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Antonio Jose


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Antonio José (12 December 1902 – 11 October 1936) was a Spanish composer.

He was born Antonio José Martínez Palacios in Burgos, but later dropped his surnames. He became a music teacher at a Jesuit school, and conducted the city choir in Burgos. His friends included Federico García Lorca and Salvador Dalí. Maurice Ravel apparently said of Antonio José: “He will become the Spanish composer of our century.” Nevertheless, Antonio José’s music lay forgotten until the 1980s. His most famous work is the Sonata for guitar.

Antonio-José met the same fate as Lorca - he was executed by a Falangist firing squad in 1936 at Estépar (Burgos).

The sheer volume of his work (he died at 34) was prodigious. He penned his first composition when he was 14. He hired as a director of a musical review in Burgos at the age of 18. He wrote extensively for voice in his quest to present the melodies of his native Burgos to the world. But his compositions, especially the Sinfonia Castellana and Suite Ingenua put his orchestration on a par with anything at the time in the twentieth century. His chief biographer, Miguel Ángel Palacios Garoz, points out that Antonio José was not only a prolific composer but a writer with an intellectually facile mind that open to influences from all fronts of contemporary music. His harmonic understanding put him in the forefront of post-impressionist composers, and though a disciple of Ravel, his particular voice and choice of medium set him distinctly apart.

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