Manchester, 14th-18th July 2004


Andrea Bombi (Universitat de València/Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya, Spain)

From decadence to European projection: Spanish Baroque music in the works by Vicenç Ripollés (1867-1943)

Many recent contributions have demonstrated the important role that early generations of Spanish music historians played in shaping modern perceptions of Iberian Renaissance and Baroque music. It is not surprising that the influential studies of such personalities as Francisco Asenjo Barbieri, Felipe Pedrell or Higinio Anglés have deserved the greatest attention of modern musicologists. Yet, these scholars were not “clamantes in deserto”, and among those colleagues and disciples with whom they maintained tight contacts, Vicente Ripollés is a personality of great interest. His published works suggest that his perception of the Baroque age evolved from one considering it as a period of decadence, to another one more sensitive to the European dimension of the changes that took place in Spain in the late 17th and early 18th Century. His last work, published in 1935, is the first monograph dedicated to the 18th century villancico and cantata –two genres which by then were peripheral in research, and whose development Ripollés was sensitively able to relate with those of coeval French and German cantata. As much as other lesser works by him, this book exerted a long-lasting influence both on local and national studies focussing on this topic.

This paper aims to re-appraise Ripollés’ career as a music historian, pointing out the originality of his approach to Baroque music in the context of Spanish musicology of the early 20th Century.

Last updated on 10 May 2004