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Juan Antonio de Arriaga
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisóstomo Jacobo Antonio de Arriaga y Balzola (January 27, 1806 – January 17, 1826) was a Spanish composer. He was nicknamed "the Spanish Mozart" after he died, because, like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, he was both a child prodigy and an accomplished composer who died young. They also shared the same first and second baptismal names; and they shared the same birthday, January 27 (fifty years apart).


Life

Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga was born in Bilbao, Biscay, on what would have been Mozart's fiftieth birthday. His father (Juan Simón de Arriaga) and the boy's older brother first taught him music. Juan Simón had some musical talent and at age seventeen was an organist at a church in Berriatúa. He worked in Guernica and in 1802 moved to Bilbao and became a merchant in wool, rice, wax, coffee, and other commodities. The income generated in this way allowed Juan Simón to think about providing his son, who had shown prodigious musical talent, a way of developing those gifts.

In September 1822 Arriaga's father, with the encouragement of composer José Sobejano y Ayala (1791–1857), sent Juan Crisóstomo to Paris, where in November of that year Arriaga began his studies. These included the violin under Pierre Baillot, counterpoint with Luigi Cherubini and harmony under François-Joseph Fétis at the Paris Conservatoire. From all evidence, Arriaga made quite an impression on his teachers. In 1823, Cherubini, who had become director at the Conservatoire the previous year, famously asked on hearing the young composer's Stabat Mater, "Who wrote this?" and learning it was Arriaga, said to him, "Amazing – you are music itself."

Arriaga soon became a teaching assistant in Fétis's class, and also became noted both among the students and other faculty at the Conservatoire for his talent. Cherubini referred to Arriaga's fugue for eight voices (also lost) based on the Credo Et Vitam Venturi simply as "a masterpiece", and Fétis was no less effusive—apparently, what impressed all his mentors was Arriaga's ability to use musically sophisticated harmonies, counterpoint, and related techniques, without having been taught. Fétis was already familiar with Arriaga's now-lost opera Los Esclavos Felices ("The Happy Slaves"), stating that "without any knowledge whatsoever of harmony, Juan Crisóstomo wrote a Spanish opera containing wonderful and completely original ideas." Arriaga was well-supported during his four years in Paris by his father, but the intensity of his commitment to his studies at the Conservatoire and the almost meteoric rise one could expect based on his teachers' compliments and assessments of his promise, may have taken a toll on his health. Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga died in Paris ten days before his twentieth birthday, of a lung ailment (possibly tuberculosis), or exhaustion, perhaps both. He was buried in an unmarked grave at the Cimetière du Nord in Montmartre. Thanks to the Spanish Embassy, there is since 1977 a plaque marking the house at 314 rue Saint-Honoré in memory of the composer.

Music
The amount of Arriaga's music that has survived to the present day is quite small, reflecting his early death. It includes:

Opera: Arriaga wrote an opera, Los esclavos felices ("The Happy Slaves"), in 1820 when he was 13. It was produced in Bilbao. Only the overture and some fragments have survived.
Symphony: Arriaga composed a Symphony in D (Sinfonía a gran orquesta), which uses D major and D minor so equally that it is not in either key.
String quartets: At the age of 16, Arriaga wrote three sparkling and idiomatic string quartets that were published in 1824, and were the only works of his published during his lifetime.
Other works: Arriaga also wrote the following:
An octet, Nada y Mucho
Pieces of church music: a Mass (lost), Stabat Mater, Salve Regina, Et vitam venturi saeculi (lost), cantatas (Agar, Erminia, All' Aurora, Patria)
Instrumental compositions: a nonet, Tres Estudios de Caracter for piano, La Hungara for violin and piano, Variations for String Quartet and numerous Romances
Arriaga's music was used to create an opera pasticcio, Die arabische Prinzessin. The work was commissioned by the Barenboim-Said Foundation from the composer Anna-Sophie Brüning and the author Paula Fünfeck, and is based on a traditional Arabic tale. The piece was premiered under the title Die Sultana von Cadiz by the Youth Orchestra of the Barenboim-Said Foundation and local children's choirs at the Cultural Palace, Ramallah on 14 July 2009. The music publisher Boosey & Hawkes lists further performance runs in Leipzig (in 2011); in Bonn, Bilbao, and Barañáin (in 2013); and in Madrid, Coburg, and Linz (in 2014).

Stature
Arriaga's music is "elegant, accomplished and notable for its harmonic warmth" (New Grove Concise Dictionary of Music). His greatest works are undoubtedly the three string quartets, which (like his predecessors D. Scarlatti, Soler and Boccherini) contain notably Spanish ethnic rhythmic and melodic elements, especially in the galloping 6/8 finale of No. 1 in D minor and the meditative second (slow) movements of No. 2 in A major (an impressive set of variations in D major taking off from the slow D major variation movements in Mozart's K. 464 and Beethoven's Op. 18 No. 5, which climaxes in a D minor variation even more passionate than Mozart's D minor variation in K. 464, in the form of an impassioned, plangent lament on the top two strings of the viola going up to the second A above middle C) and No. 3 in E-flat major (a tender G major lullaby for the newborn Christ child). Periodwise, his style is on the borderline between late Classicism and early Romanticism, ranging from the late Classical idiom of Mozart to the proto-Romanticism of early Beethoven.

