Conference: Presenters and Abstracts

Walter Aaron Clark, “Granados and Goyescas at the Met: American Reception of a Spanish Opera, and Spanish Perceptions of an American Premiere”

Keynote Address

In late 1915, Enrique Granados journeyed from Spain across the Atlantic to assist in the rehearsals and attend the premiere of his Goyescas at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, slated for January 1916. This was to be the first Spanish opera on the Met stage, and it aroused intense curiosity and excitement among the press and public in America’s leading city. Spanish commentators saw this as a signal honor for one of their own composers and a significant milestone in the progress of Spanish national music. The largely negative reaction of American reviewers to this opera and the aggrandizing manner in which Spanish critics chose to “spin” that reaction tell us much about Spanish-American relations only eighteen years after the war over Cuba. The critical reception of this opera reveals an enduring gulf of misunderstanding between the two nations, one at the beginning of its imperial epoch, and the other, at the end. Moreover, the American premiere of Goyescas provided a means by which Spaniards assessed their altered status and identity in a rapidly changing world.

Francesc Cortès, “The varied projects of Catalan Lyric Theatre and the lyrical works of Enric Granados”

José Curbelo and Ariadna Martín, “Extramusical Context in the Interpretation of Goyescas: Los Majos Enamorados The piano suite Goyescas: los majos enamorados is Enrique Granados’s most important composition. Evidence for this claim is found in the composer’s own notes: “I have finally had the pleasure to find something big: ‘Las Goyescas’; ‘Los majos enamorados’, those have come a long way.” The work’s great technical demands and its elevated expressive power have transformed it into one of the most respected pieces in the Spanish piano repertoire.

The suite consists of six pieces split in two volumes (1912-14): Los requiebros, Coloquio en la reja, El fandango de candil, Quejas o la maja y el ruiseñor, El amor y la muerte, and Epilogo o serenata del espectro. This cycle is inspired in Francisco de Goya’s times and oeuvre. Granados later produced the suite as a staged work, the one-act opera Goyescas, in order to reflect more clearly and directly each of the aspects depicted in Goya’s works: a thematic narrative, characters, scenery, atmosphere, as well as some specific clothing. In this light, the piano suite Goyescas is a complex artistic work produced by the Catalan composer that relates the visual arts, poetry, and music, all against a Spanish backdrop.

This presentation explores the work’s extra-musical context between two kinds of art and epochs. Making use of our imagination and technological advancements, we will be guided towards a complete understanding and enjoyment of Goyescas from another perspective, geared toward performers, instructors, musicologists, and music lovers alike.

Óliver Curbelo, “Enrique Granados’s Pedal Method: the Great Pedagogical Innovation in 20th Century Piano” Motivated by his great pedagogical activity, Granados felt the need to compose a series of works especially dedicated to piano pedagogy that would systematize the instrument’s technical foundations. During his tenure as director of the Academy, Granados developed a series of exercises and methods geared towards technical and expressive improvement that he applied in his teaching. The majority of these didactic materials were directed to the use of the sustain pedal. Granados was motivated by what he judged a lack of works geared towards a more profound use of this technique, as well as the emphasis he placed in providing basic rules that would allow students to employ the pedal both judiciously and analytically.

Granados’s research towards pedal usage represented an important contribution in the performative and piano teaching at the beginning of the twentieth century. From an interpretative perspective, he set the bases for the use of the upbeat pedaling in Spain, and summarized, for the first time in Spanish, a series of basic rules for the use of the pedal and the way it is applied on the upbeat according to note-durations, the nature of melodic groups, register, and speed.

During his research, Granados authored up to four pedal methods between 1905 and 1913: Método teórico práctico de Reglas para el uso de los pedales del piano (Practico-theoretical Method on the Use of Piano Pedals), El pedal (The Pedal), and two versions of his Reglas para el uso de los pedales del piano. The analysis of these pedagogical texts unveils the evolution of the way Granados taught pedal theory, which is also reflected in some of his compositions.

Óliver Curbelo and Cristina Martín, “The Unedited Manuscript of Granados’s Five Military Marches: An Analytical and Performative Study” Enrique Granados’s piano literature, published in its entirety by ed. Boileau (2001) and supervised by Alicia de Larrocha, has been especially distinguished for its Goyescas, Valses Poeticos, Allegro de concierto or its Danzas españolas. Granados’s piano catalogue is much greater than those masterworks, but very little known.

This work unveils the autographed manuscript of five military marches for piano composed by Enrique Granados, three of them so far unpublished, just around the commemoration of the first centenary of his death (1916). These marches were composed as a gift to King Alfonso XIII, and were found in the archives of the Royal Library in the Palacio Real de Madrid.

Two of these marches had been previously edited and catalogued, along with a third one attributed to Granados, with the number DLR III:23. The study and analysis of the other three marches has allowed us to recognize a previous piano version of the Dos marchas militares for four-hand piano and a completely unedited work by the Catalan composer.

Aside from enriching Granados’s compositional catalogue, the present findings highlight his experimenting in the genre of the military march, an affinity well known for familiar reasons and his relationship with King Alfonso XIII.

