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La Música Ilustrada Hispano-Americana

(Barcelona, 1898-1902)

Prepared by Esperanza Berrocal
1 volume (1997)

Published in Castilian by the well-known pianist, teacher and publisher Juan Bautista Pujol, La Música Ilustrada Hispano-Americana was first issued twice monthly in forty-nine issues, and later monthly in sixteen issues. Under the direction of Augustin Salvans, a composer, music critic and former editor of La Ilustración Musical Hispano-Americana (1888-1896), the new journal was offered as “an impartial reflection on the contemporary movement in music.” Salvans’s aim was to meet the needs of a wide range of readers, by offering a complete encyclopedia of music—of interest not only to Spaniards, but also to Spanish-speaking residents of South America. It was the editor’s intention to follow the development of Spanish music.

While the journal deals with a large number of subjects, its main focus is opera. This is reflected in the publication of biographies of composers, singers and conductors, histories of opera houses, reviews of performances, plot summaries and articles dealing with specific aspects of a work. Despite the continuing popularity of the zarzuela there are strong indications in the journal of a trend favoring the creation of a national Spanish operatic genre. See, for example, Guillermo Morphy’s extensive article on the recently-composed opera Maria del Carmen by Enrique Granados. Other Spanish operas treated in the journal include Gonzalo de Córdoba by Emilio Serrano, Raquel by Tomás Bretón, Euda d’Úriach by Amadeo Vives, and Maria de los Angeles by Ruperto Chapí. A growing interest in Wagner’s operas and ideas is noted in Eduardo Blasco’s summaries of Wagner’s librettos and reports on performances of Wagner’s operas in Spain and abroad.

La Música Ilustrada focuses attention on the musical institutions, societies and performance venues of Barcelona including the Sociedad Filharmónica, the Associación Musical, the Círculo Artístico, the Teatro del Liceo, and the Teatro Lírico Catalán. Many notices report on the musical activities of the principal Spanish cities. Of particular interest are reviews of leading native performers including Joaquín Nin Castellanos (pianist), Pablo Casals (violoncellist), Pablo de Sarasate (violinist), and the conducting engagements of composers Enrique Granados and Isaac Albéniz. Despite early intentions, only a few reviews treat South American topics (e.g., the Uruguayan composer Antonio Camps and the Venezuelan pianist Teresa Carreño).