According to SHOEFRANTICS.COM, the century XVIII for Spanish music represents an era of transition. This century is an era of struggle between composers who wished to move forward and break away from the artistic theory dogmatized by Cerone and Navarro, and others, less artists, who were reduced to continuing the traditional path. However, we must not forget the fact that they strove with talent and valor in order to be able to preserve the characteristics of the religious and theatrical music of their country, preserving it from the new influences coming from Italy. On the other hand, before the Italians invaded the Madrid court, many Iberian composers had already followed the Italian musical fashion. A definitive judgment on the Spanish music of the century. XVIII cannot be given, villancicos, works, oratories, tonadas a lo humano and lo divino of the masters of the century. XVIII, still needs to be studied. Among the masters of religious polyphony we mention Francesco Valls (1655-1747) from Barcelona, Josep Gas, Josep Duran (educated in Naples under the direction of Francesco Durante), Jaume Balivo and Josep Teixidor from Catalonia; Pere Rabaase, Josep Pradas, Pasqual Fuentes and Francesc Morera for Valenza; Ambiela, Garcia, known in Italy under the name of Spagnoletto, for Aragon; Casellas, Rossell, Iuncá, Roldan, Durón, Torres Martínez de Bravo, Nebra and Literes for Castile. The last three are the most famous representatives of the Spanish tradition that fought against Italian music in Spain. The Spanish musical archives, so rich in religious works, have handed down to us very little or almost nothing of the chamber music, nor of the orchestral music of this time. It is certain that this music, if we leave aside the royal court of Madrid, found neither patrons nor great protectors in eighteenth-century Spain. In any case, with the loss of the royal palace of Madrid in 1734, that of the Madrid conservatory with its very rich musical archive and with the various destructions of the theater of Santa Creu in Barcelona, of the archives of Monserrato in the early 1800s (over time of the Napoleonic wars) and with the loss of many Spanish monasteries during the revolution of 1835, it is certain that the instrumental heritage of seventeenth-eighteenth-century Spanish music was reduced to crumbs. Of organ and harpsichord music, however, generally unpublished works by Josep Elias, Joan and Josep Moreno, ì Polo, Carles Baguer, J. Gallés, R. Anglés, Rodriguez and part of the production of the monks of Monserrato are preserved, Casanovas, Viola and Brell. The most famous musician was Friar Antoni Soler, a monk of the Escorial (who died in 1782), a disciple of Domenico Scarlatti in Madrid and a composer highly esteemed by his father JB Martini of Bologna. Scarlatti’s own harpsichord work was written during the composer’s stay in Madrid as a palace harpsichordist in the years 1729-i757. Luigi Boccherini, who died in Madrid in 1805, is one of the last representatives of that fruitful constellation of Italian musicians of the century. XVIII in Spain, whose main seat was the city of Madrid. Scarlatti’s own harpsichord work was written during the composer’s stay in Madrid as a palace harpsichordist in the years 1729-i757. Luigi Boccherini, who died in Madrid in 1805, is one of the last representatives of that fruitful constellation of Italian musicians of the century. XVIII in Spain, whose main seat was the city of Madrid. Scarlatti’s own harpsichord work was written during the composer’s stay in Madrid as a palace harpsichordist in the years 1729-i757. Luigi Boccherini, who died in Madrid in 1805, is one of the last representatives of that fruitful constellation of Italian musicians of the century. XVIII in Spain, whose main seat was the city of Madrid.
With the advent of the Bourbons, the Italian opera made its triumphal entry into Spain, right from the early years of Philip V. The year 1703 may also remain famous for the arrival in Madrid of the first Italian opera company. However, Italian music was not well received in Spain at the time, probably precisely because of the overwhelming royal protection. In this eighteenth century the royal chapel was made up almost exclusively of Italian masters: Francesco Corradini, Filippo Falconi, Domenico Porretti, Giovanni B. Mele, Francesco Corselli and above all the intrusive Carlo Broschi (Farinello), who sustained terrible fights for to oppose in Madrid the musical talent of José de Torres Martínez, Antonio Literes and José Nebra. In Barcelona the Italian opera was introduced as early as 1709, when the son of Leopoldo I, Archduke Charles of Austria visited Catalonia. It was on this occasion that the arrival in Barcelona of an Italian opera company was favored and performed Daphne by Emmanuele de Astorga, some works by Antonio Caldara and others, definitively stopping Italian virtuosos in Catalonia.
