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Category: Goya en la Literatura (Page 1 of 3)

Goyescas by Enrique Granados • G&L6

Goya in literature 6

 

Goya and the music again. This time it’s a tribute in his centenary year to Maestro Enrique Granados and his work Goyescas, inspired in the figure of Don Francisco de Goya.

 

Enrique Granados y Campiña was born in Lerida on 27 July 1867. Fond of music since childhood, he began piano studies first with José Junceda and already in Barcelona, at the age of twelve, the master Pujol. In 1887 he goes to Paris where he continued his studies for two years under the direction of maestro Charles de Beriot. In 1889 he returned to Barcelona dedicating himself to the composition and the teaching of piano, becoming an important personality in the catalan art scene and founding in 1901 the Granados Academy, artistic focus of enormous influence whose line was then extended with figures like Rosa Sabater and Alicia de Larrocha.

Gifted with exquisite sensitivity and an unsurpassed elegance of ideas, his productions bear an unmistakable hallmark of grace, spontaneity and depth of feelings, especially in those of his works inspired by Spanish popular rhythms and melodic turns.

Goyescas, works for piano, was presented on 11 March 1911 at the Palau de la Música catalana.  The musician is inspired by the figure of Don Francisco de Goya, the painter of the nobility in their classrooms and aristocratic circles; Portrait of monarchs and actresses of farandulas; governors and valid; people joying in countryside environments; majos and majas lovers and gentles; intellectuals and philosophers of the enlightenment period; the traditional sphere and palace poses… And above all, Goya creator of the “Whims”, “Nonsense”, “Disasters of War” and the “Black Paintings”.

Truly goyesco musical themes are popular, in reference to tapestries and fabrics in which the instruments deployed its sound outdoor: “Dancing on the banks of the Manzanares”, “The blind man with the guitar”. We will now cite the words of master Granados on his work:

“I’ve had the joy of finding something great. The “Goyescas”, “Los majos enamorados” already carry much treaded. On their way along the path of truth, a portion of reptiles have been striking in the frog closures of the goyescas garments. Thanks to these creatures so low I’m perfecting me. I served as a point of comparison and without any effort I feel raise – me on them. Forgive”. “Goyescas is a work forever. At this point I am convinced”. “I have composed a collection of “Goyescas” of great flight and difficulty. They are my efforts to arrive. They say that I have arrived. I fell in love with the psychology of Goya; of his palette. He and the Duchess of Alba; its maja (nice) lady, of their models, their quarrels, loves and flattery. That white pink cheeks contrasting with lace and black velvet with frog closures; those bodies of rippling waists, hands of mother-of-Pearl and Jasmine guest houses on azabaches, they have upset me…”.

Goyescas El Pelele is distributed in two books and an independent El Pelele number. The titles are as follows: Los Requiebros, Coloquio en la Reja, Fandango de Candil, Quejas (Complaints), or La Maja y el Ruiseñor (The Maja and the Nightingale), El amor y la Muerte (Love and Death) and El Epílogo (Serenata del Espectro) (the Epilogue (Serenade of the Spectrum)).

The first part opens with Los Requiebros, of great technical importance. It’s a Jota, where rhythms are interspersed with projecting a fantasy and colourful. It is a display of the best contrapuntismo, bright to the peak. The large number of ornaments and ornamentation (trills, mordents, arabesques) suggest teachers such as Scarlatti, Padre Soler and Mateo Albéniz.

It contrasts the Coloquio en la reja, inspired by love and tragedy environment. Magnificent score in which triumph two aspects equally: the instrumental and vocal. It’s required to the interpreter a special sweetness to address these staves full of charm, more spirited, melancholy and sensuality… The master’s own indications make us reflect: “all the basses imitating the guitar”, “ternezza”, “legatto in bass notes” and especially reins “rubato”. We refer to the typically Spanish ‘rubato’, difficult in proportions, elegant but daring.

We are presented with the Fandango de Candil, based on the tune of the Currutacas modestas, as rhythmic dance full of harmonic wealth. The piano is twinned with the guitar, being always faithful to the elegance and consubstantial refinements in Granados. A beautiful melody expressive singing it sandwiched in the middle. The triplet clouds the rhythmic design of the piece, recalling the castanet soniquete.

Quejas, or La Maja y el Ruiseñor, is the most popular and perhaps the most inspired of all fragments. The numerous trills allow hear edges of the maja and the bird. The prevailing romanticism in the entire piece, leaves show through the great passionate tension. It can be considered true gem of the piano repertoire, for its high quality in the preparation and the way. We remember for their adequate interpretation a few indications of the own Granados: “with jealousy of women, not with sadness of the widow”.

