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La Revista de Música

(Buenos Aires, 1927-1929)

Prepared by Gabriel Caballero
Introduction by Ana Uribe Law and Benjamin Knysak
Online only (2018)

La Revista de Música (RIPM code RDM) was published in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from July 1927 until June 1930. Produced by the Italian publisher Ricordi, and directed by Guido Valcarenghi, later a president of Ricordi, eleven issues per year were published monthly with the exception of February. Each issue contains between 60 and 72 pages, numbered consecutively in four issue groups, with page numbers resetting to page 1 regardless of publication year or volume number. La Revista de Música absorbed the Revista de la Asociación Wagneriana (1914-1927).[1]

The journal was the product of the Milan-based publisher’s intentions to expand its international reach. In 1924, Ricordi established an office in Buenos Aires, headed by Valcarenghi, and in 1927 in São Paulo, Brazil, directed by Giuseppe Giacompol, likely responding the large migration of Italians to both countries during the preceding fifty years.[2] In addition to facilitating sales of Italian imprints, Ricordi acquired works of other publishers in South America, an effort to generate a market for both foreign and local music. The Revista de Música served both of these functions: to supply Argentinian readers with musical news, criticism, and musicological research from Europe, and to gather and publish musical information concerning musical life in Argentina and to a lesser extent throughout Latin America.

Each issue begins with a series of articles written by notable musicologists, musicians, and critics from Argentina and Europe, including Alfred Einstein, Andrea Della Corte, Henri Prunières, and Ernesto de La Guardia, including female writers such as French ethnomusicologist Marguerite Béclard d’Harcourt. Many articles investigate social and cultural concerns related to music both in the Americas and Europe. Some contributions focus on general concepts of musical understanding, such as Alfredo Casella’s “Materia y timbre,” while others focus on more specific subjects, such as Béclard d’Harcourt on inspirations for South American popular music or Einstein’s article on ethereal waves in music. A series of articles discuss significant contemporary and historic composers, including Richard Strauss, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Alessandro Scarlatti and Franz Schubert.

A section titled “La música en Buenos Aires,” usually written by Ernesto de La Guardia, a prominent Argentinian musicologist, and Luis Gongora, focuses on premieres and concerts organized both at the Teatro Colón and the various musical associations of the city. The journal details musical news from South America and several important European cities in the column “Música en el extranjero.” Reports on musical activities in Uruguay (by Romeo Negro), Brazil (Mário de Andrade), and Cuba (María Muñoz de Quevedo) regularly appear, though the main focus is on Europe, with much musical news excerpted from journals published in Italy, Germany, Austria, Russia, and Great Britain. News from the United States is also found.

Review sections discuss music, books, and journals articles of various publishers but with a significant focus on Italian publishers. Events and activities in Buenos Aires are briefly reported in the “Noticias” section, while the “Boletín de la Asociación Wagneriana” reports and reviews events organized by the association.

Musical supplements at the end of each issue maintain independent page numeration and mostly feature the works of Italian composers, including Arcangelo Corelli, Salvatore Musella, Alfredo Catalani, Ettore Pozzoli, Gennaro Napoli, Gino Tagliapietra, and Riccardo Zandonai, with the sole exception being Franz Schubert’s “Die Stadt” (from Schwanengesang) appearing in the November 1928 issue. 

La Revista de Música ceased with the final issue of the third volume. In a bitter essay titled “Despedida,” the unnamed editor bemoaned the journal’s failure to raise the public’s critical tastes:

The "divo" continues to prevail, not only in opera but on the piano, on the violin, on the baton... Evolutionary progress, we repeat, has been gratifying, but the desire to "know", to “go deeper"; you only want to "hear". It will be said this is the main thing. But missing is the cultural complement: refinement. Under these somewhat primitive conditions, the publication of a magazine like ours has no reason to exist.[3]

Ricordi later resumed music journal publication in Buenos Aires with Noticiario Ricordi (Buenos Aires, 1937-1950), concurrent with Noticiario Ricordi: boletim mensal de informações musicais in São Paulo, Brazil.

This RIPM Index was produced from a microfilm copy of the journal produced by DePaul University (Chicago).

[1] See María Josefina Irurzun, “Recursos Para Una Historia de Las Culturas Musicales: La Revista de La Asociación Wagneriana de Buenos Aires (1914-1926).” El Oído Pensante 8, no. 2 (2000): 65–89.

[2] Caroline Lüderssen, A Cathedral of Music: The Archivio Storico Ricordi (Munich: Prestel, 2017): 48.

[3] “El ‘divo’ continúa imperando, no sólo en la ópera sino en el piano, en el violín, en la batuta... El progreso evolutivo, lo repetimos, ha sido gratule, pero no se ha llegado aun al deseo de “conocer", de “profundizar"; sólo se desea “oir". Se dirá que es lo principal. Pero falta el complemento cultural: el refinamiento. En estas condiciones, un tanto primitivas, la publicación de una revista como la nuestra, no tiene razón de ser.” La Revista de Música 3, no. 11 (15 June 1930): 194.