Manuel Palau Boix (4 January 1893 – 18 February 1967) was a Spanish composer and teacher in Valencia Conservatory. He wrote a large number of symphonic, band (wind orchestra), choral and chamber works. He was one of the most popular and important composers of his time. He received the Spanish National Music Award (Premio Nacional de Música) twice, first in 1927 and again in 1945. His music is known within the Spanish classical music for being a representative of what it has been called “Mediterranean” style, like other Spanish musicians such as Vicente Asencio or Oscar Esplá.
Palau lived some of the sweetest and most bitter moments of art in Spain. He had the good fortune to be a contemporary of a large number of artists (painters, poets, musicians) and scientists who had achieved international significance. However, he also had the misfortune of living through the horrendous events of the military insurrection against the legitimate government of the country and suffered the post-war horrors that severely impeded artistic production. But the Valencian musician composed until the end of his days, motivated by the satisfaction that his own creative activity gave him.
Born in Alfara del Patriarca (Valencia) on 4 January 1893, he started his musical education at the Conservatory of Music in Valencia. He studied composition with Charles Koechlin and Ravel and many of his compositions are influenced by the impressionism.
In 1927 and 1945 got the Premio Nacional de Música (Spanish National Music Award).
He was a teacher in the Conservatory of Valencia and became principal in 1951. Among his students there are international musicians such the conductor Manuel Galduf, the professor Salvador Seguí, etc.
Manuel Palau Boix died in Valencia on 18 February 1967.
Palau looked into the French musical mirror, where he found some of his more important musical influences. The artistic currents that coexisted at that moment influenced his music to a greater or lesser degree. An review of some of those styles, Palau’s sources of inspiration, bring us closer to the European musical environment of that time. But, without doubt, one of the elements that marked his music in a definite way, was to be Valencian folklore. Originally from a small village in the Valencian countryside (Alfara del Patriarca), the music that he heard sung at parties, weddings, etc., were to become his constant inspiration. Sometimes, he recreates a given popular themes, other times he invented melodies himself in the style of folk music, giving his compositions a peculiarity that differentiates his music from other Spanish music of the time (that often looked to the South of Spain for its inspiration) that had become popular towards the end of the 19th century.
Manuel Palau looks for the Valencian’s colour: at a time in which Andalusian regionalism was dominant, the maestro sought inspiration in his own cultural roots.
Orchestras as the ONE (National Orchestra of Spain), ORTVE (Spanish Radio TV Orchestra) Joven Orquesta de la Generalitat Valenciana, have recorded his music, including soloists such Narciso Yepes, Bertomeu Jaume, Manuel Galduf, etc.
In 2013 Palau’s heirs donated their musical material to the Valencian Library and IVM (Valencian Musical Institute). 3.069 books and scores from his personal library, 196 recordings, 109 publications, and 1.242 documents from his personal archive (840 manuscripts of his works).
Despite his prolific musical production, Manuel Palau is relatively unknown in the music world. Palau left a very interesting collection of music, including guitar works and, additionally, he wrote a substantial concerto that is almost forgotten today and has been barely performed since his composition.
Here a list of works.
