Jesús Guridi

Last updated
Jesus Guridi in 1915 Jesus Guridi 1915.png
Jesús Guridi in 1915

Jesús Guridi Bidaola (25 September 1886 – 7 April 1961) was a Spanish Basque composer who was a key player in 20th-century Spanish and Basque music. His style fits into the late Romantic idiom, directly inherited from Wagner, and with a strong influence from Basque culture. Among his best-known works are the zarzuela El Caserío, the opera Amaya, the orchestral work Ten Basque Melodies and his organ works, where the Triptych of the Good Shepherd can be highlighted.

Contents

Biography

Guridi was born in Vitoria-Gasteiz into a family of musicians. His mother, Maria Trinidad Bidaola, was a violinist and his father, Lorenzo Guridi, was a pianist ( Menéndez and Pizà 2001 ). After completing his early studies with the Piarists and the Jesuits of Zaragoza,[ citation needed ] he moved to Madrid, where he received lessons from Valentín Arín. Later, in Bilbao, he received violin lessons from Lope Alaña, who introduced him to the society called "El Cuartito", and studied harmony with José Sáinz Besabe ( Menéndez and Pizà 2001 ). On 28 January 1901 he gave his first public concert with the Philharmonic Society of Bilbao. At the age of 18 he enrolled in the Schola Cantorum in Paris, studying organ with Abel Decaux, composition with Auguste Sérieyx, and fugue and counterpoint with Vincent d'Indy. Here he met Jose Maria Usandizaga, with whom he developed a deep friendship.

He then moved to Brussels, where he studied with Joseph Jongen and in Cologne with Otto Neitzel, following the recommendations of Resurrección Maria de Azcue. In June 1912 he was appointed director of the Bilbao Choral Society. In the same year his friend Usandizaga died.

In 1922 he married Julia Ispizua. The couple had six children: Maria Jesus, Luis Fernando, Maria Isabel, Ignacio, Julia, and Javier. In 1944 he began working at the Madrid Conservatory, where, years later, he became director.

He died suddenly on 7 April 1961 at the age of 74 years in his home on Sagasta Street in Madrid.

Musical style

Strongly influenced by Richard Wagner and other late-Romantic musicians, he found inspiration in the roots of Basque folklore in his first scores, and which later give body and soul to his compositions. Guridi produced copiously in a huge range of genres. From chamber music (string quartets), vocal and choral compositions, orchestral works, liturgical and concert pieces for the organ, operas (Mirentxu and Amaya) and zarzuelas (El Caserio, La Meiga, etc.). Among his works are: El Caserio (1926), Diez melodias Vascas (1940), Así cantan los chicos (1909), Amaya (1920), Mirentxu (1910), Una aventura de Don Quixote (1916), La Meiga (1929 ) Seis canciones castellanas (1939), Pyrenean Symphony (1945), and Homenaje a Walt Disney, for piano and orchestra (1956).

His work

Despite his intense activity as an organist, choir director and teacher, Guridi was largely devoted to composition. The variety of genres he cultivated is very wide, ranging from symphonic music to film music, operas and operettas, chamber music, choral music, songs and music for children.

Guridi's music writing is characterized by the clarity of its formal organization, by the strength and richness of its harmony and the inspiration of the melodies. He was one of the main creators of the musical nationalism in Euskadi and Spain.

These are some of his most important works:

Opera

His best known opera is Amaya (libretto by Joseph M. Arroita Jáuregui), released at the Coliseo Albia in Bilbao in 1920, and also Mirentxu (libretto by Alfred Etxabe), released in Bilbao in 1910.

Zarzuela

Probably his best known zarzuela and work is El Caserío (The farmhouse, libretto by Guillermo Fernández Shaw and Federico Romero), premiered in Madrid in 1926.

It is also worth mentioning La Meiga (by the same authors), La Cautiva (The Captive, by LF Seville and A. Carreño), released in 1931, Mandolinata (A. C. de la Vega, 1934) and Mari-Eli, Basque operetta (E. Carlos and Arniches Garay, 1936) as well as the lyrical La bengala (The flare, by L. Weaver and J. Hollow, 1939), Peñamariana (Romero and Fernandez Shaw, 1944), and Acuarelas vascas (Basque Watercolours, 1948).