Carolina Estrada, “Shifting to a New Musicology and the Multidimensional Mapping of Enrique Granados’ Pedagogical Methods and Pianistic Tradition: A case study of Valses Poéticos, op.43” The piano works of Enrique Granados represent a challenge to performers not only in terms of their virtuosity, but also in light of their refined interpretative demands, which require a deep understanding of the pianistic tradition. How might pianists not linked to this particular tradition understand the stylistic and interpretative aspects of Granados’s works in order to perform them more accurately? To what extend is the country of birth of the performer crucial to this understanding and what sources can they access in order to acquire this knowledge? In the process of answering all these questions, this research has challenged some pre-established opinions and proposes a fresh look at the source material to arrive at a more authentic interpretation of Granados’ piano music.

The thorough analysis of Valses Poéticos op.43 written by Granados, which can be found with more extensive detail in the recent thesis written by the author of this paper, allowed a closer look at performance practices of Granados and the musical tastes of his time. This early work is especially relevant due to the significant number of original sources related to it. Three different original manuscripts of Valses Poéticos (02.1408 Valses Poéticos, 02.1424 Mazurka-Valsos, and 02.1365 Valses Poéticos) found in Espai de Documentació i Recerca del Museu de la Música de Barcelona reveal sensitive information. Also, the two invaluable and very different piano roll recordings of Granados himself (Welte 2781 and Triphonola 51125ab1) have been thoroughly analysed using the latest technological advances to extract the information from the piano rolls including cutting-edge computer software to visualize the sound information captured from the MIDI files2. The Welte recording appears to be the most well known in musicological circles and has been considered the only valid recording. However, evidence found by the author of this paper might prove that the Hupfeld system presents a more genuine rendition. Also, recordings by Alicia de Larrocha and Albert Attenelle have been explored using the technologies developed by researchers at the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM). Furthermore, the last living students of Frank Marshall (Granados’ follower), Albert Attenelle, Maria Teresa Monteys and Carlota Garriga, have worked intensively with the author of this paper and generously shared treasured knowledge for this investigation.

The multidimensional analysis of all the sources using a combination of traditional methods with more up to date analytical approaches has unveiled some ground-breaking results that might provoke a re-examination of current knowledge. The multiplicity of dimensions has been a crucial part of this in-depth exploration of stylistic elements in Granados’ pianism and is unique and central to this investigation.

This presentation aims to introduce the outcomes of this fascinating research. The differing and equally convincing pianistic styles of Granados’ followers call into question the validity of only one possible “authoritative” interpretation when approaching this particular performance tradition. In addition, the common belief within musically informed circles that Granados’ performances are rather improvisatory might also need to be revised. The author found in Granados’ renditions a methodical approach at the keyboard consistent to his own pedagogy.

Hence, this investigation raises questions about current performance practices and the stylistic validity that pianists might be able to give in their performances of Granados’ works through a combined study of his pedagogical methods, piano roll performances and writings.

Adam Kent, “Granados’s Piano Trio: Harbinger of Masterworks to ComeGiven the extent of Granados’s activity as a chamber musician, it is curious that he contributed relatively few original works to the genre. Premiered in 1895, the Piano Trio is an important composition, all the more valuable for the overall paucity of chamber music produced by the Spanish nationalist school. The trio presents an amalgamation of many familiar threads of Granados’s compositional style: virtuosic piano writing, a grounding in mainstream European Romanticism, a generalized nationalistic flavor, a more explicitly Catalan regional color, and a cyclical handling of large-scale form.

The trio did not enjoy a significant performance history, and was not published until 1976. Full of typographical errors and lacking source documentation, the first edition was superseded by an authoritative critical urtext, published by Casa-Boileau in 2013. Still, numerous notational dilemmas persist, and the overall aesthetic cohesiveness of the work remains a challenge to potential interpreters.

The present paper situates Granados’s sole essay for piano, violin and cello in the context of his overall output, as an antecedent to the more refined handling of many of the same compositional traits in the Goyescas and other more mature compositions. It also seeks to elucidate both practical and conceptual obstacles to the trio’s integration into the repertory.

John Milton, “Enrique Granados in the USA” A chronicle of the day-by-day events of Granados and his wife, Amparo, during their eighty-eight day stay in the United States.

Mònica Pagès, “Enrique Granados: One Legacy, Several ArchivesEnrique Granados’ documental legacy has been disseminated through this century in different archives from Barcelona—Biblioteca de Catalunya, Museu de la Música, Academia Marshall—and from other countries, in the US—Library of Congress, the Hispanic Society, the Morgan Library and Museum—and in France—the Bibliothèque National de France, Éditions Salabert.

In this session, I will describe the three principal ones in Barcelona and mention what is preserved in the other ones around the world, specially concerning scores and personal documents, so one can make a map of where and what a researcher can find of Granados’ legacy.