Keeping behind the Italian opera of the Madrid court, we see how in the years 1744 and following José de Nebra wrote several Spanish operas, in order to oppose the Italianizing movement of the Spanish theater. But the best success was Lluís Mison and his companions with the practice of the tonadilla. Mison’s ideal of reviving Spanish theater was followed by Antonio Rodríguez de Hita and Pau Esteve i Grimau. La tonadilla escénica, a kind of interlude located between the jornadas(acts) of each comedy, had three phases: 1. of growth and youth (1757-70); 2. of maturity and apogee (1771-90); 3. of decadence (1791-1810). Speaking of the century. XVIII we must also take into account the activity of the Spaniards who dedicated all their energy to the assimilation of Italian music. We must mention among these Domènec Terradellas (1713-1751) disciple of F. Durante in Naples, author of many works and religious music, an imitation of N. Iommelli in Rome. Vicens Martin i Soler, known in Europe under the name of Martini lo Spagnolo (1754-1806), first in Naples, Rome, etc., later a master at the court of Vienna at the time of Mozart, is another of the most famous representatives of this current. In the 19th century, the importance attributed to music at the court of Ferdinand VII should be remembered, dominated by the Rossinian school then at its peak. In 1830 the Madrid Conservatory was founded, the first in Spain, and in 1838 the Conservatory of the Liceo of Barcelona was founded. FA Barbieri (1823-90), E. Arieta (1823-1891) wrote again typical zarzuelas, wishing to resurrect the great zarzuela of Calderonian origin. Tomás Bretón (1850-1923) devotes himself to the national opera, followed by Ruperto Chapí (1851-1909) and Felip Pedrell (1841-1922), who in turn defines the possible special nature of this work.
In Catalonia since the early nineteenth century we meet Ramon Carnicer, later belonging to the Madrid theater, the aforementioned Martin i Soler, Ferran Sors (guitarist) and Carles Baguer, who offer the first works in the Italian style to the Barcelona theater. Josep Anselm Claver (1824-74) is the initiator of that choral movement which was a prelude to the magnificent work of the Catalonian orphonists. Just as M. Hilarión Eslava (1807-1878) laid the foundations of Spanish musicology, continued after him by Barbieri and Pedrell, the latter conceived the idea of reforming religious music, creating a national opera and introducing studies. methods of modern musicology. Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), Enric Granados (1867-1916), Amadeu Vives (1871-1932) and Antoni Nicolau (1858-1933) are the most famous among the already disappeared representatives of the musical production of Catalonia in the century. XIX and in the beginning of the XX. In our days the Orquesta sinfónica, directed by Arbós, and the Filarmónica, directed by Bartolomé Pérez Casas in Madrid, the Orquestra Pau Casals directed by its founder, and the Orfeó català also directed by its founder Lluís Millet in Barcelona, not to mention the main ones, are the institutions that feed the national production and make known the symphonic and choral work of classical times and today. Among the composers, Manuel de Falla, Joaquín Turina, continued the Andalusian regional current of Albéniz and Granados. Conrado del Campo, Oscar Esplá and Ernesto Halffter Escriche for Castile, Joan Lamote de Grignón, Enric Morera, Josep Barbera, Jaume Pahissa, Joan Manén i Planas, Eduard Tolrà, Francesc Pujol and Robert Gerhard (the latter disciple of Arnold Schönberg), for Catalonia, are the representative names of Spain today. Pau Casals, famous composer and conductor, and Gaspar Cassadó, cellists; Joan Manén and Antoni Brosa, violinists; F. Marsal, Ricard Viñes, Ricard Vives, and Leopoldo Guerol, pianists; Miquel Llobet, Andreu Segovia and Emili Pujol, guitarists, are well known names.