Argentina Culture and Music

Argentina Culture and Music


According to Listofusnewspapers, the development of sculpture was shorter and faster in Argentina. If we leave aside the impersonal and anonymous work proper to the natives of the Jesuit missions (or attributed to them), the natives began their pioneering activity in the territory belatedly. Only two names summarize the national sculpture up to the last quarter of the century. XIX: Lucio Correa Morales and Francesco Cafferata, two artists of European education, or, more concretely, Florentine, the first coming from the school of Lucchesi, the second from that of Passaglia. The sculptures of a religious nature made in wood and those of a decorative nature that proceed from this period are of difficult attribution.

But neither these nor those influenced the sculptors mentioned or even their contemporaries, all moved by the anxieties of their time. A single generation was enough to transform the actual meaning of Argentine sculpture: it was enough to pass from the master to the disciple.

Here too, an example and a useful incitement was the action directly carried out by European artists – mostly Italians – who until recently were the only animators who shared the difficult hours of a late beginning with the Argentines. Correa Morales alone remained when Cafferata killed himself in 1910, at the very young age of twenty-eight, he soon saw other sculptors flourish around him: Arturo Drasco, also a disciple of Passaglia, a multiple and fruitful artist who, among many other monuments, executed the one decreed by Rapallo to Cristoforo Colombo, Ruggero Yrurtia, Pietro Zonza Briano, Gonzalo Leguizamón Pondal, Giuseppe Fioravanti, Luigi Falcini, Agostino Riganelli, Ettore Rocha, Paolo Curatella Manes, Luigi Perlotti, Alberto Lagos, Alfredo Bigatti, Ernesto Soto Avendaño, Cesare Sforza,


The development of music production in the Argentine Republic is not very great. Unlike painters and sculptors, Argentine musicians have rarely crossed the borders of their homeland for fame.

The first movement for a national affirmation in the field of music took place in 1910, in the demonstrations which celebrated the 1st centenary of independence. A notable impulse then came from the Sociedad Nacional de Música, founded in 1915 in Buenos Aires and aimed precisely at the diffusion of the works of Argentine composers. These have generally turned to the musical folklore of Latin America, drawing either from the popular Criollo song generated by the secular transformation of the music of the Spanish colonizers, or from the derivations and mixtures of native Inca music., coming from Peru and Bolivia. Composers, therefore, who belong to the Americanist tendency, while others have preferred to follow the European schools of their preference. The greatest sympathies are for instrumental music, in preference to the opera scene: and precisely in that field there have been the best affirmations. Many of the Argentine composers are of Italian origin, as their names will reveal in this brief review. Among the oldest are Alberto Williams and Arturo Beruti, the first devoted to symphonic forms and the second especially to the theater, although his numerous works, almost always presented in Italy, are already forgotten. Another opera player, and more fortunate is Constantino Gaito (PetronioOllantayFior di neve, etc.), who studied at the Naples Conservatory with Simonetti and Platania.

The director of the Buenos Aires National Conservatory, Carlos Lopez Buchardo, abandoned the French style, in which he had composed various melodies for singing and piano, to draw inspiration from folklore. Among his most recent works in the symphonic field, the Suite entitled Escenas argentinas should be mentioned. The immature death of Julián Aguirre (v.) Put an end to the most fruitful and promising activity in the field of folk music.

Some Argentine composers studied in Paris, at the Schola Cantorum del d’Indy: which justifies the spirits and forms of the piano sonatas of Riccardo Rodríguez and Celestino Piaggio, of the sonatina and of the quintet of Josè André (who also practices criticism). At the Paris conservatory he also studied Floro M. Ugarte, author of copious and varied production: the legend in one act Saika, the symphonic poem En las montañas and the two orchestral suites entitled De mi tierra and Paisages de estio, a quartet for strings and piano. Pasquale De Rogatis, born in Naples in 1881, author of a large number of works, both orchestral and chamber and also theatrical (the Huemac opera), also drew on Inca folklore. Two other Italian-born musicians have established themselves in the opera house: Cesare Stiattesi with Bianca di Beaulieu and Alfredo Schiuma with four operas, all staged at the Colón in Buenos Aires after 1915, the most recent of which Fabaré, in three acts, inspired by a poem by the Uruguayan Zorilla de San Martín, was directed in 1925 by Tullio Serafin. He also boasts much appreciated symphonic and chamber music. Among the youngest, Athos Palma, who made a name for himself with the opera Nazdah and the suite, should be mentioned Jardines, Torre Bertucci and Jan José Castro. We will also remember Raul Espoile (author of the opera Frenos and the Cancionas argentinas) and Felipe Boero, author of Tucumán and short compositions, all of which have a national character.

Among the numerous Italian musicians residing in Argentina, who have long been incorporated into the local artistic environment, we mention G. Trojani, author of piano music, melodies and the Symphonic Suite Escenas infantiles, Arturo Luzzatti (opera Afrodita and symphonic poem El jardín voluptuoso) and Elmerico Fracassi, from Molise, who recently added another to his works entitled The Red Christmas.

The very young, who come up now, give good hope for the future of Argentine music.

Among the musical institutions of the country, the Wagnerian Association, the Argentine Symphonic Society, the Association of Orchestra Professors, the Argentine Philharmonic Society deserve to be mentioned. (See Plate XLI-XLVI).

Argentina Culture and Music