Orchestra

On orchestral music, his most famous work is Ten Basque melodies (1940). He also composed Basque Legend in 1915, the symphonic poem An Adventure of Don Quixote (1916) and En un barco fenicio (In a Phoenician ship), in 1927. In 1945 he composed his Pyrenean Symphony and, in 1956, Tribute to Walt Disney Fantasy for piano and orchestra.

Choral music

Vocal music is also present in Guridi’s work. Six Castilian Songs, composed in 1939, can be highlighted. Other Guridi’s choral works are: So the children sing (1915), for chorus and orchestra, Euskal folkloreko XXII Abesti (Basque popular songs, 1932), Basque Songs (1956), Boga boga (Popular Basque, 1913), Anton Aizkorri (1913), Ator, ator mutil (Christmas Eve Song, 1920), Mass in honor of the Archangel Gabriel, for chorus and organ (1955), Mass in honor of San Ignacio de Loyola, (3 voices and organ, 1922), Requiem Mass for chorus and organ (1918), Te Deum, for chorus and organ (1937), Ave Maria (1907), Hail, for gold and organ (1916), Tantum ergo, for choir and organ (1915) and Basque Folk Songs, for chorus of mixed voices (1913–1923).

Piano and chamber music

They are also noteworthy creations of incidental music for film and his work for solo piano, which include Old Dances (1939), 8 Notes For Piano (1954), Ten Basque melodies, Lamento e imprecación de Agar (1958), Piano Pieces (1905), Three short pieces (1910) and Vasconia (1924). He also cultivated chamber music, and he wrote two string quartets, Quartet in G major (1934) and Quartet in A minor (1949; dedicated to the cellist Juan Ruiz Casaux).

Organ

The organ was probably Guridi’s favourite instrument, in his role as a performer and as a teacher. In fact, he was a master on improvisation and he remained active as an organist until the end of his days.

Guridi was appointed professor of organ and harmony at the Institute of Music of Bizkaia in 1922, and in 1944 he won by opposition the organ national chair of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid, which in 1956 would become director. He served for years as organist of the Church of San Manuel and San Benito, Madrid.

In 1909, when he was still very young, he won the Gold Medal in the Valencia Regional Exhibition, with his Fantasy for great organ, a piece composed between 1906 and 1907 and premiered by Guridi himself. Also in 1909 he composed an Interlude and in 1917 he wrote another Fantasy, that was published under the title Prelude and Fantasy.

In 1922 he composed Cuadros vascos (Basque scenes), for chorus and orchestra, and adapted, for solo organ, the Espatadantza (traditional Basque dance) contained in this work. He also adapted for organ Four Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio in 1953.

In 1948 he composed Variations on a Basque theme, which consists of nine variations on the popular song Itsasoa laino dago (There is fog on the sea), contained in Resurrección Mª de Azkue’s Songbook.

In 1951, Guridi grouped twenty short and not difficult of execution pieces for organ teaching approach under the title Spanish School of Organ (1. Introducción – 2. Capriccio – 3. Cantinela – 4. Himno – 5. Improvisación – 6. Canción vasca – 7. Salida – 8. Interludio – 9. Plegaria – 10. Preludio – 11. Pastorela – 12. Villancico – 13. Glosa (Puer natus est) – 14. Éxtasis – 15. Fuga – 16. Adagio – 17. Ave Maria – 18. Ofertorio I – 19. Ofertorio II – 20. Tocata).

In 1953 he wrote the beautiful Triptych of the Good Shepherd ("The Flock ", "The Lost Sheep" and "The Good Shepherd"), surely his masterpiece in this field, which won the first prize in the composition competition organized by Organería Española because of the inauguration of the new organ of the Good Shepherd Cathedral in San Sebastián. Guridi himself premiered his "Triptych" on 20 January 1954 in this temple. The other composers awarded in the competition were Tomás Garbizu, Luis Urteaga and José María Nemesio Otaño. In 2007, the concert offered by these composers, 19 and 20 January 1954, was reproduced, and the concert ended with the work of Guridi.

