ernesto Halffter, while the Barcelona "Grup dels Vuit" contained probably the most significant Spanish composer of the twentieth century after Falla, Roberto Gerhard (1896–1970). Gerhard was more popular in the UK than in his native country, and spent the last thirty years of his life in Cambridge, where he composed some of his best work, such as the Violin Concerto (1947) and the Fourth (New York) Symphony (1967). His music combines traditional Spanish elements with the twelve-tone scale which he acquired from his teacher, Schönberg, whose work he introduced into Spain. Of the Halffter brothers, the most prominent is probably Rodolfo, who emigrated in 1939 to Mexico, where, over a lengthy period of time, he developed his individual style of piano music. His direct influence on music in Spain began to be felt again in the 1960s, when he returned to teach in his native country. As with other areas of cultural life, exile, or the stifling of the creativity of those who remained in Spain, have had long-term effects on music, not only on composition, but on performance and criticism. The Franco regime largely ignored music, apart from bringing it within the administrative ambit, and did not even attempt, as it did in other areas, to impose official standards of taste (see also Francoist culture). It was only in the 1950s that Spanish musicians began to develop an awareness of musical life in other countries, through the importation of books from Argentina, and scores and recordings from central Europe. The two orchestras which had existed prior to the Civil War virtually disappeared. In 1940, the National Orchestra of Spain was formed in Madrid, though it was not fully operational until 1942, adopting a conventional repertoire which excluded new trends and paid little or no attention to Spanish composers and performers. Other orchestras included the RTVE Symphony Orchestra, and those founded in Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao, as well as a few short-lived ventures in other cities. The music festivals in Granada and Santander, started in 1952, did little to stimulate creativity. The state of opera was no more encouraging. Apart from short amateur seasons organized, with a minimum of official support, in various cities from around 1960, only the Liceu Theatre in Barcelona offered regular opera seasons until its destruction by fire in 1994. Spain was then without a major opera house until the re-opening in 1997 of the Royal Theatre (Teatro Real) in Madrid, which had provided opera performances in the nineteenth century, but subsequently concentrated on plays. In the conservatories, the effects of the Civil War were not immediate, as, despite the general dispersal of intellectuals and professionals, many of the teaching staff remained at their posts. The problem arose later, at a time when the pre-Civil War generation would have been expected to succeed to these posts. The lack of new blood meant that the conservatories stagnated, and musical education became divorced from musical practice. The exile of musicologists such as Adolfo Salazar left a gap which was difficult to fill. Though the music composed during the Franco period tended to reflect an inward-looking nationalism, there were a few composers who were aware of the need for renewal of the musical idiom, though, given the conditions of the time, they were relatively isolated and did not in any sense form a school. Xavier Montsalvatge began under the influence of Stravinsky, but later moved towards a more neoclassical idiom in Partita (1958), and an expressionist style in what is probably his best work, Cinco invocaciones al Crucificado (Five Invocations to the Crucified Christ) (1969). The Salamanca-born composer Gerardo Gombau (1906– 71) initiated, with Doce canciones de Rafael Alberti (Twelve Songs by Rafael Alberti) (1959) an experimental style which differentiates him markedly from his contemporaries. In the 1960s, works like Cantata para la inauguration de una losa de ensayo (Cantata for the Inauguration of a Testbed) (1967) revealed him as one of the foremost exponents of electronic music.
   The inevitable opening up of cultural horizons, after the isolation of the immediate post-Civil War period, brought about significant changes in music, reflected, for example, in the emergence of the "Generation of 1951", a looselyorganized group, held together, not by a common programme, but by the experience of similar problems and by occasional artistic collaboration. Their main aim was to make up for lost time by familiarizing themselves with the latest works by Stravinsky and Bartok, atonal expressionism, the twelve-tone scale, open and unstructured forms, and electronic techniques. Without abandoning their characteristic individual style, Spanish musicians assimilated these new trends with remarkable rapidity. The label "Generation of 1951", apparently invented by Cristóbal Halffter, derived from the year in which most of this group, all of whom were born around 1930, finished their training. They included Antón García Abril, Luis de Pablo, Manuel Moreno Buendía and Alberto Blancafort. One of the most prominent members of the group was Juan Hidalgo, who was encouraged to explore experimental forms by the American composer John Cage. In 1964, Hidalgo founded Zaj, a movement committed to artistic experiment, which had a revolutionary impact not only on Spanish music, but on other cultural spheres, such as the theatre. Cristóbal Halffter, from having been originally influenced by his uncles, Rodolfo and Ernesto, gradually moved towards avant-garde positions, reflected, for example, in Secuencias (Sequences) (1964), followed by the cantata Symposium (1966), the first modern Spanish work to receive wide acclaim. His Violin Concerto (1979) is one of his finest works.