 

 

el amor y la muerte • Francisco de Goya

10. EL AMOR Y LA MUERTE
CAPRICHO
AGUAFUERTE, AGUATINTA BRUÑIDA Y BURIL
219 X 152 MM.

Granados begins the second part of this collection inspired by the tremendous dialectic love/death, present in the Caprichos of Goya (the title of the number 10 is precisely Love and Death). Perhaps what most surprises us in these pages is the simplicity of form and so little ornate writing. However, the effects are employees with the best taste in the compilation of themes already previously used, extracted parts as discussed in this series. The point is that one in which the subject of the maja takes a painful accent. The indication is significant: “Very expressive and as happiness in pain”.

Finally, it appears the epilogue that encloses the Serenade of the Spectrum that forwards to the feverish fantasy of the last Goya. It is a mysterious “allegretto”, of ghostly intent in the verse. A pure-blooded, tonadillesco, skeletal, spectrum disappears to tuning the strings of his guitar…

Another admirable Goya stamp of Granados is El Pelele, works best as isolated piece that culmination of Goyescas, since his style breaks that soft and dramatic line of which we have spoken. Again shines the Tonadilla, and virtuosity and technical display here take the reins of this page full of bravery, brio and lighting effect that makes the clearest exponent of the maturity of a Granados consolidated.

This previous experience, leads to the composer, in collaboration with his friend and famous writer Fernando Periquet, to compose an opera that take advantage of the same musical material of the piano series, and whose libretto was also chaired by a goyesco environment. According to statements of Periquet and Granados, the main couple is inspired by the own Goya and the Duchess of Alba; Paquiro, bullfighter, is the Martincho that Goya painted in several sequences of La Tauromaquia, and Captain adheres to a character from the series Los Caprichos.

The premiere of the opera Goyescas, intended at first to the Opera of Paris, which was cancelled because of the war, premiered in New York on 28 January 1916 with great success, attended by expressly master Granados accompanied by his wife. There, a few days earlier, and only stepping in to fill a change of scene, was born the «Intermezzo», which was applauded development and had its own independent history as brilliant concert piece. Opera in three pictures ended however, as an unusual and exquisite guest of scenarios, even in their country.

When they returned to Spain, the boat they were travelling was torpe bombed by a German torpedo thus ending this intense creative life on 24 March 1916.

 

It only remains to sit down and listen to the music of Granados, pure pleasure.

(notes from Internet:)

. Enrique Granados, Goyescas. “Quejas o la maja y el ruiseñor“.

. The treasures of the library.

. Goyescas of Enrique Granados: Goya and Granados in unison).

Discography

Columbia 1957: directs Ataúlfo Argenta and sing Consuelo Rubio, Ana María Iriarte, Manuel Ausensi and Ginés Torrano.

Audivis Valois 1997?: directs Antoni Ros Marbá and sing María Bayo, Ramón Vargas, Enrique Baquerizo and Lola Casariego.

 

 

Silvia Pagliano

Maestro Barbieri • G&L5

Pan y Toros. Goya in Literature 5 • November 2015

Literature, music and theatre are honoured once more the figure of Don Francisco de Goya. This time it’s the famous zarzuela ‘Pan y Toros’ (Bread and Bulls) by maestro Francisco Asenjo Barbieri, composer, musicologist and opera conductor from Madrid. It is a zarzuela in three acts, with libretto in verse of José Picón. It was premiered on 22 December 1864 at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid.

 

THE ARGUMENT

The title of the work refers to the Spanish expression, heiress of the latin panem et circenses (bread and circuses), which describes the feast of the bulls as a diversion that feeds the low passions of the people and dampens the social conflicts.

The argument focuses on the end of the 18th century in Spain, and tells a liberal conspiracy to King Carlos IV to roll back the influence of his Prime Minister, Manuel de Godoy.

Political intrigue that gives rise to the history place, by one side, iniquitous corrupt aristocracy, the franchised and the clique, headlined by chief magistrate Quiñones and Pepita Tudó, lover of Godoy, and on the other, the people, the illustrated and cultured aristocracy, with Goya, the Princess of Luzán and Captain Peñaranda, and as a leader and saviour of the homeland, Jovellanos. Pepe-Hillo, Pedro Romero and Costillares bullfighters also make their appearance in the work.

