Manuel Gònima ( Lleida 1710 - Girona
He was choirmaster between 1735-1772, in the middle of the 18th century
when the great changes of the Enlightenment began to arrive in Girona.
The son of a Bourbon militaryman, he seems to have received his musical
education in Barcelona and obtained his post in Girona at the age of 25
with the support of prominent canons, without having to perform the usual
examination exercises; so great was his reputation.
The Girona that
Gònima came to was a city in expansion and recovering from the
demographic descent caused by the wars against the France of Lluís
XIV. The cathedral was being completed with the building of the great
staircase. The façade was almost finished and the interior was
being decorated with a series of large altarpieces. Gòmina did
not have to suffer any sieges, only the fear of famine and plague. Consequently,
his compositions show a joyous inspiration, less restrained than his predecessors.
The texts- in Latin and Spanish - do speak of sorrow however, as some
of those that we present today. With Gòmina, the transition from
baroque to galante style music was completed.This consisted in the following:
simplification of the polyphony, preference for vertical harmony leaving
aside the counterpoint of the previous period plus the use of the new
musical dynamics, melodic clarity, the presence of interpretive resources
to draw attention to grief and sublimated love. These are elements that
indicate the presence of a certain european bourgeois culture that had
been consolidated, a minority phenomenon albeit, but of which we find
several examples in Girona, not only in the sphere of music.
English by Kathleen