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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » B » Blancafort, Manuel

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Manuel Blancafort (8/12/1897 - 1/08/1987)

Manuel Blancafort lived through troubled times, witnessing the end of a world view and a vision of art which had remained more or less unchanged for hundreds of years, and the birth of the avant-garde music of the twentieth century. Drawing on a wealth of internal inspiration however, he was able to tread his own path and maintain his individuality. His inner world grew from his experiences of nature, intimacy and memory, as well as life in his home town of La Garriga. A somewhat withdrawn character, he had a tendency to melancholy: I always enjoyed silence and my own company, and I spent much of my childhood alone, not needing outside entertainment, he wrote in 1929.

Blancafort himself has said that he wrote most of his early works after returning from long days spent in the mountains, in sunshine, wind, fog or rain. Through music he could record his impressions, like pages in a diary without words. Despite their obvious romantic character, these pieces also display a clear concern for concision and structure: Be wary of Romanticism! Dont deny, dont betray your intelligence. His discovery of French and Russian music and the premire of Albnizs Iberia were vital to his development as a composer, opening up the musical direction he was to take. Reacting against the predominance of Wagnerism at the time, Blancafort believed that Catalan music should be characterised by clarity: simple, without excessive counterpoint or nebulous chromaticism which would drown out our lyrical traditions purity of



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