JOSE MARIA USANDIZAGA (1887 - 1915)
Born in San Sebastin, the Basque composer Jos Maria Usanizaga studied there, before moving to the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he was a pupil of Vincent d’Indy, and, as a pianist, of Gabriel Grovlez. In Spain once more from 1906 he won success with his works for the stage and a number of other works, before his early death from tuberculosis in 1915.
Usandizagas folk-opera Mendi Mendiyan (High in the Mountains) ames use of a Basque pastoral story and melodies of Basque derivation. He won greater contemporary success with Las golondrinas (The Swallows), given in Madrid in 1914 as a zarzuela, but later arranged as an opera by the composers brother, who also completed the lyric drama La llama (The Flame).
Instrumental & Vocal Music
Basque linguistic and cultural traditions lie at the heart of Usanizagas instrumental and vocal music, which includes a Basque Rhapsody, a Quartet on Basque folk themes and a Basque-French Rhapsody.