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From El Cid to twelve-tone technique: the vocal music of Spanish exiled composers

30 October 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Lecturer / Conferenciante: Eva Moreda (University of Glasgow)

Lecture in English / Conferencia en inglés

A significant contingent of artists and intellectuals fled Spain during or shortly after the Spanish Civil War, and musicians were no exception. In Mexico, Argentina, France, England, Cuba, Uruguay and other countries, many Spanish composers, performers and musicologists contributed decisively to the musical life of their home countries and saw their work take directions which were sometimes unexpected. This talk will assess the impact of the Spanish Republican Exile on the Spanish vocal repertoire. Displacement indeed acted as a stimulus for composers to look back at Spanish history and musical traditions and to integrate them into their operas, art songs or choral music. Some examples include Julián Orbón taking inspiration from medieval songs in Tres cantigas del Rei, Roberto Gerhard exploring the diversity of Spanish folklore in Cancionero de Pedrell and Rodolfo Halffter focusing on Cervantes for Tres epitafios para la sepultura de don Quijote. In other cases, however, displacement exposed composers to new musical techniques and new ways of thinking about music and art: Salvador Bacarisse, for example, set in music poems by fellow exile Rafael Alberti, whereas Rodolfo Halffter and Roberto Gerhard experimented with atonal music.

Eva Moreda is a lecturer at the University of Glasgow, where she teaches music history and theory courses. Her book Music and Exile in Francoist Spain is forthcoming with Ashgate. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Musicology from the Universidad de la Rioja and her PhD in the same subject from Royal Holloway College, and has published widely in international journals on the political and cultural history of Spanish music, from the reception of Albéniz, Turina and Granados in the United Kingdom to music criticism in early Francoism and the legacy of exiled composers in Spain from the 1950s onwards. She has worked at the Royal Academy of Music and the Open University, and held a visiting research fellowship at Indiana University.


30 October 2015
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Instituto Cervantes
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London, SW1W 9AN United Kingdom
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