Santiago Masarnau y Fernández (also known as Santiago Fernández de Masarnau or Santiago [de] Masarnau) (9 December 1805 in Madrid – 14 December 1882 in Madrid) was a Spanish pianist, composer and religious activist for the poor. He established the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, an organization composed of laymen dedicated to serving the poor, in Spain. A cause for his canonization has been opened by that society.
Madrid is the capital of Spain and the largest municipality in both the Community of Madrid and Spain as a whole. The city has almost 3.2 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (EU), smaller than only London and Berlin, and its monocentric metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU, smaller only than those of London and Paris. The municipality covers 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi).
The Society of St Vincent de Paul is an international voluntary organization in the Catholic Church, founded in 1833 for the sanctification of its members by personal service of the poor.
In religious organizations, the laity consists of all members who are not part of the clergy, usually including any non-ordained members of religious institutes, e.g. a nun or lay brother.
Masarnau was born in Madrid in 1805 to Santiago Masarnau y Torres, a native of Copons in Catalonia and Beatriz Fernández y Carredano, from the Omoño sector of the town of Ribamontán al Monte in Cantabria, a family with close connections to the Spanish aristocracy and court. His mother died in 1808. At that same time, after the abdication of King Ferdinand VII of Spain and the subsequent outbreak of the Peninsular War, Masarnau senior was appointed the Secretary of the Royal Association of Nobility of Córdoba, in the service of the Count of Miranda, and the father moved with his three children to Andalucia. The son proved to be a musical prodigy in his childhood, and soon began the study of music under the organist of the Cathedral of Granada, José Rouré y Llamas. When King Ferdinand regained the throne in 1814, the father was appointed a secretary to the Chief Royal Majordomo (Camarero mayor) and the family returned to Madrid.There the son was able to participate in the musical life of the Escorial, performing on the organ before King Ferdinand (including some of his own compositions) when he was only ten years old. Life at court was highly dependent on royal favour, and Masarnau's father was obliged, for unclear reasons, to quit his privileges as a Gentleman of the Royal Household in the 1820s.
Copons is a municipality in the comarca of the Anoia in Catalonia, Spain.
Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia. It is bordered by France (Occitanie) and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect of Occitan.
Ribamontán al Monte is a municipality located in the autonomous community of Cantabria, Spain.
Following the family’s eviction from the court, Masarnau abandoned his original intentions of a career in engineering, and went to study music in Paris. He may have been influenced in the decision to leave Spain by political sympathies with the liberal insurgency that sought to depose the king in these years. For twenty years Masarnau divided his life between Paris, London and Madrid. In both Paris and London he was close to the Spanish composer José Melchor Gomis (1791–1836), himself a Spanish rebel living in exile, who composed the Himno de Riego , since used as the national anthem by the various republican governments of Spain. He also wrote some successful operas in Paris and got some respectful reviews from Hector Berlioz, was also active in London, and perhaps introduced Masarnau to London musical life.
José Melchor Gomis y Colomer was a Spanish Romantic composer. He was born in 1791 in Ontinyent, Vall d'Albaida, Valencia Province.
The "Himno de Riego" is a song dating from the Liberal Triennium and named in honour of Colonel Rafael del Riego, composed by José Melchor Gomis to words by Evaristo Fernández de San Miguel. It was the national anthem of Spain during the Trienio Liberal (1820–1823) and the First (1873–1874) and Second Spanish Republics (1931–1939).
Louis-Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer. His output includes orchestral works such as the Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy, choral pieces including the Requiem and L'enfance du Christ, his three operas Benvenuto Cellini, Les Troyens and Béatrice et Bénédict, and works of hybrid genres such as the "dramatic symphony" Roméo et Juliette and the "dramatic legend" La damnation de Faust.
As a consequence of his studies and work in Paris and London, Masarnau became acquainted with Johann Baptist Cramer, Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny, Rossini, Paganini, and, it appears, Felix Mendelssohn, who is said to have admired Masarnau’s nocturne, Spleen. Three Scherzini by Masarnau were published in London in 1828, at a time when Gomis was also publishing Spanish-style keyboard pieces there. Masarnau also became a friend of the English pianist and teacher Henry Ibbot Field (1797–1848), and around 1834 became a close friend of Charles-Valentin Alkan (as evidenced by an exchange of letters extending over forty years).Alkan dedicated to Masarnau his Trois études de bravoure op. 16 of 1837. While in Paris, Masarnau became, at Rossini’s recommendation, the music teacher of the daughters of the Infante Prince Francisco de Paula.
JohannBaptist Cramer was an English pianist and composer of German origin. He was the son of Wilhelm Cramer, a famous London violinist and conductor, one of a numerous family who were identified with the progress of music during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny was a French composer and a member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts (1813).
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Mendelssohn's compositions include symphonies, concertos, piano music and chamber music. His best-known works include his Overture and incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Italian Symphony, the Scottish Symphony, the oratorio Elijah, the overture The Hebrides, his mature Violin Concerto, his String Octet. The melody for the Christmas carol "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is also his. Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words are his most famous solo piano compositions.
In 1838 Masarnau had a profound religious experience which was to transform his life. As a consequence he determined to devote himself to the poor. In 1839 he came into contact with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in the Parisian parish of St. Louis d'Antin. The Society had been founded in 1833 by a charismatic 20-year-old lawyer, Frédéric Ozanam (who was beatified by the Catholic Church in 1997), and was conceived as a Christian reaction to Saint-Simonism (which was attractive to many musicians including Ferdinand Hiller and Félicien David). The Society was dedicated to improving the lot of the poor; and although a lay Catholic organisation, it had a strictly male membership.
