By Tess Knighton
Four papers illustrating the network of musicians and exchange of musical ideas throughout the Habsburg dominions of Catalunya, Austria and Naples during the brief reign of Archduke Charles of Austria in Barcelona, as well as issues concerning the transmission of musical repertories and styles, and the historiographical tradition relating to the period, were given by Juan José Carreras (University of Zaragoza), Álvaro Torrente (Complutense University, Madrid), Andrea Sommer-Mathis (Austrian Academy of Sciences) and Danièle Lipp (Vienna University), and José María Domínguez (La Rioja University), with a brief introduction by Tess Knighton (ICREA/ IMF-CSIC). The concluding debate, led by MUHBA’s director, Joan Roca, was extended and lively, and raised interesting questions on the impact of political events such as war and siege on the musical and cultural life of a city: did the sudden influx of internationally acclaimed musicians from Vienna and Italy leave a lasting legacy? Or was their their brief sojourn and equally sudden diaspora in 1713-4 with the re-establishment of the Bourbon dynasty sufficient to plunge Barcelona into the European cultural backwater once more? Jaume Ayats, director of the Museo de la Musica, was also present and extended an open invitation to a guided tour of the museum’s current exhibition, ‘Musiques dels 1714s’. This is an excellent exhibition that, in addition to exhibiting many instruments and scores from the brief reign of Carles III, again addresses questions of the musical legacy of the events of those years. The seminar concluded with a short concert given by Hemiolus. (TK, June 2014)
Debate. Names from left to right: José María Domínguez, Álvaro Torrente, Danièle Lipp, Andrea Sommer-Mathis, Juan José Carreras, Tess Knighton, Joan Roca in the Sala Martí el Humà, MUHBA
Hemiolus. Names from left to right: Pau Marcos viola da gamba; Aina Martín soprano; Martí Beltrán Baroque guitar; Xavier Soler theorbo.