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Federico Chueca

Federico Chueca (5 May 1846 – 20 July 1908) was a Spanish composer of zarzuelas and author of La gran vía along with Joaquín Valverde Durán in 1886. Chueca was one of the most prominent figures of the género chico.

Born in Madrid, Chueca entered the conservatory at eight years old, but his family later obligated him to abandon music to study medicine. He was arrested in 1866 as a participant in the student demonstrations against the Narváez government. While he spent three days in the prison of San Francisco in Madrid, he composed several waltzes that he entitled Lamentos de un preso ("Lamentations of a Prisoner"). Later, Francisco Asenjo Barbieri helped orchestrate and direct the works, and their success helped Chueca leave medicine and devote himself once more to music.

He worked as a pianist and directed the orchestra of the Teatro Variedades. Chueca had an intuitive grace with melody and rhythm that produced many works. Yet, he was more schooled in the sciences than in music, and thus always worked with a collaborator like the aforementioned Barbieri, Tomás Bretón, and especially Valverde, who harmonized and orchestrated many of his works.

Works

Among the many zarzuelas that Chueca wrote, some of the most notable are:

  • La canción de la Lola (1880)
  • La Gran Vía (1886)
  • Cádiz (1886)
  • El año pasado por agua (1889)
  • El chaleco blanco (1890)
  • Agua, azucarillos y aguardiente (1897)
  • La alegría de la huerta (1900)
  • El bateo (1901)

External links


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