Antonio José: Silencing and Remembering a Spanish Composer


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Antonio José Martínez Palacios was one of the most promising composers of early twentieth-century Spain. From his humble beginnings as a musical prodigy from the provincial capital of Burgos, the composer (known as Antonio José) won praise for his choral works and orchestral pieces, drawing inspiration from his native Castile. But as a proponent of education and Republican values in a deeply conservative town, Antonio José was murdered by a Falange militia at the beginning of the Civil War in an execution that has been compared to that of poet Federico García Lorca. For some 40 years, the Franco regime banned performances of Antonio José’s music, but his oeuvre has been rediscovered in recent decades. In this episode, Robert Long, a musician and a professor of history at Elgin Community College, traces the life, death, silencing and recuperation of this composer through listening to and analyzing several selections of Antonio José’s music. We begin with the second movement (Balada: Lento y apasionado) of his Suite ingenua (1928).