El Poeta Calculista


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El Poeta Calculista
Manuel GarcĂ­a

Orquesta Ciudad de Granada
Conductor: Andrea Marcon

MANUEL GARCÍA (1775-1832)

CD 1





1-Música: Como soy doncellita… 4’40”


Hablado: Este para mí sería…


2-Música: ‘Abur’ Don Pepito… 2’42”


Hablado: Dígame Ud…


3-Música: Si a corresponderme… 4’40”


Hablado: Esta es mucha desvergüenza…


4-Música: ¡ Suelta! ¡ Suelta!... 2’01”


Hablado: ¡ Cielos! ¡ Qué decís!...


5-Coplas: ¿ Por qué causa las mujeres…? 4’29”


6-Final: Amor, ¿ quién no suspira …? 2’17”






7-Música: Soy la Maja… 6’24”


8-Música: ¡ Téngase Ud, camarada ¡… 4’12”


Hablado: ¿ No la camelas, Perico? …


9-Coplas: Ahora quiero que me digas… 2’28”


Hablado: Pues confiesa…


10-Seguidillas 1’54”


11-Final: Con gozo y alegría… 3’14”



Ruth Rosique, soprano


Mark Tucker, tenor




Director: Andrea Marcon


Hablados: Pepe Cantero


Guitarra Barroca: Rafael Bonavita



CD 2




1-Obertura 7’17”


2-Hablado: En fin ya tomé partido… 46”


3-Cancion: Por la mañana… 3’17”


4-Versos: En efecto, el pobrecillo… 55”


5-Música 1’20”


6-Versos: Formaré primeramente… 1’23”


7-Boleras: El hombre que… 2’02”


8-Versos: Grandemente … 20”


9-Música 1’06”


10-Hablado: Tomaré un cuarto… 1’20”


11-Caballo: Yo que soy contrabandista… 2’13”


12-Versos: Excelente personaje… 14”


13-Música 58”


14-Hablado: Con una comedia… 35”


15-Aria Grande: Formaré mi plan… 10’16”


16-Versos: Así juzgo… 24”


17-Música 1’58”


18-Versos: Después a cosa… 1’25”


19-Aria: Ah, qué monstruo… 1’21”


20-Versos: Eso sí que salió… 1’05”


21-Música 1’14”


22-Hablado: Una hermosa sinfonía… 32”


23-Duo: Anegado en tanta dicha… 5’48”


24-Versos: Hermoso duo ¡… 53”


25-Música 1’06”


26-Hablado: Juntamente… 11”


27-Polaca: En tan dichoso instante… 5’28”


28-Versos: Muy bien que… 1’14”


29-Música 1’05”


30-Versos: Ciertamente voy errado… 1’54”


31-Final 1’06”



Mark Tucker, tenor




Director: Andrea Marcon


Hablados: Pepe Cantero









Manuel del Pópolo Garcia was the most international figure in the Spanish musical scene of the nineteenth century. As a singer, teacher and composer, he was a central figure in the history of early Romantic European theatre music, and yet he always remained proud of his Andalusian Spanish origins.


One could summarize the man as composer, distinguished tenor, singing teacher and theoretician, and impresario. He was the eldest of a family of singers, which included the famous María Malibrán, Paulina Viardot and Manuel Patricio García, and he was Rossini’s favorite singer. As an entrepreneurial musician, he divulged Mozart’s oeuvre amongst the European romantics, he presented works by Rossini and Mozart in North America, he awakened France’s interest in Spanish genres which lead to the composition of Bizet’s Carmen, and he initiated the Spanish national style (a few of his works later became models for Spanish theatre music). Such examples of his talent display Garcia’s eclectic personality.


García was born in Seville on January 21, 1775. He studied in Andalusia and began his career as a singer in Cádiz. In 1798 he moved to Madrid, where he made his debut as a singer and composer with his first tonadilla (musical comedy) “El majo y la maja”. In 1799 he performed his first important opera role in Nina, by Giovanni Paisiello.


Documents from his time describe García as a strong man, who concerned himself with altering the situation of music in Spain. He fought for the rights of actors and stood against any injustices. A letter of his from Malaga in 1800 contains what we consider to be the first favorable illustration of Spanish opera. In this letter, which was addressed to the Marquis of Astorga, García expresses his intention of initiating a genuine Spanish opera style. Throughout his whole career he retained this fundamental goal.