It is a historic fresco which Barbieri gives a music that has its roots in the popular and goyesco. Thus, emphasizes the dignity of the tune of the 18th century, among other reasons for the musical folklore in Spanish, such as bolero, jota, seguidilla, pasodoble, the gavota and the contradanza and characters as sellers, manolos, manolas, sheriffs, walloon guards, members of a brotherhood and dancers.

It is the first play with success that introduces the figure of Goya, being therefore precursor of goyesco items that so successfully and broadcasting would have throughout the 19th century.

Because of its political content, suffered problems with censorship under the reign of Isabel II.

THE COMPOSER

Francisco Asenjo Barbieri was born in Madrid 3 August 1823, in Zorrilla Street, known then as of the Deaf, and died in the same city on 17 February 1894. After starting studies of Medicine and Engineering, the Italian opera decided to his vocation.

Features José Luis Tellez that Barbieri is the most important musical personality born in Spain between Antonio Soler and Isaac Albéniz and would be called to take to its zenith the model of zarzuela in three acts.

His major works include: Gloria y peluca (Gloria and wig) (1850), Jugar con fuego (Play with fire) (1851), Los diamantes de la Corona (Crown Diamonds) (1854), Mis dos mujeres (My two women) (1855), El Diablo en el poder (The devil power) (1856), Pan y Toros (Bread and Bulls) (1864) and El barberillo de Lavapiés (Lavapiés barber) (1884), considered his masterpiece.

He founded the Society of Bibliophiles, was an indefatigable researcher in the archives of the Cathedral of Toledo, the Monastery of El Escorial and the Royal Palace in Madrid and published, among other gems, the Cancionero de Palacio (Palace Song Book) inexhaustible source of inspiration for him and the musicians who happened to him. In addition he contributed decisively to the construction of the Theatre of the Zarzuela, opened on 10 October 1856.

THE LIBRETTIST

Jose Picón García was born in Madrid in 1829.

He studied architecture but abandoned the race to fully engage in dramatic literature. Attracted by the theatre, he opened in 1859 a short piece, El solterón (The Bachelor), which was very successful. He specialized in librettos of zarzuela, who composed several for Cristóbal Oudrid and Francisco Asenjo Barbieri, above all. He gained popularity with the libretto of Bread and Bulls, with Asenjo Barbieri music and premiered on 22 December 1864, at the Theatre of the Zarzuela in Madrid; the work was represented for three years without interruption and was banned by Queen Isabel II by alleged antiroyalist allusions.

As librettist of the zarzuela is one of the best and least conventional of the history of the Lyric Theatre. He died in Valladolid, in 1873.

THE WORK

The origin of Bread and Bulls (according to the dictionary of the Zarzuela), began writing on 18 January 1864, reason why Picón had to write the script, partial or completely, along 1863. On the other hand, Salvador Valverde ensures Picón gave the libretto to Barbieri in 1864 and that Barbieri was able to compose it in a single month. The work itself could be divided into three parts. The submission responds to the first act in which the characters are displayed. The central part represents the dramatic climax, the heart, vital in zarzuela grande. The final outcome occurs in the latter, the third act.

It was one of the most successful of all the zarzuela repertoire works, and of course, by José Picón. He filled the scenarios since its debut, as already recognized the author before the prohibition of work in 1867, (also banned the bands to make use of the famous parade of manolería).

 

CHARACTERS:

Princesa de Luján (Princess of Luján): Liberal, contrary to Godoy. Mezzo-soprano.

Doña Pepita: Pepita Tudó, morganatic wife of Godoy. Soprano.

La Tirana (The Tyrant): famous popular singer. Soprano.

La Duquesa (The Duchess): Duchess of Alba. Soprano.

La Ciega (The blind): Soprano

Peñaranda: Captain of the army. Baritone.

Goya: Famous painter. Baritone.

Abate (Abbot): Comic Tenor.

General: baritone.

Quiñones: Corregidor. Baritone.

Pedro Romero: Famous bullfighter. Comic tenor.

Pepe-Hillo: Famous bullfighter. Bass.

Costillares: Famous bullfighter. Baritone.

Santero (Species of beggar): Comic Tenor.

Jovellanos: Illustrious Spanish liberal. Actor.

A brother of the mortal sin: Bass.

A waiter’s Chalk: Tenor.

The zarzuela consists of 15 musical numbers. Begins with an instrumental intro in which the author presents the two environments on which rests the work: the dramatic with the appointment of the Marseillaise, and comedian, represented by the music of popular Hispanic character.

ACT I.

