Username:
Password:


Forgot your password?
View Photo Credit  
Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
El Gato con Botas
Xavier Montsalvatge
Born in Gerona, Spain, Xavier Montsalvatge (1912-2002) became a major figure in the musical world of Barcelona, where he lived for most of his life. He studied violin there with Francisco Costa, and composition with Enrique Morera and Jaume Pahissa. In 1933 his first composition, Tres Impromptus, won the Patxot Foundation's Rabell prize. Thus began a compositional career that continued into the 1990s. In addition to composing some 100 works, Montsalvatge also worked as music critic for such publications as Destino magazine and the newspapers La Vanguardia and El Matí, and was professor of composition at Barcelona's Conservatori Superior.

Some of Montsalvatge's best known works were written after his discovery of the art of the Antilles. He was fascinated by West Indian music, which, as he wrote, "was itself originally Spanish, exported overseas and then re-imported into our country, and which finds a place at the periphery of our traditions as a new, vague and evocative manifestation of musical lyricism".

Cinco Canciones Negras (Five Black Songs) for mezzo-soprano and orchestra (and also reduced by the composer for mezzo and piano), springs from this source. Based on poems by Latin Americans, including the great Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén, the songs are an example of the "evocative lyricism" of the West Indies. Cinco Canciones Negras has been performed and recorded over the years by artists such as Victoria de los Angeles, Teresa Berganza, and Montserrat Caballé.
The other important influence on Montsalvatge's style is neoclassicism, which first attracted him in his student days. The New York Times wrote: "Xavier Montsalvatge has pursued music more as an intimate pleasure than a public statement…the four piano pieces retreat from the grand Romantic statements of an earlier generation. [They] have an adamant modesty and share the evasive quiet and childlike simplicities of another colleague, the late Federico Mompou…There are abrupt shifts to minor chords when major ones are expected, surges of whole-tone writing, keys placed one atop the other in the French manner of the 1920's."

Other pivotal works in his oeuvre are concertos and operas. At the request Henryk Szering in 1953, Montsalvatge wrote Poema Concertante for violin and orchestra which premiered in Barcelona. That same year the pianist Alicia de Larrocha and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Barcelona premiered Concerto Breve, a work Ms. de Larrocha went on perform extensively and record.

Montsalvatge has also written distinguished music about and for children, including settings of Federico García Lorca's children's poems and a "magic opera" based on the Puss-in-Boots fairy tale, El Gato con Botas. This delightful work reflects Montsalvatge's experience with ballet in its careful attention to rhythmic nuance. The first recording ot the opera, by Orquestra Simfònica Del Gran Teatre Del Liceu conducted by Antoni Ros Marbà, was nominated for a 2004 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. It was recorded on Barcelona's Columna Música label, which has undertaken an ambitious recording project of Montsalvatge's music, already having released the complete vocal works and two operas.

Montsalvatge always remained true to his early taste, writing utterly unpretentious music characterized by lyrical beauty and classical clarity. Spanish composer Francesc Taverna summed up the lyrical purity of Montsalvatge's music with this statement in 1993: "In some way, the spirit and luminosity of Mediterranean Art crystalizes, in the case of Montsalvatge, in the brightness and conciseness of his sonorous speech."

Source: www.peermusicclassical.com
Nestor Lujan
Conductor: Carlos Suriñach
January 10, 1948
Not available
Puss-in-Boots (S), Miller (T), King (Br), Princess (S), Ogre (B)
01:00
Not Available
NEW chamber version for solo voices and 12 players: S,S,T,Bar,B soli; fl, ob, cl, bn, hn, perc, pno; str (1 ea.)

Original version for large ensemble: S,S,T,Bar,B soli; 2(pic)-2Eh)-2-1; 4-2-3-1; timp-perc-hp-cel; str.
Peermusic Classical
250 W. 57th St., Suite 820, New York, NY 10107
peerclassical@peermusic.com
(212) 265-3910 ext. 17

Spring 2014 Magazine Issue
  • From Gold Rush to Google
  • Before, After and During Opera Conference 2014
  • OPERA America's New Works Forum Expands and Explores
Contact Us
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
P 212-796-8620 • F 212-796-8621
Info@operaamerica.orgDirections
From Airport:
The easiest way to reach the OPERA America offices is to get a cab at the airport. Cost is $40-45
(not including tip).
  • JFK - Take the AirTrain ($5 - approx. 15 minutes) to the Jamaica Street Station and transfer to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Take the LIRR to Penn Station ($12 - approx. 35 minutes). See Penn Station directions below.
  • LaGuardia - Take the M60 Bus to the Hoyt Ave/31st Street. Get on the or Train and take that to 42nd/Times Square Station. Follow the Times Square Station directions below.
  • Newark - Take the New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station ($15 - approx. 45 min). See the Penn Station Directions below.

From Penn Station/Madison Square Garden:
Leave the station through the 7th Avenue/33rd Street exit and walk south for four blocks. The building is on
the right hand side.

From Grand Central Station:
Take the Train to the 42nd/Times Square station and transfer to the Train.
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

From 42nd Street/Times Square:
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

For more detailed directions, most up-to-date pricing or to specify a different starting location, please visit the
MTA Web site.