Anna de la Paz, “Dance and Granados” Much has been written about Enrique Granados’ life and work. There are numerous in-depth studies of his body of work, and biographies have been written about his life. The purpose of this particular study is to look at the work of Enrique Granados through the prism of Spanish dance. We will look at Spain during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the country’s relationship to dance, and how Granados identified himself as a Spanish musician; casticismo and the Generación del ’98; specific collaborations with dancers Antonia Mercé, Tórtola Valencia; and the impact of his work on the future generations of Spanish dancers, like Encarnación López, Trini Burrell, Mariemma, Lola Greco and the National Ballet of Spain, to name just a few.

Miriam Perandones Lozano, “A Necessary Rearticulation of Historiographic Discourse on the Composer Enrique Granados” Enrique Granados is one of the three composers forming the so-called “Spanish Nationalism” canon, the other two being Manuel de Falla and Isaac Albéniz; his figure, however, is frequently overshadowed by his two countrymen. He is also left out of the “foundational triad” of Nationalism, which consists of Pedrell, Albéniz and Falla. On these grounds this paper will analyze the reasons why Enrique Granados appears in the background of both Spanish and international historiography, with the aim of revaluating his figure as a composer. To this end I will dismantle the discourse with which his oeuvre was judged in the early 20th century.

First of all, I will carry out a revision of the sources and approaches used by influential critics and musicologists (in particular, the work of Albert Soubies, Rafael Mitjana, Henri Collet, Gilbert Chase, Adolfo Salazar, Federico Sopeña and Tomás Marco), both in the Spanish and the international spheres, as regards both the composer himself and the history of music in general. Secondly, the discourses handled by these authors regarding the recognition of Granados together with the parameters used to assess his worth will be analyzed, focusing on the musical and cultural contexts upon which they have been developed. Finally, I will try to rearticulate the discourse around the composer by means of a revision of his oeuvre, his aesthetic paradigm and the historiographic concepts deployed.

Mario Roger Quijano Axle, “Enrique Granados and the Pastoral Drama of Feliú and Codina in Two Spanish Plays: Miel de la Alcarria (1897) and María del Carmen (1898)” In general, Granados’s stage works could be placed in two groups according to language and context: a Catalan group and a Spanish one. The former ventured into modernism while the latter explored the pastoral drama, corresponding thus to the composer’s first theatrical attempts stemming from his residence in Madrid and his relationship with José Feliú y Codina. Based on hemerographic evidence, this research incorporates the relationship of the two artists: the genesis, premier, reception and dissemination of the works Miel de la Alcarria and Maria del Carmen, and an approximation towards the interpreting of the pastoral drama genre in the musical language of the composer.

Douglas Riva, “Granados's Orchestral Works—Recovery of Unknown Masterpieces” Orchestral works are fundamental to any composer’s catalogue of compositions. We tend to evaluate the status of a composer based on large scale works such as operas and orchestral works.  Remarkably, Enrique Granados has not had this opportunity. Eight of his orchestral works are being published for the first time in 2016 and only two of his operas have been published at the present time.

In the case of the 11 orchestral works, only two have been performed with any regularity—the Intermezzo from the opera Goyescas and the symphonic poem Dante. Of the other nine orchestral works, only a few have been performed and then only very sporadically. One work, Torrijos, has never been performed. All of the Granados symphonic works are being published for the first time in 2016 by the Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales, Madrid.

I will provide a brief description of each orchestral work, sources for the edition, Granados’s motivations for composing them, sources of inspiration and their performance history. 

■ Anna Tonna, "¿Desnuda o vestida?": Restoring context for a performance practice that recuperates Fernando Periquet's recited text "La maja desnuda" within Enrique Granado's song "La  maja de Goya" from the Doce Tonadillas al estilo antiguo.” The song "La maja de Goya" from Doce tonadillas al estilo antiguo (1913)  by Enrique Granados (1868-1916) has long lost the performance practice of the recitation of an original text by the playwright Fernando Periquet (1873-1940) , originally indicated to be recited over an instrumental portion of the composition. Most editions omit the poem, retaining only the word cues, thus forbidding the interpreter to include it.  Why did the the recitation fall from favor? Was it the prurient nature of Goya's love affair in Periquet's text? Was it a choice of later interpreters of the Tonadillas following the premiere? Or was it Granados' choice which influenced all subsequent editions?   The paper will attempt to answer these questions; expose the cultural atmosphere of the Spanish Silver Age (La edad de plata) in which the  Doce Tonadillas al estilo antiguo came to be; and contend how the practice of re instating the recitation of the poem within "La maja de Goya" shows an essential element of the authors attempts to approach the original character of the "tonadilla escénica" of the 18th century, while creating a work that in the opinion of the authors, transformed a historically populist entertainment genre into an exportable "national" art song that show cased the quintessence and casticísmo of Spanish character.

Ricardo de la Torre, “Granados and Cuba: An Idealized View of the Caribbean” Cuba exerted a particular fascination on several generations of Spanish composers. Granados—himself of Cuban ancestry—was no exception.

The purpose of this lecture is to present the context in which the music of colonial Cuba interacted with that of Spain during Granados’ youth, paying special attention to the relationship between Havana and Catalonia. Granados’s only work with overt references to the island, A la cubana, will be discussed, highlighting its similarities with Cuban piano music of the time as well as with Albeniz’s own pieces of Cuban inspiration.