Shortly before his death in 1961, he composed a Final for organ, a composition of great character in the line of the French master Louis Vierne.

See also

Related Research Articles

Zarzuela Spanish lyric-dramatic genre

Zarzuela is a Spanish lyric-dramatic genre that alternates between spoken and sung scenes, the latter incorporating operatic and popular songs, as well as dance. The etymology of the name is uncertain, but some propose it may derive from the name of a royal hunting lodge, the Palace of Zarzuela, near Madrid, where that type of entertainment was allegedly first presented to the court. The palace in turn was named after brambles, which grew there, and so the festivities held within the walls became known as "Zarzuelas".

Basque music Music of the Basque region and people

Basque music refers to the music made in the Basque Country, reflecting traits related to its society/tradition, and devised by people from that territory. While traditionally more closely associated to rural based and Basque language music, the growing diversification of its production during the last decades has tipped the scale in favour of a broad definition.

David Conte American composer

David Conte is an American composer who has written over 150 works published by E.C. Schirmer, including six operas, a musical, works for chorus, solo voice, orchestra, chamber music, organ, piano, guitar, and harp. Conte has received commissions from Chanticleer, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Harvard University Chorus, the Men’s Glee Clubs of Cornell University and the University of Notre Dame, GALA Choruses from the cities of San Francisco, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., the Dayton Philharmonic, the Oakland Symphony, the Stockton Symphony, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, the American Guild of Organists, Sonoma City Opera, and the Gerbode Foundation. He was honored with the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Brock Commission in 2007 for his work The Nine Muses, and in 2016 he won the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Art Song Composition Award for his work American Death Ballads.

Pablo Sorozábal

Pablo Sorozábal Mariezcurrena was a Spanish composer of zarzuelas, operas, symphonic works, and the popular romanza, "No puede ser".

Tomás Bretón

Tomás Bretón y Hernández was a Spanish conductor and composer.

Miguel Marqués (composer) Spanish composer and violinist

Pedro Miguel Juan Buenaventura Bernadino Marqués y García was a Spanish composer and violinist.

Jesús Arámbarri Gárate was a Spanish classical music conductor and composer native to the Basque Country.

Wayne Brewster Barlow was an American composer of classical music. He was also a professor of music, organist, and choir director.

Guillermo Fernández-Shaw

Guillermo Fernández-Shaw Iturralde was a Spanish poet and journalist. He is particularly known as a writer of libretti, primarily for zarzuelas. With Federico Romero, he wrote the libretti for two of the best-known zarzuelas of the 20th century, Doña Francisquita by Amadeo Vives and Luisa Fernanda by Federico Moreno Torroba. His father, Carlos Fernández Shaw, was also a playwright, poet and journalist who wrote libretti for several zarzuelas and operas, most famously Margarita la tornera and La vida breve. Guillermo Fernández-Shaw was born in Cádiz and initially trained as a lawyer before becoming a journalist. He was the editor of the Spanish newspaper La Epoca from 1911 to 1936, and a contributor to ABC as well as writing poetry for Blanco y Negro. His partnership with Federico Romero began in 1916 with their libretto for Serrano's La canción del olvido. Guillermo Fernández-Shaw died in Madrid on 17 August 1965 at the age of 72.

Federico Romero

Federico Romero Saráchaga was a Spanish poet and essayist. He is particularly known as a writer of libretti, primarily for zarzuelas. Although he was born in Oviedo and lived at times in both Zaragoza and Madrid, he considered himself a son of Spain's La Mancha region, where his family had lived from the early 20th century in the small town of La Solana. The zarzuela La rosa del azafrán, composed by Jacinto Guerrero to a libretto by Romero, is considered emblematic of the region.

Juanjo Mena is a Spanish conductor. His brother Carlos is a countertenor and his sister Elena is a research chemist.

