Piano Quintet in g minor, Op.1
Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) was born in the Spanish city of Seville. At the age of four he was given as a gift an accordion and surprised everyone with the speed and facility he learned to play. In 1894 he began his formal studies of harmony theory and counterpoint. Almost immediately he began to compose small pieces. In 1905 he, as most other Spanish composers of the time, went to Paris where he studied piano with Moszkowsky and composition under Vincent d'Indy in the Schola Cantorum. He became good friends with Isaac Albeniz and Manuel de Falla. It was Albeniz who encouraged to find inspiration in the popular music of Spain and Andalusia. After finishing his studies, Turina moved to Madrid where he spent the rest of his life composing and teaching.
Turina's first works were entirely influenced by the French impressionist school, not surprisingly, since he had studied in Paris with impressionist composers. The Piano Quintet, which is full of rich and varied melody, dates from 1907. It shows the influence not only of Turina's teacher d'Indy, but also d'Indy's teacher, Cesar Franck. It is a cyclical work but although there is plenty to link it to the Impressionists, even from the beginning, Turina inserted and fused some Spanish melody, especially in the second movement. The first movement, Fugue lente, is based on a Gregorian Chant and is the theme which reappears in the second movement, Animé, albeit in an altered form. The beautiful third movement, Andante scherzo, is closest in feel to Franck. Beginning as an andante, the middle section is a scherzo, which later becomes a fugue before the recapitulation. The brilliant finale, which begins with a series of recitativs, is a spectacular Rondo.
Although the Quintet is very different from Turina's later oeuvre, it is nonetheless a very fine work which was premiered with great success. Usually out of print or impossible to find, we make it available in the hopes that it will attract the attention of both professionals and amateurs.