1919 Coplas de mi tierra (There is also a wind orchestra version) 1920 Escenes i paisatges valencians Adagietto Dansa 1921 Tres danses valencianes Dansa dels xiquets Dansa de la colla antiga Dansa de la colla muntanyenca 1924 Danza morisca 1924 Tres impresiones orquestales Andantino Non tropo lento Alla marcia 1927 Siluetes - Suite (There is also a wind orchestra version) Dolçainers Llauradors ...i els xiquet passen 1928 Gongoriana (There is also a wind orchestra version) Noel Celosa está la niña Humoresca Ecaristica En el baile del agido Glorioso parta Don Juan 1929 Cançó de bressol (Lullaby) for voice and string orchestra 1929 Homenaje a Debussy 1930 Muntanyesa 1932 Four preludes for string orchestra 1933 Obertura española 1934 El ball de la falla for voice and orchestra 1935 La copla del inclusero for choir and orchestra 1935 Poemes de llum Crepuscular Nocturnal Matinada 1935 València per a piano i orquestra 1936 Marxa burlesca (originally composed for the Valencian saxophones ensemble "Filarmonia") 1936 Documental valenciana Allegro non tanto Andante Vivo 1937 Divertimento Obertura Siciliana Rigodón Pavana Giga 1938 O quam suavis for baritone, male choir and string orchestra 1939/1949 Mascarada sarcástica 1940 Simfonia núm 1 in e-mino Allegro deciso Largo. Andante cantabile Animato. Scherzo Allegro. Finale 1942 Salve for choir and orchestra 1944 Simfonia núm. 2 en re major - Murciana Largo. Allegro energico Lento. Tiempo de parranda. Lentamente Presto Allegro giocoso 1946 Dramatic Concerto for piano and orchestra Lento. Allegro non tanto Lentamente Allegro deciso 1947/1959 Concert of Valencia (Concierto Levantino) for guitar and orchestra Allegro non tanto. Allegro deciso Larghetto. Animado. Larghetto Presto 1950 Simfonia number 3 1950 Salmantinas for female choir and orchestra. 1951/1955 Escena y danza de Omar 1953 Two aquarelles for string orchestra 1956 Tríptico catedralicio (There is also a wind orchestra version) 1963 Heráldica Anthem for nuevo al Santísimo Cristo Verdadero for choir and orchestra. Criatura dolcíssima for voice and orchestra. Texts by Joan Fuster Suite in old stile
Wind orchestra (Banda de música)
1920 Himne a la bandera for choir and wind orchestra. 1921 Marxa valenciana n. 2 1922 Himne a Bétera for choir and wind orchestra. 1922 La cançó del poble 1923 Marxa valenciana n. 4 1923 Pasodoble andaluz 1924 Penya truquera 1924 ¡Vaya lo fino! 1924 Danza mora 1925 Soc de Moncà 1925 Poemas de juventud 1929 Marcha n. 13 1930 Cançó de renaixença for choir and banda. 1936 Two school songs for children's choir and wind orchestra. 1946 Manises Anthem 1947 Blayo 1956 Marcha solemne 1961 Riberas del Jiloca 1961 Rumores del Genil Himne escolar for choir and wind orchestra
1917 Farandulerías 1918 Beniflors, Valencian zarzuela in one act 1920 Amor torna, Dramatic Valencian zarzuela in 2 acts 1922 A vora mar Valencian zarzuela in one act 1938 Lliri blau Ballet in two acts 1938 Sino Ballet in one act 1946 Joyel Ballet 1956 Maror, opera. Text de Xavier Casp
1941 Aclamaciones for male choir 1947 Hermosita, hermosita 1950 Two songs from Alicante 1951 Cançó innocent de Blanca Fe 1952 Dos líricas de Anacreonte for male choir 1952 Scherzino for female choir 1956 Bienaventurados 1958 Lletania en flor for female and children's choir 1958 Sega, segador 1959 Cançó d'hivern 1960 Four coral poems 1963 Laudate Dominum omnes gentes 1963 Quatre petites composicions 1965 La Santa Cena 1967 Cançoneta del balcó for female choir Cançons humorístiques
1918 Gozos al Patriarca San José for choir and organ 1918 Rosario for choir and organ 1942 Nupcias for organ 1944 Himno al Apostolado de la Oración for choir and organ 1944/1960 M in g-minor for soloists, choir and orchestra 1945 Atardecer for soloists, choir and orchestra 1945 Ave María for tenor, choir and orchestra 1946 Deus Israel conjugat Vos for children's choir and orchestra 1954 Anthem a Sant Vicent Ferrer for choir and organ 1955 Anthem for Coronació del Sant Crist de la Fe for choir and organ 1956 Credo for choir and organ 1956 Himno a la Santísima Virgen de la Fuensanta for choir and organ 1956 Himno de María Santísima de Araceli for choir and organ 1959 Cants de primavera for soprano, female choir and orchestra 1961 Cantarella for children's choir and organ 1961 Justus germinabit for choir and organ 1965 Balada a l'absent for soprano, female choir and orchestra 1965 Canción amatoria for female choir and orchestra 1965 Cançons de la llar for female choir and orchestra 1965 Cançons del folklore infantívol for female choir and orchestra 1965 Rapsòdia d'abril for soprano, female choir and orchestra 1965 Seguerilles for female choir and orchestra 1965 Vibración de estío for female choir and orchestra Fughetta per a conjunt de saxòfons Anthem to The Purísima for choir and organ Anthem to Virgen de las Angustias for choir and organ