THE FLAVOR OF SPAIN™-Weekly Spanish Composer-Amadeu Vives



This Week’s Spanish Composer: AMADEU VIVES I ROIG (1871-1932)

by Elena Greco

September 30, 2015

A major figure in Spanish music, sometimes called the “Spanish Puccini” because of his lyricism, doubtless inspired by bel canto, Catalan composer Amadeu Vives created over a hundred zarzuelas, the best known of which is probably DOÑA FRASQUITA. Also a writer, Vives wrote a successful Catalan stage play and a four-act opera, ARTÚ, before writing his first zarzuela (BOHEMIOS), the form for which he is best known. In Barcelona he helped found the Orfeó Català choral society, a key element of the resurgence of Catalan music. There he also studied with musicologist and Spanish folklorist Felipe Pedrell, a proponent of using folk elements to evoke a Spanish atmosphere musically (Spanish nationalism or Evocación). Vives later moved to Madrid, where he remained for the rest of his life. Though known primarily for his prolific output of zarzuela, he also wrote some very beautiful songs. His lovely CANCIONES EPIGRAMÁTICAS (the sheet music of which is available at IMSLP) reflect Catalan culture, as well as some Spanish folk influence.

One of the better-known songs from EPIGRAMATICAS is “El amor y los ojos”
Montserrat Caballé (soprano); Miguel Zanetti (piano)

Another well-known Vives song, “L’emigrant”
José Carreras (tenor); Vincenzo Scalera (piano)

Duet from BOHEMIOS
María Bayo, María José Martos and Isabel Monar, sopranos; Luis Lima, tenor
Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife; Antoni Ros Marbà, conductor

Canción del Ruiseñor (DOÑA FRANCISQUITA)
María Bayo, soprano; Brian Zeger, piano


What is it about Spanish music that lets you know instantly that what you’re hearing is Spanish? The Flavor of Spain explores the exotic cultural influences that create that unique sound. Deep in the lush, passionate and thrilling sound of this music are influences of the Moorish, Greek, Turkish, Italian, French, Sephardic and Flamenco cultures, and you will hear all of these elements in the music of The Flavor of Spain concert series.


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For more information, please email Elena Greco.
For more information about The Flavor of Spain™ concert series, click here: The Flavor of Spain™.


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