Turina Chamber Music
“Something of that ambience ‘ensorceleur,’ of that clean, transparent atmosphere, crossed with delicate reflections, creeps into Turina’s sonorities (…) As long as it does not dissipate, Turina’s music will live and be liked.”
“La música contemporánea en España” (1930).
That haunted atmosphere of which the musicologist Salazar speaks becomes a unique characteristic in the trios of Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) and which culminates in that portent that is the Fantasia for piano, violin and cello op.91 entitled “Círculo.” But to contextualize these pieces let’s look at what Joaquín Turina wrote about chamber music in his Enciclopedia Abreviada and which will clarify his ideology in the chamber music field:
“Chamber music adopts the form and tonalities of the sonata, varying only the writing, in which each part has the importance of a true character, with interest equal to that of the other parts.”
Listening to this chamber corpus for trio with piano -undoubtedly the most important in the history of Spanish chamber music- the composer demonstrates an incomparable mastery when writing idiomatically for each of the three instruments, although -as an outstanding pianist- he affirmed:
“Chamber music with piano, easier to write [than string quartet], is reduced to treating the piano with all amplitude and sonority, as a true concert instrument, carrying the whole harmonic background of the work, while the other instruments play recitative parts and sometimes pure ornamentation.”
It is not in vain that Turina picks up a tradition that began with the trios of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, which became paradigms reinterpreted by Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Dvorak or Tchaikovsky and that faithfully follow the instrumental organization that our composer points out.
Turina was an eminent musician, a native of Seville, who received a solid musical education, as we read in the short biographical sketch left to us by Julio Gómez of the composer’s incipient career:
“Turina’s artistic training enjoyed the greatest advantages that can be expected from education. He arrived at the Schola Cantorum with more than enough preparation to find Vincent d’Indy’s lessons useful. He had studied enough technique to compose an opera, La sulamita, which he had brought back from Seville. There he had been a disciple of the maestro de capilla of the cathedral, Don Evaristo García Torres. In Madrid he perfected his piano discipline in the best school we had at that time, that of Tragó”.