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Gerónimo Giménez

Gerónimo Giménez y Bellido (10 October 1854, Seville – 19 February 1923, Madrid) was a Spanish conductor and composer, who dedicated his career to writing zarzuelas, such as La tempranica and La boda de Luis Alonso. He preferred to spell his first name with a "G", even though it began officially with a "J".

Although the details of his early years are not entirely certain, Giménez was probably born in Seville and spent his childhood and adolescence in Cádiz. A child prodigy, he began music lessons with his father and continued his education with Salvador Viniegra. By the age of 12, he was already playing among the first violins of the Teatro Principal orchestra in Cádiz. Five years later, he became the director of an opera and zarzuela company, making his debut in Gibraltar with a production of Giovanni Pacini's Safo.

A scholarship permitted Giménez to enrol at the Conservatoire de Paris in June 1874, where he studied violin with Jean-Delphin Alard and composition with Ambroise Thomas. He received the first prize for harmony and counterpoint. After graduation, he traveled to Italy and then returned to Spain, settling in Madrid. In 1885, he was named director of Teatro Apolo de Madrid, and shortly afterwards, of the Teatro de la Zarzuela.

Ruperto Chapí commissioned him to write the openings to his zarzuelas El Milagro de la Virgen and La bruja. As a conductor of the Sociedad de Conciertos de Madrid, Giménez helped cultivate the tastes of audiences in Madrid for symphonic music. According to "those who have seem him conduct [and] have transmitted to us the memory of his performances of great strength and great enthusiasm […] he obtained with imperceptible gestures what he wanted from the orchestra."

A prolific composer, Giménez also collaborated with the leading authors of sainetes (a comic genre found in Spanish theatre), including Ricardo de la Vega, Carlos Arniches, the brothers Serafín and Joaquín Álvarez Quintero, and Javier de Burgos, to obtain the libretti for his zarzuelas. He co-wrote the music of a number of his works with Amadeo Vives, who hailed him the "musician of elegance" because of his sense of rhythm and easy melodies.

In 1896, Giménez wrote El mundo comedia es, or El baile de Luis Alonso, based on a text by Javier de Burgos. Following the success of this piece, he set to music another sainete by Burgos with the same characters, which became one of his most famous works: La boda de Luis Alonso, or La noche del encierro (1897). This second work, which achieved much greater success than the first, was actually meant to be a prequel, not a sequel.

La tempranica was perhaps his most ambitious and successful work. Presented at the Teatro de la Zarzuela on 19 September 1900, it followed a text by Julián Romea. Giménez skillfully managed to combine moments of intense lyricism with scenes of colloquial explosion in a zarzuela which, according to Carlos Gómez Amat, "had all the qualities of the genre and none of the faults". The influence of Giménez is often noticeable in the compositions of subsequent Spanish composers, such as Joaquín Turina and Manuel de Falla (especially the stylistic correspondences between La tempranica and the latter's opera La vida breve). Federico Moreno Torroba adapted the celebrated zarzuela into an opera by setting the spoken parts to music. In 1939, Joaquín Rodrigo also paid his respects with a Homenaje a la tempranica, which contained a solo part for castanets.

Beyond dramatic works for the stage, Giménez also wrote three cadenzas to Beethoven's Violin Concerto.

Towards the end of his life, Giménez lived in a precarious economic situation, which was made worse by the Madrid Conservatory's refusal to grant him a professorship in chamber music. He died in Madrid on 19 February 1923.