The action takes place in Madrid in 1792. In scene, a family of blind on the banks of the Manzanares river commenting on the news of the day. On the right, the house and studio of the Goyas. Enter the chief magistrate Quiñones and receives the news of the fake blind on the last developments in the house of Francisco de Goya. The chief magistrate then climbs to the house of Goya, where maintaining a conversation with Doña Pepita, which discussed the new political events. Appears the general, announcing the defeat and the consequent withdrawal of the Spanish army.

To prevent possible riots, the chief magistrate commands that bullfights be offered, which will carried out by some of the most popular bullfighters: Pepe-Hillo, Romero or Costillares. At the ceremony of choice of the bullfighters, the Abbot, commissioned by the chief magistrate, cheats in favour of Romero. Captain Peñaranda remembers the disastrous military campaign and his astonishment to see how people in Madrid live apart from all this. In the house of Goya, the chief magistrate ordered to arrest the Captain, but appears the Princess and gets to defend him. At the same time advancing a parade which intends to publicly apologize to the King of the soldier sentenced to death. The Princess, moving among the crowd, is headed into the Palace calling for release of the soldier, carrying documents that Captain Peñaranda confided.

ACT II.

The action takes place in a Street in Madrid. It is nigh time. From the balcony of a Palace, where a dance develops, the blind man tries to convince the santero for the death of a soldier but is scared by the arrival of the town crier of the Mortal Sin. Doña Pepita tells the chief magistrate her concerns, as the Princess could destabilize the scene, got the Royal pardon and also informed the monarch of the military situation. The chief magistrate is aware and convinces the King of the alleged falsification of these documents, trusting that signed peace with France, which would allow them to keep the political situation. Appears the Princess -convinced of the failure of the King, who cares about the game and only listen to the opinion of Godoy- accompanied by Goya, the Captain and the Abbot. Because of this situation, they decided to resort to Jovellanos. The Abbot communicates the wound Pepe-Hillo has been done while was bullfighting. They want to make responsible for this the Princess and Jovellanos by their desire for change with bullfighting. The Princess is convinced that, given this situation, the fight is necessary. When dismisses the Captain confesses to him that it was she who healed him of his wounds in Bayonne. When the Captain is left alone, the santero tries to stab him, but is frightened when appears that of the Mortal Sin. Faced with this situation the blind decides to stab the santero. Hearing the mortal cry, the chief magistrates believes that they have killed the Captain, according to his wishes.

ACT III.

Onstage, Jovellanos tries to convince the Princess to delay the profession of vows, while someone appears by surprise and he hides behind the dresser. There is Doña Pepita that apologises to the Princess and announces that it has signed the armistice between France and Spain. The chief magistrate and the General, that want to hasten the entry of the Princess in the convent, come to convince her. The bloody cape of the Captain that presents the chief magistrate is about to change the plans of the Princess, that suddenly hears out a song in the voice of the Captain, deducing that is still alive and decides to confront the chief magistrate, Doña Pepita and the General. It’s a messy moment of confusion at the scene. In all of this appears Goya with the Extraordinary Gazette where it appears the new appointment of Jovellanos as Minister. All together celebrate the end of the conflict situation, relying on Spain, who will know how to defend against the French.

 

From this page we urge readers to listen to this great zarzuela and, if possible, accompanied by the libretto, the enjoyment will be higher. Appears a Goya which has nothing to do with the previous opera, Goya by Gian Carlo Menotti. We hope, through music, get closer to the always mysterious figure of the painter.

DISCOGRAPHY

The almost only complete version (several numbers missing, including a duo of the Princess and Doña Pepita, as it explains the Zarzuela’s dictionary, was left singing perhaps already in the 19th century for its difficulty, and that makes most valuable the recording contained between fragments) is the following:

Alhambra 1956 – Directing Indalecio Cisneros to the great Symphonic Orchestra and José Perera to the Cantores choirs of Madrid choirs and sing Ana María Iriarte, Conchita Domínguez, Manuel Ausensi, Carlos Munguía, Rafael Campos, Carlos S. Luque, Enrique Malvado, Joaquín Portillo and Gregorio Gil.

(It can be heard on YouTube the complete works).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

– CASARES RODICIO, Emilio: Bread and Bulls, in Dictionary of the Zarzuela, Spain and Latin America, Madrid: Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales, 2003, vol. 2, pp. 466-473.

– CASARES RODICIO; Emilio: Francisco Asenjo Barbieri. Vol. I. The man and the creator. Madrid: ICCMU, 1994.

– BNE, National Library of Spain; Digital newspaper archive.