Maria Rodrigo

María Rodrigo was a Spanish pianist and composer. She was the daughter of Pantaléon Rodrigo, and studied music at the Madrid Conservatorium under José Tragó for piano, Valentín Arín for harmony and Emilio Serrano for composition. Maria was the first woman who managed to release opera in Spain. Her sister Mercedes Rodrigo, was equally intelligent in being the first woman to obtain a Psychology degree in Spain from the Rousseau Institute in Geneva. The two left Spain for Switzerland during the Spanish Civil War, moved in 1939 to Bogota, Colombia, at the invitation of rector Agustín Nieto Caballero, and in 1950 to Puerto Rico at the invitation of José María García Madrid. With Pablo Casals Rodrigo founded the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. She died in Puerto Rico in 1967. Maria was one of the few composers that addressed the composition of zarzuelas, a genre of Spanish music.

The Bilbao Choral Society is an association devoted to fostering musical activity. Founded in 1886 under the name "Orfeón Bilbaíno", the Bilbao Choir is a non-profit cultural association declared "of General Interest" by the Basque Autonomous Government. Nowadays it comprises three adult choirs and a conservatory choir.

Miguel Ángel Roig-Francolí is a Spanish/American composer, music theorist, and pedagogue. His 1980 Cinco piezas para orquesta, commissioned by Radio Nacional de España and written in a postmodern, neotonal style, won first prize in the National Composition Competition of the Spanish Jeunesses Musicales in 1981 and second prize at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in 1982, and continues to be widely performed in Spain. His later compositions often have spiritual themes and are based on sacred texts and the melodies of Gregorian chant. In 2016 he won the American Prize in Composition for Perseus, for symphonic band. An expert on Renaissance composers Tomás de Santa María, Antonio de Cabezón, and Tomás Luis de Victoria, he has published numerous scholarly articles and monographs and two textbooks. Roig-Francolí is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music.

Miguel Ángel Coria Varela was a Spanish composer of classical music. His early work showed affinities to the music of Anton Webern, but he became increasingly influenced by Impressionism. From 1973 he entered his post-modern period where his compositions were marked by "attempts to evoke the spirit of the music of the past, but without literal allusions". In addition to his instrumental music, he also composed an opera, Belisa, which premiered at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in 1992. Coria served as the Administrative Director of the RTVE Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the 1980s and was a co-founder of ALEA, Spain's first laboratory for electronic music.

Conservatory Jesús Guridi Music academy in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Conservatorio Jesús Guridi is a music academy in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. It is called Jesús Guridi due to the famous Basque musician who was born in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The conservatory is located in Vitoria-Gasteiz, capital of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. With a population of 220.000 citizens, the city has a very big cultural dynamism and a particular interest at the moment of offering different artistic and cultural activities. That is why the city contains a large number of museums and a complete programming of cultural events during the whole year, organized by the public institutions and the private leadership. Actually Jesús Guridi music conservatory occupies a very important place in the cultural life of the city.

The Koruko Ama Birjinaren Scholla Cantorum, which adopted its current name, Koruko Ama Birjinaren Eskola, in 1976 and nowadays commonly known as Eskola, is an cultural and arts association founded in 1940 in San Sebastián by Juan Urteaga. Initially, it had a choir, but a dance company emerged soon. In the 1960s, the music band was created, performing together with the dance company ever since. All three groups are active as of today. The first performance of the association was held in Easter 1940: the founding date of Eskola is set to be April 10, 1940.

Pepita Embil

Josefa Embil Echániz better known as Pepita Embil was a Spanish Basque soprano who starred in zarzuela and operetta productions throughout Spain and Latin America. Known as the "Queen of Zarzuela," she is especially remembered for her son, the internationally famous operatic tenor Plácido Domingo, whose early career she helped to nurture. Embil began her professional career singing as a soloist in choirs, including the Basque national choir, Eresoinka, which based itself in France during the Spanish Civil War. While still in her twenties, she appeared in the world premieres of several new zarzuelas. She collaborated with some of the most prominent Spanish composers of the 1940s, including Federico Moreno Torroba, Jacinto Guerrero, and Pablo Sorozábal. In late 1948, she moved to Mexico with her baritone husband, Plácido Domingo Ferrer. In Mexico they ran a successful zarzuela company of their own, which toured throughout the Americas. Over the course of her career, Embil made several recordings, primarily of zarzuela music.

Carmelo Larrea Carricarte was a Spanish songwriter and musician. During the 1940s and '50s he composed famous songs such as "Noche triste", "No te puedo querer", "Dos cruces" and "Camino verde".

References