Pahissa, Jaime

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Pahissa, Jaime

Pahissa, Jaime, CataPahissa, Jaime, lan-born Argentine writer on music, teacher, and composer; b. Barcelona, Oct. 7,1880; d. Buenos Aires, Oct. 27, 1969. He was a practicing architect for 4 years before turning to music as a profession; studied composition with Morera in Barcelona. He associated himself with the Catalan nationalist movement in art, obtaining his first important success in 1906 with the Romantic opera La preso de Lledida (The Prison of Lérida), which had 100 consecutive performances in Barcelona; it was later revised and produced in Barcelona on Feb. 8, 1928, as La Princesa Margarita, again obtaining a notable success. Other operas produced in Barcelona were Gala Placidia (Jan. 15,1913) and Marianela (March 31,1923). Among his orch. works, the most remarkable is Monodia (Barcelona, Oct. 12, 1925), written in unisons, octaves, double octaves, etc., without using any other intervals, and depending for its effect only on instrumental variety; in a different vein is his Suite Intertonal (Barcelona, Oct. 24, 1926), based on his own method of free tonal and polytonal composition. In 1935 Pahissa emigrated to Argentina, settling in Buenos Aires, where he continued to compose; he also established himself as a teacher and writer. He pubi, in Buenos Aires the books: Espiritu y cuerpo de la música (1945), Los grandes problemas de la música (1945; 2nd ed., 1954), Vida y obra de Manuel de Falla (1947; Eng. tr., London, 1954), and Sendas y cumbres de la música espanola (1955).


X. Aviñoa, J. P.: Un estudi biografie i critic (Barcelona, 1996).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire