The complete violin sonatas and selective violin works of JoaquÍn Turina
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Joachín Turina, one of the most distinguished Spanish composers of the twentieth century, wrote more violin works and more chamber music for strings than any of his compatriots and contemporaries. As a young man he studied piano and composition in Madrid. Later he went to Paris where, from 1905-1913, he studied at the Schola Cantorum under the tutelage of Vincent d’Indy (a pupil of César Franck). During his time in Paris, Turina became immersed in the music of Franck, and of other contemporary French composers such as Debussy, Ravel and Fauré. As a consequence he began, early in his career, to incorporate influences from French impressionism and romanticism into his compositions. These Francophile elements persisted in Turina’s work, even after he decided, at the urging of his friend and fellow composer Albeníz, to focus on his Andalusian musical heritage. This dissertation examines the violin sonatas and other selected violin works of Joaquín Turina, focusing on his compositional style and on an historical analysis of his work. His first Sonata Española op. “0” for Violin and Piano was, in spite of its title, composed under the influence of his French schooling. By contrast, in his Sonata no. 1, op. 51 and no. 2, op. 82 Española, Turina pursued the style of Spanish Nationalism developed by his predecessors Albéniz, Granados and Pedrell. This study identifies both the French and the Andalusian influences in Turina’s violin works, evaluating their differences and similarities; it will also attempt to make a case for the first Sonata, op. “0” as a composition of substantial musical merit, even though Turina himself chose to exclude it from his body of work. Finally, the study refutes the criticism that Turina’s violin works have “too many” French influences, concluding instead that they should be appreciated for their masterful fusion of Spanish folk elements and French impressionism. In addition to this paper, my CD recording encompasses the complete Sonatas, plus two selected works by the composer: La Oración del Torero and Homenaje a Navarra.