Blessed Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam was a French literary scholar, lawyer, journalist and equal rights advocate. He founded with fellow students the Conference of Charity, later known as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris in 1997, hence he may be properly called Blessed Frederic by Catholics. His feast day is September 9.
Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name. Beati is the plural form, referring to those who have undergone the process of beatification.
Ferdinand (von) Hiller was a German composer, conductor, pianist, writer and music director.
"The rules adopted were very simple; it was forbidden to discuss politics or personal concerns at the meetings, and it was settled that the work should be the service of God in the persons of the poor, whom the members were to visit at their own dwellings and assist by every means in their power. The service of the members was to embrace, without distinction of creed or race, the poor, the sick, the infirm, and the unemployed".
Masarnau devoted himself to the Society and became treasurer of the St. Louis d'Antin chapter. During this period he turned more to the composition of Church music than of salon items.
When Masarnau returned permanently to Spain in 1843 he remained active in music, teaching in his brother's school, and contributing to a number of critical and artistic journals. But his main work was the establishment of the Society in his own country. This proved however not to be straightforward — the Spaniards were suspicious of this "foreign" organisation and of its apparently "secular" nature. Eventually in 1850 the Society in Spain was formally founded with the support of Pope Gregory XVI, after which it grew dramatically. Its success apparently aroused some political opposition — in 1868 the Society was forcibly dissolved by the Spanish state and its property seized. In 1874 the Society in Spain was allowed to re-establish itself, and Masarnau continued to lead it until his death.
Masarnau died in Madrid in 1882 and was buried in the Cemetery of the Sacramental of San Justo in Madrid.
On 13 May 1996, Masarnau's remains were exhumed and transferred to the National Church of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for Spain. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Society in Spain, on 11 November 1999 the Vincentian Fathers, under whose spiritual guidance the Society serves, opened a cause for his canonization.
The Alkan Society,Bulletins,Starting No.88,December 2012,Alkan's letters to Masanau
Manuel Patricio Rodríguez García, was a Spanish singer, music educator, and vocal pedagogue. He is credited with the invention of the first laryngoscope.
Vicente García-Huidobro Fernández was a Chilean poet born to an aristocratic family. He promoted the avant-garde literary movement in Chile and was the creator and greatest exponent of the literary movement called Creacionismo ("Creationism").
Joaquín Turina Pérez was a Spanish composer of classical music.
Charles-Valentin Alkan was a French-Jewish composer and virtuoso pianist. At the height of his fame in the 1830s and 1840s he was, alongside his friends and colleagues Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt, among the leading pianists in Paris, a city in which he spent virtually his entire life.
Martín Fernández de Navarrete y Ximénez de Tejada, was a Spanish noble, grand son of the Marquess of Ximenez de Tejada, knight of the Order of Malta, politician and historian. He was a spanish Senator and Director of the Spanish Royal Academy of History (1824-1844).
Leandro Fernández de Moratín was a Spanish dramatist, translator and neoclassical poet.
The First Carlist War was a civil war in Spain from 1833 to 1840, fought between factions over the succession to the throne and the nature of the Spanish monarchy. It was fought between supporters of the regent, Maria Christina, acting for Isabella II of Spain, and those of the late king's brother, Carlos de Borbón. The Carlists goal was the return to an absolute monarchy. Portugal, France and the United Kingdom supported the regency, and sent volunteer and even regular forces to confront the Carlist army.
Vincent Ferrer, O.P. was a Valencian Dominican friar, who gained acclaim as a missionary and a logician. He is honored as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.
Francesco Sabatini, also known as Francisco Sabatini, was an Italian architect of the 18th century who worked in Spain.
Pedro Albéniz y Basanta was a Spanish pianist and composer. He was unrelated to Isaac Albéniz.
Agustín García-Gasco y Vicente was a Spanish Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Valencia from 1992 to 2009, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2007.
Ferdinand II, called the Catholic, was King of Aragon from 1479 until his death. His marriage in 1469 to Isabella, the future queen of Castile, was the marital and political "cornerstone in the foundation of the Spanish monarchy." As a consequence of his marriage to Isabella I, he was de jure uxoris King of Castile as Ferdinand V from 1474 until her death in 1504. At Isabella's death the crown of Castile passed to their daughter Joanna, by the terms of their prenuptial agreement and her last will and testament. Following the death of Joanna's husband Philip I of Spain, and her alleged mental illness, Ferdinand was recognized as regent of Castile from 1508 until his own death. In 1504, after a war with France, he became King of Naples as Ferdinand III, reuniting Naples with Sicily permanently and for the first time since 1458. In 1512, he became King of Navarre by conquest. In 1506 he married Germaine of Foix of France, but Ferdinand's only son and child of that marriage died soon after birth; had the child survived, the personal union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile would have ceased.
Prince Ferdinand of Bavaria was a Spanish prince, the eldest son and child of Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria and his wife, Infanta María de la Paz of Spain. Ferdinand became an Infante of Spain on 20 October 1905 and renounced his rights to the throne of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1914.
Don Antonio de Benavides y Fernández de Navarrete was a Spanish noble, historian and politician who served as Minister of State between 1864 and 1865, in the reign of Queen Isabella II of Spain.
Manuel del Pópulo Vicente Rodriguez García was a Spanish opera singer, composer, impresario, and singing teacher.
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