Los Cisnes en Palacio
Emilio Arrieta (1821-1894), the first Spanish composer whose music was heard at the Royal Theatre (Ildegonda, in 1854), and the first to have it sung in Spanish (Marina, in 1871), is an essential figure in 19th-century musical Spain.
The monograph we published in 1998 already revealed his intense biography and his extensive musical oeuvre, in need of a thorough retrievement. Since then, we have restored to sound his operas, Ildegonda (1845) and La Conquista di Granata (The Conquest of Granada, 1850), and his zarzuela El domino azul (The Blue Domino, 1852); and recovered several musical fragments from Marina (1871), inexplicably eliminated from performance practice. Despite the road travelled, there are still many staves to be discovered, including his songs, a kaleidoscope of refined expressive languages, where bel canto lyricism coexists with the Spanish musical language.
Sabina Puértolas and Rubén Fernández Aguirre, through their masterly interpretation of six Italian and six Spanish songs, immerse us in the seductive plasticity of the two-faced sound universe of the Navarrese composer, a member of the “bella armata armonica” (beautiful harmonic army) – using Donizetti’s words – trained in the 1940s at the Milan Conservatory, who cultivated his instinct in the paradise of La Scala Theatre.
Maria Encina Cortizo