Música orquestal en las catedrales españolas entre c. 1770 y c. 1840funciones, géneros y recepción

  1. Héctor Eulogio Santos Conde
Supervised by:
  1. Miguel Angel Marín López Director

Defence university: Universidad de La Rioja

Year of defence: 2019

  1. José Máximo Leza Cruz Chair
  2. Thomas Schmitt Secretary
  3. Francisco Javier Garbayo Montabes Committee member
  1. Ciencias Humanas
Doctoral Programme:
  1. Programa de Doctorado en Humanidades por la Universidad de La Rioja

Type: Thesis


The present doctoral thesis undertakes an investigation focused on the performance, composition and reception of orchestral music in Spanish cathedrals during the last quarter of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century, a period that, more precisely, could be placed between c. 1770 and c. 1840. During this epoch, orchestral music was characterized by its ubiquity, since it was performed in diverse contexts, generally of a secular nature: theaters, public concerts, dances, academies or private concerts. However, the preservation of abundant orchestral compositions in numerous Spanish cathedral archives is an eloquent testimony of how this type of music was also commonly used in ecclesiastical contexts. Despite this evidence, little research has studied the presence of these orchestral repertoires in religious spaces. This thesis, characterized by its transversal approach and an essentially comparative narrative, offers a panorama of this reality in the Spanish case. This study is structured in three sections —functions, genres and reception—, the second and the third being subdivided into two chapters each. The first chapter documents, firstly, in which festivities and cathedral’s ceremonies the orchestral music was performed, and, secondly, what function this type of music played in the ceremonies of these institutions. The second section focuses on orchestral works composed by cathedral musicians, which are grouped by genres: orchestral verses (chapter 2) and a selection of twenty symphonies and overtures (chapter 3). In this way, various unpublished orchestral repertoires have been recovered and are evaluated in comparison with other similar corpora. The last section of this study is dedicated to the reception of European orchestral music in Spanish cathedrals, in accordance with the latest historiographical trends. This section is articulated by means of two complementary chapters: the first offers a panorama of the Spanish cathedral sources containing Joseph Haydn’s symphonies (chapter 4), while the second deals with a selection of orchestral repertoires composed by European musicians who were contemporaries of Haydn, among whom Ignace Pleyel stands out (chapter 5). In conclusion, this thesis allows us to complete our vision of one of the spaces where orchestral music could be listened in Spain during the last three decades of the eighteenth century and the first four decades of the nineteenth century.