Joaquin Turina


You can buy this record here
11 €

Joaquin Turina
Música de Cámara

Greenwich String Quartet




Cuarteto de cuerdas, Op. 4 "De la guitarra"


1. Prelude: Andantino 4'24"

2. Allegro Moderato 7'00"

3. Zortzico: Assez vif, mais dans un sentiment tranquille 5'43"

4. Andante quasi lento 5'46"

5. Finale. Allegro Moderato 6'26"


6. Serenata, Op. 87 9'29"


7. La Oración del Torero, Op. 34 8'18"


Quinteto en Sol menor, Op. 1


8. Fugue lente 7'30"

9. Animé 8'34"

10. Andante scherzando 6'45"

11. Finale 6'31"


Duración total: 76'52"


Brenno Ambrosini, piano






If there is a section in the catalogue of Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) of unarguable quality, it is of his chamber music. Moreover, it could be said that the recognition of other elements of his work in recent years has increased partly due to the continual interpretations of this chamber music. Among the maestros in the recent history of Spanish music, from the nationalist era until today, few have been able to present chamber music that is as expansive, varied and of such high quality as this.

Turina began to write chamber music at an early stage in his career, as if he were warning its aficionados that he was of a severe and reserved personality. The first work that he considered to be suitable for inaugurating his future catalogue precisely was a piece of chamber music, Quinteto en Sol menor, Op.1, for a piano and string quartet. It is also significant that the young musician selected a genre that was difficult and demanding, one that musicians usually turned to at an advanced stage. Particularly in this case, the instrumental combination had illustrious predecessors such as Schumann, Brahms and Cesar Franck. In addition, the work is extensive, of nearly half an hour in duration. However, the maestro from Seville had faith in his capabilities and so gave a sharp knock on the richest and most demanding door of the world of music: that of Paris at the beginning of the last century

In the Quinteto one is able to find, of course, the influence of his instructors, especially that of Cesar Franck, whose knowledge and learnedness reached him via Vincent d'Indy whilst studying at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. Written between January and March of 1907, the Quinteto was excellently received by Parisian critics, who saw a new figure of Spanish music in this young maestro.

The premiere took place in the Salle Aeolian (32, Avenue de l'Opera) on Monday 6th of May 1907. Its interpreters were the Parent Quartet, composed of the violinist Armand Parent and by Loiseau, Vieux and Fournier, with Turina himself sitting at the piano. That day the programme consisted of four sections, with Turina participating in all as either solo pianist (the First Book of Iberia by Albéniz and Prelude, Chorus and Fugue by César Franck) or as part of the Quartet Parent as pianist (in his own Quinteto, Op.1 and that by Schumann, Op.44). A week before Turina had starred in a similar concert in the Salle Aeolian, interpreting Quintets by Brahms and by Cesar Franck and alone interpreted Poema de las Estaciones, a work for the piano that he would later withdraw from his catalogue. Quinteto en Sol menor, Op.1 is dedicated to Armand Parent from whom Turina received the prize for the Special section of music from the Salon d'Automne in 1907. It was awarded to him by a famous jury, amongst whom were maestros of the category of Fauré, d'Indy, Magnard and Pierné.

It was precisely within the Salon d'Automne of 1907 that on Thursday 3rd of October in the Grand Palais a recital of the Quinteto, Op. 1 took place and had far-reaching consequences for Spanish music. Although the following account has been told many times, we will re-tell it once more given its great importance, doing so in the words of Turina himself that appeared in the newspaper "La Correspondencia' in Barcelona some years later (September 12th 1912): “And so at the beginning of October of the year 1907, my first work premiered in the Salon d’Automne of Paris, a quintet for piano and string instruments. When we were already seated on stage and the violinist Parent had raised his bow we saw a large man enter hurriedly and somewhat out of breath with the effort. He had a big black beard and an immense hat with a wide brim. A minute later the programme began. Soon after this the large man turned to his neighbour, a thin young man, and asked him —Is the composer an Englishman? No, sir, he,s from Seville —replied his neighbour, somewhat taken aback. The work continued, and following the fugue came the allegro, and after the andante, the finale. On finishing this, with the interval in the foyer, the large man accompanied by his neighbour, the young man, approached me and with all courtesy declared his name: Isaac Albéniz. Half an hour later the three of us were walking arm in arm along the Champs-Élyseés that was grey in that autumnal sunset. After crossing the Place de Concorde we settled down in a bar and in the Rue Royal and there, with a glass of champagne and some aperitifs I underwent the most complete metamorphosis of my life. There arose the topic of our homeland and there we discussed European music and I left that place with my ideas entirely changed. We were three Spaniards and in that circle, in a comer of Paris, we were to make a great effort on behalf of our national music and for Spain. I will never forget that moment, nor do I think that the thin young man will either, for he was pone other that the illustrious Manuel de Falla”.

An historic day, therefore, brought about by the excellent Quinteto, that after some time had passed by would be renounced by Turina considering it to be "frankly impersonal". We do not agree with this vision of the Quinteto as a work that is exclusively "Franck-esque" and without personality. Yes, it is a cyclical work, after the style of Cesar Franck, but it reveals that what was to be the style of Turina. That which is Spanish and the Andalusian stamp of its composer clearly is visible in the allegro or animé, that is to say, in the second movement.