– Program of the representation of the work. Symphony Orchestra and Choir of the city of Gijón – Jovellanos Theatre. 6 February 2011.

 

 

By compiling texts and various information: Silvia Pagliano

Opera GOYA • G&L 4

In our section Goya and Literature we introduce a comment on a piece of music, specifically the Opera GOYA by G. C. Menotti. From the literary point of view the work does not have the height that is expected given that the figure of Goya predisposes to a complex creation, tense and dramatic, which does not remove value to music creation.

Opera Goya en Real Goya

Opera: GOYA

Opera in three acts.
Libretto: Gian Carlo MENOTTI (1911-2007)
Premiere: Washington National Opera, 1986.

Cast:

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes……………………………..        Plácido Domingo

Doña Cayetana, Duchess de Alba………………………          Michelle Breedt

María Luisa, Queen of Spain………………………………..        Iride Martínez

Carlos IV, King of Spain………………………………………..          Andreas Conrad

Don Manuel Godoy……………………………………………..           Maurizio Muraro

Martín Zapater……………………………………………………  Christian Gerhaher

Leocadia……………………………………………………………..  Nadia Krasteva

Maid..………………………………………………………………….   Petra Simkova

Butler…………………………………………………………………   Sergio Raonic Lukovic

 

DIRECTOR: Emmanuel Villaume

Staging: Kasper Bech Holte.

Vienna Radio Symphonic Orchestra.

 

Gian Carlo Menotti was not a revolutionary musician, but throughout his musical life explored different directions. He was the first to compose a radio opera and also one for television.

Music by Menotti liked a lot to Plácido Domingo: …”he writes his music in a very melodic way, that is the only way that a singer – and always gives great pleasure to the public”.

In 1977, Menotti invited Domingo to dinner, who then produced Carmen at the Edinburgh Festival. Domingo suggested to the composer to write an Opera for him, the life of a great Spanish artist and proposed Francisco de Goya to whom Domingo admires. Menotti accepted and began to carry out the first sketches. In November 1986 the work was staged at the Washington National Opera, under the direction of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.

Plácido Domingo played Goya and Victoria Vergara the Duchess of Alba.

Critics were not very favourable as the work was judged lacking of modernity, too melodic, in the Italian tradition of bel canto. It was clear that it was a work made for and by a tenor.

For Menotti, Goya symbolized freedom and the limits of the artist at the same time.

The work is founded on dualism between man and painter, modern, passionate, contradictory, on the one hand very ambitious and very wise politically on the other. Menotti focused the intrigue about the Duchess of Alba, the only great love of Goya and with a spirit opposite to the painter, thus creating a great dramatic tension.

The opera takes place in the last years of the life of the painter. Kasper Bech Holten puts at the centre of its staging the question: “Menotti’s Opera transforms Goya’s life into a reflection on the role of the artist itself and on the price you must pay for being a great artist”.

But it is also necessary to mention here that Menotti was not faithful to the historical facts, particularly in what concerns the loving relationship between the painter and the Duchess, but it is “a good story”.

 

Synopsis:

First Act: Goya, old and deaf, is overwhelmed by doubt and guilt feelings.

In a tavern, he falls in love for a young pride. Soon he knows that this young woman is the Duchess of Alba, one of the most influential women of Spain. She commissioned a portrait; during work, Goya experience increasingly intense feelings towards her.

Second Act: The Queen is jealous of the Duchess of Alba because of Goya. The Duchess raises her on the occasion of a dance where her chambermaids are dressed with the same model as the Sovereign. The Prime Minister Godoy, lover of the Queen, constrains Goya to an absolute fidelity to the Court. The Duchess feeling betrayed by the painter, whom she judges with weak character, breaks her relationship with him.

Third Act: Goya understands, too late, that has been manipulated by the fights of power between the Queen and the Duchess. He withdraws from social life to devote himself only to his art. The Duchess is poisoned by the Queen and in her agony she asks to see Goya, but the painter arrives too late. Goya is sick and in his solitude acknowledges that he has made the mistake of not having fought against injustices, and takes refuge in the creation. Before his death the Duchess of Alba appears to him, who tells him that his life and his art have been, despite everything, in the service of a transcendental ideal.

 

Indeed, the libretto of Menotti does not conform to the historical reality but meet a romantic argument, perhaps a little out of fashion. Anyway, we urge the readers of this article, based on the programme of the Opera, to listen to the great Plácido Domingo in the role of Don Francisco de Goya.

 

Silvia Pagliano

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