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1880 Jose Martinez Toboso (Valencia, 1857-1913) concert in Madrid

Jose Martinez Toboso plays the Segunda Epoca No. 7 1876 Torres 11 string

by: Randy Osborne - Published 09/28/2022 9:29 PM and updated 08/04/2023 3:51 PM

Jose Martinez Toboso was a close friend of Francisco Tarrega, they shared the same boarding house at "Casa de la Troya" at calle Jesus y Maria No. 27, in Madrid in 1875, when Tarrega was attending the Conservatorio Real de Madrid. According to Emilio Pujol in his biography of Francisco Tarrega on page 80, they would play Flamenco guitar duets (aires nacionales) in the hot summer evenings outside their rooms on the street corner.

Translation of the concert listing text: In the "Crónica de la música" (Madrid) September 9, 1880, n.º 103, páge 6 are the 2 paragraph concert details.

"The notable concert guitarists, Enrique Romans Papell (1850-) and Jose Martinez Toboso have arrived in the city of Madrid, having resided for some time in Oran, Spain. The came with the object of giving some concerts in Madrid, they have begun to be known to give intimate concerts in the garden of the daily "El Liberal".

Jose Martinez Toboso and Enrique Romans Papell - says our esteemed colleague -that they have studied in one way or another, and know very well, that they have completed the perfection, that the two guitars in their hands have the quality of an orchestra. In this manner they have vanquished the difficulties of expression, to be treating that certain class of music, which the guitar suffers, and they have gotten to perform the most applauded concert pieces with such mastery. Among them last night we applauded with such enthusiasm the "Minueto" by Boccerhini, "La Primera Lagrima" by Marques, and the "Gavota" by Arditi."

Enrique Romans Papell, became the Son in Law of famous guitar maker Francisco Gonzalez in 1881, and went on to run the guitar workshop known as Hijos de Gonzalez. According to Jose Romanillos on page 354 of "The Vihuela and The Spanish Guitar" published in 2002, before they came to Madrid, Jose Martinez Toboso and Enrique Romans Papell, they had played at a fiesta in Almeria, (at a time when Antonio de Torres lived and worked there.)

In the daily "La Iberia" (Madrid. 1868), October 9, 1880, page 3, is the listing of the two sets performed by Jose Martinez Toboso and Enrique Romans Papell, in the Liceo Cervantes. This was also reported by "El Liberal" (Madrid. 1879). 9/10/1880 and the "La Unión" (Madrid. 1878). 9/10/1880.

"1st set

Sinfonia de Joana de Arco, Verdi.

Colombe (entreacto), Gounod.

Primera lagrima, Marques.

Mazurca, Penelle.

2nd set

Tema aleman con variaciones, Neuland.

Serenata de la fantasia morisca, Chapi.

Wales, Wautelfeld.

Pasacalle, Jarrus."

Some years later we find: in the daily "El Imparcial" (Madrid. 1867). July 31, 1884, the mention of a new partner in the Martinez Toboso duet, a Mr. Doreno. This would be because in 1881 Enrique Romans Papell married the daughter of Francisco Gonzalez who passed away in 1879. Enrique Romans Papell had worked some years under the tutelage of Francisco Gonzalez. This was also reported in the "La Iberia" (Madrid. 1868). 31/7/1884.

In the daily: "La Correspondencia de España" (Madrid). April 19, 1889, n.º 11.340, we find another mention of a new partner in the Martinez Toboso duet, Mr. Praxedes Gil Orozco (1857-1916). This new guitarist was also a friend of Francisco Tarrega. They were in the new world, at this time in Caracas, Venezuela, with the news of March 25, 1889, in the 2nd paragraph.

"In Caracas they draw the notable attention for the abilities of the two concert guitarists, Jose Martinez Toboso and Praxedes Gil Orozco, Spanish artists."

In the "Ilustración musical hispano-americana" (Barcelona). February 15, 1891, n.º 74, is a great overview of the present day of the fabulous career of Jose Martinez Toboso.

"The guitarist Jose Martinez Toboso has returned from his artistic South American tour, to his native Valencia, he has taken the advantage to hear and get to know his aficionados and the public from Barcelona, by organizing a concert together with his friend Luis Soria, that took place in the small hall in the music establishment that sells sheet music and pianos that Mr. Maristany opened on calle de Fontanella and Plaza de Cataluña.

All the pieces of the select program were performed in a masterful manner by the duo with an accent and colorfulness worthy of the best praise. Mt. Toboso demonstrated to be a complete artist, and besides of the qualities of a great performer, his cleanliness excels, noted by the expression with which he speaks in his cantabiles and the finished manner as in his phrasing, the same can be said of his sweetness, the special tone color and good quality of sound that starts from the strings to spill out the melody.

The public full of applause and "Bravos" to the concert guitarists, especially to Mr. Toboso, desiring that he return soon to Barcelona to be able to hear with more detention and more volume in one of our theaters, and to taste the beauty with which he gave us in this almost improvised concert."


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