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The Archive of Navarre and the Baluarte Foundation present new recordings of the Navarrese musical heritage

The Archive of Navarre and the Baluarte Foundation present new recordings of the Navarrese musical heritage
A te!!, by Emilio Arrieta

This morning, the Culture Directorate-Príncipe de Viana Institution Archive and Documentary Heritage Service and the Baluarte Foundation have presented new items added to the Navarrese Sound Archive, as part of the Music and Performing Arts Archive launched by the General and Royal Archive of Navarre.

Set up in 2021, the Navarrese Sound Archive aims to provide a reference point for recovery, conservation, and broadcasting of Navarrese musical heritage, highlighting not only its most outstanding compositions, but also its main composers and musicians. As it is tied to the Music and Performing Arts Archive of Navarre, the recordings are considered a musical legacy and a way of preserving memory, in an attempt to guarantee both long-term preservation and current availability and accessibility for anyone interested in discovering and researching Navarrese musical heritage. On the other hand, the Navarrese Sound Archive is taking shape as a particularly relevant landmark in current Spanish record-making.

The seventeen recordings that are being added, plus the twenty-nine included in the Sound Archive when it began in 2021, represent the extensive variety of musical genres and forms found within Navarrese musical heritage, including new works. The 2021 recordings specifically focus on the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

These recordings took place in the Baluarte auditorium in September 2021 and the songs for voice and piano by Emilio Arrieta were recorded in the Manuel de Falla Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, on 27th and 28th November 2021.

The Navarrese Sound Archive

The recordings can be accessed by anyone, free of charge, on the Music and Performing Arts Archive of Navarre website, in a stand-out section called Navarrese Sound Archive. There is an audio file for each work in high quality mp3 format.

The Sound Archive is organised by century and composer, assigned according to the characteristics of their work. A general index completes the information in four languages, to make it easy to browse between the various links and get a general view of all available recordings. Finally, alongside the mp3 file of the recording and the performance date, each composition entry includes the author’s biography, mentioning the specific context in which the work was created, plus the musicians taking part in the recording.

2021, bicentenary of the birth of Emilio Arrieta

The 2021 Navarrese musical heritage recording programme particularly focussed on the composer Emilio Arrieta.

Emilio Arrieta Corera (Puente la Reina, 1821 – Madrid, 1894) was one of the most outstanding zarzuela (light opera) and opera composers, plus director of the Royal Conservatory of Madrid and an academic in the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Art. He trained in Madrid and Milan, under masters such as Perelli, Mandancini and, above all, Vaccai. At the Milan Conservatory, he rubbed shoulders with other composers such as Temistocle Solera or Amilcare Ponchieli, and he trained as a lyrical composer. On his return to Madrid in 1846, he took part in La España Musical, a society founded to create the Spanish national opera, alongside composers such as Barbieri and fellow Navarrese Joaquín Gaztambide and Hilarión Eslava. In 1848, he was appointed as Queen Isabel II’s singing teacher, which afforded him great prestige and welcome economic stability. The Queen gave him various commissions, such as the Spanish edition of Ildegonda, which would subsequently be included in the Italian opera circuit after a further stay in Milan between 1851 and 1852, or La conquista de Granada (1850). Back in Madrid, he brought El dominó azul to the Teatro del Circo, demonstrating his qualities as a zarzuela composer, he worked as a music critic for the La Nación newspaper and he premiered his greatest success, Marina (that was turned into an opera in 1871), introducing elements from Spanish oral tradition such as seguidillas and tangos.

As well as operas and zarzuelas, Arrieta composed cantatas, hymns and songs for voice and piano.

To celebrate the bicentenary of his birth, thirteen of his works have been included in the Navarrese Sound Archive: Capricho para orquesta, A sera, A te!!, Il destino, Il sospiro, In morte di una bambina, La beltá, La niña abandonada, La primavera, La rimembranza, Los ojos de las niñas, Serenata morisca and Voga!. Out of all of them, it should be mentioned that A te!! did not appear in Emilio Arrieta’s song catalogues until it was unearthed during archival processing of the composer’s work. This piece was composed on 12 May 1851 and its only copy is kept in the Music and Performing Arts Archive of Navarre (AMAEN). The musicians were Sonia de Munck (soprano) and Miguel Huertas (piano).

Works by Teresa Catalán, Jesús Echeverría, Lorenzo Ondarra and Valentín Ruiz

In addition to works by Emilio Arrieta, the Navarre Symphony Orchestra also recorded outstanding works by Navarrese composers in 2021. The Navarrese Sound Archive already holds El canto de Atenea by Teresa Catalán, with Pilar Constancio as the solo flautist (world debut of the piece that the Baluarte Foundation commissioned from this composer), and Arravan. Fantasía para orquesta, by Jesús Echeverría, alongside Tripticum by Lorenzo Ondarra (1931-2012) and the Hymn of Navarre, in its version by Valentín Ruiz, played by the Navarre Symphony Orchestra and El Orfeón Pamplonés, conducted by Jesús Echeverría and Igor Ijurra, respectively.

It should be mentioned that both Teresa Catalán and Jesús Echeverría donated their personal legacies to the Archive of Navarre, an institution that also holds the archive of El Orfeón Pamplonés.

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