According to Grove, Arriaga's death "before he was 20 was a sad loss to Basque music". Following his early death, with the only reliable biographical material at the time being some reports by Fétis, his life story was fictionalized to play into rising Basque nationalism. Data on the composer remains scarce, but in 1989 the Basque Studies program at the University of Nevada, Reno published the only English language biography of Arriaga, with appendix and bibliography of works, written by Barbara Rosen (Arriaga, the Forgotten Genius: the Short Life of a Basque Composer); and in honor of the 200th anniversary of Arriaga's birth, Scherzo, the Spanish musical magazine, published a series of articles on the composer, with updated bibliographies, in its January 2006 issue. The view that emerges from both these newer sources does not contradict what Fétis said but emphasizes that Arriaga's early death was a loss not just to Basque culture but also to Spanish music and by extension, European classical music as a whole. According to Rosen "It is [...] possible to hear passages in Arriaga's work similar to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Rossini, although he sometimes fails to achieve the complexity of these composers' more mature works. Nevertheless, Arriaga has an identifiable and original style which, in time, undoubtedly would have become more individual and more recognizably his own, possibly incorporating more Spanish and Basque than Viennese elements."

A public theatre in his home city of Bilbao carries his name.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisostomo Arriaga - Symphony in D - I. Adagio - Allegro vivace
 
The CSO conducted by Markus Theinert performed this jewel by the "Spanish Mozart" Juan Crisostomo de Arriaga in Nicosia's Rialto Theatre.
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisostomo Arriaga - Symphony in D - II. Andante
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisostomo Arriaga - Symphony in D - III. Minuetto
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisostomo Arriaga - Symphony in D - IV. Allegro con moto
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juan C. Arriaga- String Quartet nº1/1st Mouv- Cuarteto Petrus
 
The Petrus Quartet, whose members are Pablo Saraví (Violin I), Hernán Briatico (Violin II), Silvina Álvarez (Viola) and Gloria Pankaeva (Cello), plays J.C. Arriaga's 1st String Quartet in D Minor. This performance took place at Museum of Decorative Arts in Buenos Aires (Argentina) on 29th November, 2010.
 
 
 
 
 
J.C.Arriaga: String Quartet nº1 / 2º Mouv -Cuarteto Petrus
 
 
 
 
 
J.C .Arriaga - String Quartet nº1 / 3er Mouv.-Cuarteto Petrus
 
 
 
 
 
J.C.Arriaga- String Quartet nº1 / 4º Mouv.- Cuarteto Petrus
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisostomo Arriaga - String Quartet No. 1 in D-minor: IV Adagio - Allegretto
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga: Obertura Op. 1
 
Obertura Op. 1 (1818)

Il Fondamento
Paul Dombrecht, director

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - 1º mov. «Allegro con brio» del "Cuarteto de cuerda nº 2"
 
"Cuarteto de cuerda nº 2, en La Mayor "

Intérpretes:
Arnold Steinhardt (violín)
John Dalley (violín)
Michael Tree (viola)
David Soyer (violonchelo)
(Guarneri Quartet)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - "Stabat mater"
 
"Stabat mater" (c. 1821)
Motete

Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa
Coro Easo Abesbatza
Dir. Cristian Mandeal
(Claves Records, 2006)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - "O salutaris hostia"
 
"O salutaris hostia" (1823)
Motete

Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa
Coro Easo Abesbatza
Dir. Cristian Mandeal
(Claves Records, 2006)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - "Agar dans le désert"
 
"Agar dans le désert" (c. 1825)
Cantata lírico-dramática
Texto de V. J. Étienne (De Jouy)

Intérpretes:
Mª José Moreno (soprano)
Pablo Benavente (tiple)

Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa
Coro Easo Abesbatza
Dir. Cristian Mandeal
(Claves Records, 2006)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - "Herminie" (c. 1825)
 
"Herminie" (.c 1825)
Cantata lírico-dramática
Texto de J. A. Vinaty

Intérprete:
Mª José Moreno (soprano)

Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa
Coro Easo Abesbatza
Dir. Cristian Mandeal
(Claves Records, 2006)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - Dúo de "Ma tante Aurore"
 
"Ma tante Aurore" (c. 1825)
Escena lírica
inspirada en "Ma tante Aurore" (1803)
(François Adrien Boïeldieu/Ch. de Lonchamps)

Intérpretes:
Juan Cabero (tenor)
Iñaki Fresán (bajo)

Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa
Coro Easo Abesbatza
Dir. Cristian Mandeal
(Claves Records, 2006)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - Aria de "Edipo en Colono"
 
"Edipo en Colono" (c. 1825)
Escena lírico-dramática
inspirada en "Œdipe à Colone" (1786)
(Antonio Sacchini/N. F. Guillard)

Intérprete:
Juan Cabero (tenor)

Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa
Coro Easo Abesbatza
Dir. Cristian Mandeal
(Claves Records, 2006)

 
 
 
 
 
     
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