Josep María Mangado’s Los conciertos de guitarra en el Palau de la Música Catalana (Barcelona) (1908-1940) accompanied the exhibition at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, “La guitarra al Palau”, which was open until 21 January 2020.
The book has 143 pages and is written in Spanish. It is full of detail and has many illustrations.
The UN listed the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona in 1997 as a World Heritage Site (Patrimonio de la Humanidad) and it is the only concert hall in the world to be so listed.
This book describes the building of the Palau, its architect Luis Doménech y Montaner, and how it was financed and brought to its opening in Barcelona on 9 February 1908 in a grand concert sung by the choir of the Orfeó Català which ended with a performance of “Els Segadors”.
Josep María Mangado’s Los conciertos de guitarra en el Palau also tells the history of the Palau and the polemics regarding its decorations. Then it moves on to the concerts that took place there. The first guitar concert there was by Alfredo Romea on 8 October 1910, and the next was by Andrés Segovia on 17 February 1916. Then Pujol, Llobet, Sainz de la Maza and others.
On 27 February 1923 Alfredo Romea gave a lecture-recital on Sor.
The book also describes how a marvellous lineup gave a concert on 31 January 1936, with Benny Carter on saxophone and Django Reinhardt on guitar with Stéphane Grappelli among others. It tells about Segovia’s first concert there, how they wanted to have him play in a smaller room but that he asked for the full auditorium and how he conducted tests with the administrators so that yes, he played in the main auditorium.
This is an essential book for anyone interested in the Palau and in the history of the guitar in Cataluña and in Spain.
Also from Josep María Mangado: La Guitarra en Cataluña, a book about the guitar in Catalonia from the late eighteenth century to 1939.