Birth and Death Data: Born October 10th, 1854 (Seville), Died February 19th, 1923 (Madrid)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1902 - 1937

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor CVE-42252 12-in. 4/30/1928 La torre del oro : Obertura Orquesta "Del Norte" Orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-42253 12-in. 4/30/1928 La torre del oro : Obertura Orquesta "Del Norte" Orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-43707 10-in. 4/6/1928 Polonesa Sofia Del Campo Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-49467 10-in. 7/23/1929 La Madre del Cordero Orquesta Argentina [i.e., Los Gauchos Orquesta Argentina] Instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor CVE-62177 12-in. 5/29/1930 Polonesa Margarita Cueto Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor XVE-67075 10-in. 1/13/1931 Preludio de la zarzuela Banda de la Guarnición de México Band composer  
Victor XVE-67076 10-in. 1/13/1931 Preludio de la zarzuela Banda de la Guarnición de México Band composer  
Victor 21-Y 7-in. July 1905 Tango del lapicero Cuarteto Juárez Vocal quartet composer  
Victor 36-Y 7-in. July 1905 El lapicero Cuarteto Echegaray Vocal quartet composer  
Victor J-102 12-in. 1/18/1911 Polonesa Matilde Rueda Soprano ("tiple") vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor O-195 10-in. 7/8/1907 La Madre del Cordero Jesús Abrego ; Leopoldo Picazo Male vocal duet, with guitar composer  
Victor S-276 12-in. 7/13/1907 Malagueñas y tango del morrongo Juana Ramón Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor S-278 12-in. July 1907 El barbero de Sevilla : Polonesa Juana Ramón Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor S-280 12-in. 7/13/1907 La gatita blanca Esperanza Iris Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor O-282 10-in. 7/13/1907 Tango del lapicero Esperanza Iris Female vocal solo composer  
Victor O-289 10-in. 7/15/1907 Las curvas Srta. Alonso ; Srta. Bonoris ; Esperanza Pastor Vocal trio, with orchestra composer  
Victor S-293 12-in. July 1907 El barbero de Sevilla : Vals Juana Ramón Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor S-450 12-in. 11/10/1910 Machicha y paso doble Banda de Policía de México Band composer  
Columbia 5453 10-in. approximately January 1906 La madre del cordero Banda Española Band composer  
Columbia 13559 10-in. between 1908 and 1913 Enseñanza libre Carmen Fernández de Lara Female vocal solo composer  
Gramophone 0KA220 10-in. 1937 Los Voluntarios Banda del Cuerpo de Seguridad y Asalto, Madrid Band composer  
Gramophone 328y 10-in. 2/5/1909 El baile de Luis Alonzo Banda del Real Cuerpo de Guardias Alabarderos de Madrid Band composer  
Gramophone 0W1401 10-in. 3/22/1932 La madre del cordero Orquesta José M. Lucchesi ; Manuela del Río Castanet solo, with jazz/dance band composer  
Gramophone 2857y 10-in. 5/4/1912 Canción del borriquito La Goya Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Gramophone 5403h 10-in. 1907-1908 Cinematógrafo nacional : Machicha Banda Municipal de Barcelona Band composer  
Gramophone 5435h 10-in. 1907-1908 Tango sicalíptico Rosario Soler Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Gramophone 5471h 10-in. 1905-1910 Tango de las peliculas Rosario Soler Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Gramophone 6768o 10-in. June 1907 Zapateado Felisa Lázaro Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Gramophone 7264F t 10-in. 1902 Trafalgar Fernández [1902 Gramophone Co. Barcelona baritone] Male vocal solo composer  
Gramophone 7333u 10-in. 1902 Enseñanza libre Spanish band [i.e., Banda del Regimiento de Navarra, Barcelona] Band composer  
Gramophone 7969u 10-in. between June and September 1904 Canción del torero Reforzo Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Gramophone 9260u 10-in. approximately 1906 La gatita blanca : Couplets de la gatita Rosario Soler Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Gramophone 9261u 10-in. approximately 1906 La gatita blanca : Couplets de la gatita Rosario Soler Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Gramophone 9338u 10-in. May 1906 Calabresa de la marcha real Sr. Gandía Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Giménez, Gerónimo," accessed November 27, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102408.

Giménez, Gerónimo. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 27, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102408.

"Giménez, Gerónimo." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 27 November 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102408

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