From 1798, when he wrote El majo y la maja (presented in this CD), García devoted his life to composition. In 1799 he composed La declaración, and in 1802, a particularly productive year, he wrote El seductor arrepentido, El reloj de madera and a third successful work: Quien porfía mucho alcanza, which introduces a seguidilla that he used to accompany himself on the guitar. In 1805 he completed a major composition: the monologue El poeta calculista, which he designed to display the brilliance of his own voice. This work is stylistically very international, and demands a great operatic virtuosity. Yo que soy contrabandista, in particular, was celebrated all around Europe.


After several years, it seemed that García could not fulfill his ambitions in Madrid. This was a common situation for many musicians from his generation, some of which he would later meet in Paris. In 1807 García applied for a passport to study abroad. His first appearance in Paris took place in 1809 with El poeta calculista. Fètis reports that this was the first time Spanish music was featured in a Parisian theater.


In 1811 García departed for Italy, where he performed in several cities, before arriving at one of the temples of Italian opera: the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. García was seeking lessons with the great master Giovanni Anzani, in order to learn to increase the volume of his voice. He quickly fulfilled his wish, and in 1812 he sang Achille in Gluck’s Ifigenia in Aulide. The same year he performed next to Isabel Colbran in Farinelli’s I riti d’Efeso, in the Teatro San Carlo. While in Naples he met Rossini, with whom he developed a long-lasting and affectionate friendship. García played Norfolk in Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra, and Yago in Otello. His performances as the Count of Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, (a role specially written for him by Rossini) dazzled audiences in Europe and America. García’s vivacity as an actor and singer, as well as his use of coloratura, defined him as a model of the Rossinian style.


The première of the first Italian opera by García, Il califfo di Bagdad, took place in 1813 at the Teatro del Fondo and later in the Teatro San Carlino. This was the starting point from which García developed an international career that took him to France, England, the United States of America, Mexico, and back to France. He was no longer able to return to Spain.


Once established in Paris, García developed a new compositional style, combining the two major operatic trends of his time: Italian (which was a major element) and French. García wrote a large amount of works in the Italian style, beginning with the play that made him internationally renowned: Il califfo di Bagdad. When he returned to Paris in 1816 he began composing in a French manner, or even combining both French and Italian styles, adjusting to the demands of the theater where the piece would be performed. During this period he composed Le prince d’occasion (a comic opera), La mort du Tasse (which was highly sucessful), Florestan, and Les deux contrats de mariage.


In 1825 he moved to London, where he composed Astuzie e prodenza and La buona familia. Later that year he travelled to New York with his family, where he composed L’Amante astuto, Don Chisciotte and La figlia dell’aria, and premiered Mozart’s Don Giovanni. In 1827 he left America and moved to Mexico, where he enjoyed a very creative period during which he composed nine operas, including Un ora di matrimonio, Zemira ed Azor, El Abufar, Los maridos solteros and El gitano por amor. In 1829 he returned to Paris where his final period of composing produced such works as L’Isola desabitata, and El zapatero de Bagdad, which was in Spanish.


Emilio Casares Rodicio

Translation: Amy Power














The ‘tonadillas’ As discussed previously, García initiated his composing career with musical comedies (tonadillas) in the late eighteenth century Spanish manner. This is the predominant style of the works written during his years in Madrid (between 1798 and 1807). He returned to it later in life during his Mexican period, which is represented in works such as El gitano por amor. This CD presents two of his musical comedies written in the Spanish style: El majo y la maja (1798) and La declaración (1799).


These two works have a lot in common with the musical comedy of their time, such as the use of techniques common to popular music, and the evident influences of popular singing. To a certain extent, these comedies were successful because, as was described in the magazine El Orfeo andaluz ‘the national character shines in them, having nothing in common with the Italian, French or German spirit’. This was indeed the essential and most original quality of Spanish comedy, and García definitely furthered the creation of a national style of theater music (as expressed in his letter to the Marquis of Astorga).


The elements that define the style are its links with 18th century Classicism, and, more specifically, its national character, which is present in both tonadillas and to an extent also in El poeta calculista. The nationalist character can be identified in the use of: ternary rhythms from Spanish popular music; Andalusian harmonic (incomplete chords) and melodic gestures (like the use of augmented seconds in the vocal line); descending tetrachords ornamented with fast notes, a predilection for triplets, syncopations, hemiolas and fast ornamentation which fills in the melodic line; different kinds of appoggiatura and repeated tones on a vowel; and finally the influence of the most popular genres from Andalusian folklore. Let us not forget that García wrote some of his most internationally celebrated works in this style, such as the Canciones españolas or the Caprichos líricos españoles,published in Paris during the 1820s and 1830s.