   Luis de Pablo has produced a large output, characterized by considerable experimental innovation, which led him from serialism to openended improvisational techniques, and speculative re-workings of traditional musical forms. He is also an active promoter of cultural activities, being the prime mover behind the biennial Festival of Contemporary Music in Madrid (1964), and the "Pamplona Encounters" (1972), a showcase for the most avant-garde currents in contemporary music and art. Carmelo Bernaola, a composer with an exceptionally disciplined approach, soon moved away from serialism to embark on an individual journey of exploration, characterized by a high degree of technical perfection. His Relatividades (Relativities) (1971) was followed by his Symphony in C, which, despite its title, does not imply a return to traditional tonalism, but the construction of a series of polarities around this note and its harmonics, a trend developed further in his Second Symphony (1980). Side by side with the more avantgarde members of this generation is a more conservative, or at least eclectic group, which strives to widen the possibilities of the tonal system, without abandoning it completely. Their models are Falla, Bartok, Stravinsky and Shostakovich. They include Manuel Castillo, Antón García Abril, and Amand Blan-quer. Inevitably, younger composers emerging in the mid-1960s began their careers under the shadow of serialism and atonalism, despite the fact that their training in the conservatories concentrated, in general, on traditional forms. Miguel Angel Coria's compositions break both with older tradition and the contemporary avant-garde. The composer and musicologist Tomás Marco has forged a personal style linked to the psychology of perception. The movement towards electronic music begun by Hidalgo is continued by the Barcelona-based Andrés Lewin-Richter. The Valencian Carles Santos has developed a distinctively ironic style, linked to the American avant-garde, repetitive music, and the incorporation of the composer or performer's own voice into the composition.
   The 1980s and 1990s display a huge variety of trends, though there is a certain convergence on, for instance, computerized music, the revival of the influence of Cage, experiments in action music, and repetitive music. Spanish music has shown a capacity for development and assimilation which has reintegrated it into the mainstream of international musical life, though composers still complain of the difficulties of achieving a coherent and consistent national output of quality. Many of the conservatories consider that the boundary of the modern is to be set at impressionism, and dismiss atonalism as excessively advanced. It is only rarely that orchestras perform contemporary works by Spanish composers. The financing of orchestras continues to be a problem in Spain, though from the 1980s on, new performing groups were founded with the assistance of the governments of the autonomous communities, and the refurbishment of auditoria and the construction of new ones have been put in train. Early music, an essential historical element in the development of contemporary music, has been promoted commercially in the 1990s, and a significant number of instrumental and vocal groups have emerged which have brought the repertoire of Spanish medieval, renaissance and baroque music to the attention of a public which is increasingly rediscovering its pride in its own musical heritage.
   - García Abril, A. (1984) Sonatas para orquesta, Madrid Symphonic Orchestra, dir. E.García Asensio, 1994 (MARC).
   —— (1966–94) Concierto para piano y orquesta, G. González, Madrid Symphonic Orchestra, dir. E. García Asensio, 1994 (MARC). Gerhard, R. (1952–3; 1960) Symphonies N0 1 & 3, Tenerife Symphonic Orchestra, dir. V.Pablo Pérez, 1994 (AUDIVIS).
   —— Don Quixote; Pedrelliana; Albada, interludi i dansa, Tenerife Symphonic Orchestra, dir. V.Pablo Pérez, 1992 (AUDIVIS).
   Halffter, C. String Quartet N0 3, Arditti Quartet, 1991 (MONT).
   Halffter, E. (1969) Guitar Concerto, N.Yepes, ORTVE, dir. O.Alonso, 1972 (DG).
   Halffter, R. (1940) Violin Concerto, H.Szerying, Royal Philarmonic Orchestra, Dr.: E.Bátiz, 1980 (ASV).
   Marco, T. (1973) Concierto Guadiana for Guitar and Orchestra, W.Weigel, European Master Orchestra, dir. P.Schmeizer, 1992 (SCHW).
   —— (1987) Espejo desierto, Arditti Quartet, 1991 (MONT).
   Montsalvatge, X. (1953) Concierto breve para piano y orquesta, Morales, Madrid Symphonic Orchestra, dir. E.García Asensio, 1993 (MARC).
   —— 5 canciones negras para voz y piano, Victoria de los Angeles, Paris Conservatory Orchestra, dir. R. Frühbeck, 1988 (EMI).
   Further reading
   - Marco, T. (1993) Spanish Music in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (provides the most comprehensive account available on Contemporary Spanish music up to the 1980s; for post-war developments, chapters 10–19).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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