THE FLAVOR OF SPAIN™-Weekly Spanish Composer-Joaquin Turina



This Week’s Spanish Composer: JOAQUÍN TURINA (1882-1949)

by Elena Greco

October 6, 2015

Born in Seville and of Italian heritage, Joaquin Turina spent much of his life in Madrid.  He studied with Vincent D’Indy, and was influenced by Albéniz, De Falla and Debussy.  More attuned to formal compositional style than the folk style of De Falla, he did find inspiration in Spanish popular music and set many Spanish folk songs to music. While the influence of the French Impressionists can be heard in his compositions, particularly harmonically, his music has a thoroughly Spanish flavor. His music is extremely sensual, and he was a master at painting the lyrics brilliantly through his melodies and harmonies.  He is one of Spain’s major composers, and one of my favorites.

His opus contains a very large number of beautiful songs for singers to sing—there is something for every voice type and every taste—and I simply couldn’t choose just one.  So here are a few songs to give you a taste, sung by some of Spain’s finest singers, past and present.  Most can be found in your usual online sheet music stores or for free download at IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library.  Other sources are MusicRoom, Tritó and Piles.

“Nunca olvida” and “Cantares” (from Poema en Forma de Canciones, Op. 19)
Ana María Sánchez, soprano; Enrique Pérez de Guzmán, piano

“Las locas de amor” (from Poema en Forma de Canciones, Op. 19)
Ana María Sánchez soprano, Enrique Pérez de Guzmán Piano

“Romance” (from Tres Arias, Op. 26)
Francisco Casanova, tenor; Alejandro Zabala, piano

“Farruca” (from Triptico, Op. 45)
Teresa Berganza, mezzo, Félix Lavilla, piano

Canto a Sevilla (Op. 37)
Pilar Lorengar, soprano; Orquesta Filarmónica de Londres, Jesús López-Cobos, conductor

“Les fuentecillas del parque” (from Canto a Sevilla, Op. 37)
Alfredo Kraus, tenor; Edelmiro Arnaltes, piano

“Si con mis deseos” (from Homenaje a Lope de Vega, Op. 90)
Pilar Lorengar, soprano; Felix Lavilla, 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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