Lide Ta Ixidor

Kaixo Lide, kaixo Ixidor


The conception of Lide ta Ixidor did not follow the usual characteristics of lyrical theatre close to the nationalist ideology: the allusion to lost freedoms, love of the Basque language, a legendary common past, an idyllic rural setting and the value of religion, which were relegated to the present work; although as an exception, it is set in a farmhouse near the Biscayan palace of Zubialdea and includes the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the Three Wise Men. At the premiere on 24 May 1910, the press, chroniclers and music critics included all kinds of laudatory adjectives.


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Santos Inchausti

Santos Inchausti the great unknown 

Born on 31 October 1868 in Munguia (Bizkaia), he was the son of Julián Inchausti, the local organist. Choral conductor and composer, in 1896 he founded the Munguía Choral Society on the occasion of the success he received in the choral society competition held that year at the Basque festivities in Bilbao. In 1898, he was appointed assistant director of the Bilbao Choral Society, under the direction of Aureliano del Valle, achieving great success between 1896 and 1914. 

The choral activity of the time was important and choral societies of all political persuasions were created: liberal-struggle, liberal, socialist, Carlist, republican and nationalist. The Euskalerria Society founded the Euskeria Choral Society, of which Santos was the director for many years. His activity in the musical sphere in Bilbao was not only limited to conducting, as he was a music teacher in the Municipal Schools and took part in a number of concerts and musical tribunals, but also in the composition of choral music (Machín, Nora zoaz artzaiña), for voice and piano (Ilunabarra, Neure Andria, Oñazez), txistu (Contrapas, Potpourri vasco-navarro, Minue), Banda (Fragmentos de Lide ta Ixidor), and lyric theatre (Lide ta Ixidor, Itsasondo) where he achieved new heights of recognition.

He died in 1925 in his native town and the Asociación de Txistularis paid tribute to him in 1928 in Orduña for his involvement in promoting this instrument.


The following is the synopsis by Unai Elorriaga, who was in charge of revising and adapting the text:

The brothers Lide and Ixidor live in a farmhouse and are alone at home. They have just been up to some mischief while their parents are out and have smashed all the cutlery prepared for dinner, spilling the wine as well. They are terrified, what will the parents say when they arrive? In these circumstances, a little old lady knocks on their door. Thinking she is a witch, they do not let her in. The old woman, however, names God and this convinces them that she is not a witch. So they take the woman into their home and even offer her what little they have to eat and drink. Gradually, the children gain confidence and fall asleep on her lap.

Suddenly, the brothers appear in a castle, decked out in the finest costumes. They also have a magic wand and make a huge cake appear out of nowhere. As they begin to eat, however, Satanito, a devil turned cat, jumps out of the cake and wants to harm the brothers. Ixidor attacks him with his sword, but the devil easily breaks it. Even so, Ixidor joins the two pieces of the sword to form a cross and scares Satanito away.

Then the brothers’ friends arrive at the palace. So, they begin eating the cake and Satanito comes out of it again. Ixidor acts in the same way: he frightens the devil with the cross. While the friends are in the garden, the blue fairy appears in the garden and behind her the children glimpse the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the Three Kings from the East. Lide and Ixidor wake up and realise that they are back in the farmhouse. They get angry with the old woman because they have nothing for dinner, but she reassures them; it seems that by the time their parents return, there will be delicacies on the table. Lide and Ixidor are very grateful.

Sociedad Coral Bilbao

Euskal Opera project continues, and today we are pleased to present the second title we have recovered: Lide ta Ixidor, a lyrical children’s story with music by Santos Inchausti and text by Alfredo de Echave. We premiered this work in 1910 and it is probably the first musical theatre work written for children’s audiences in the Basque language. 

The recovery of this score has been a very complex task, as all that was preserved were the parts, with the full score missing. Thanks to the invaluable work of Jesús Mari Sagarna, it has been possible to fit this puzzle together, and on this basis, the artistic director of the project, Juan José Ocón, has made a selection of the main passages of this work, which mixes folk melodies with dance excerpts and has, curiously, the participation of two choirs, children and mixed. A more chamber-like orchestration has been chosen, in keeping with the plot and character of the work. Unai Elorriaga has been in charge of the revision and adaptation of the text. It has been a real luxury to have all of them involved in this project.

We can imagine the reaction of the children who listened to this work in 1910 (the premiere was a resounding success according to the press of the time) and who attentively followed the adventures of Lide, Ixidor, the old lady, the fairy, Satanito… This music is a part of our musical history and a milestone in the reception of children’s music written for the stage.

The recording of this CD was made in the hall of the Bilbao Philharmonic Society, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2021 and through whose concert hall a large part of the city’s musical activity has taken place. The Basque National Orchestra has been the symphonic support for a simple and delicate work, frank, in which the melodies are presented in a direct and effective way.

Thanks to the work of copyists, conductors, choristers (young and old), musicians, soloists and sponsoring institutions, we can today enjoy a recovered work whose music is once again playing and which we hope to see on stage in the near future. We join the choir, which in its first intervention welcomes the protagonists: Kaixo Lide, Kaixo Ixidor. 

Our record catalogue grows and we can say that, at last, we can listen to this music composed for the youngest.

Iñigo Alberdi Amasorrain

Bilbao Choral Society