Montsalvatge was born in Girona in 1912. He first achieved
success, and was later to be internationally recognized, with his
collection of Cinco canciones negras (1941), a work which, together
with Cuarteto indiano (1952) and Concierto breve (1953) defines his
post-nationalist period. This evolved through neoclassicism, especially
in the Partita (1958), and during a period when he was influenced
by the French post-impressionists. The latter is seen above all in
Sonatine pour Yvette, and approaches an ever-increasing abstraction
beginning with the Morphological Disintegration of Bach's Chaconne
He has been a member of the St. George Catalan Royal Academy of Fine
Arts since 1962; nominated for the "Chevalier de l'Ordre des
Arts et des Lettres" by the French government in 1970; the Generalitat
de Catalunya awarded him the Creu de Sant Jordi (St. George Cross)
in October of 1983; and, on May the 28th, 1985, he received an Honorary
Doctorate from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He is also
a member, as a correspondent, of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts St.
Ferdinand, the Fryderik Chopin Society of Warsaw, and the Hispanic
Society of America in New York.
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Montsalvatge was also inspired by the death of Mompou in the middle
movement of his Trío. The Dialogo con Mompou captures the bell-like
"metallic" chords favored by the older composer, in an essentially
tonal language heavily overlaid with modalisms and colorful dissonance.
The outer movements were written a couple of years earlier and incorporated
into the triptych in 1989. The Balada a Dulicinea alludes to Don Quixote's
idealized peasant woman, while Ritornelo recalls Spain's former Caribbean
colonies in its characteristic "Antilleanism."