In the context of music history, instrumental Classicism has generally been considered a Central-European phenomenon in which Spain’s position was, at best, isolated and marginal. However, the recent research compiled in this volume provides a very different view. The final decades of the eighteenth century were, in fact, a period of modernisation of Spanish musical culture due to the intensive dissemination and copying of music. The expansion of the music market strengthened Madrid’s commercial networks with many cities including Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris, Vienna and Venice. This facilitated the arrival of a wide repertory, which subsequently circulated all over the country and had an impact on local composers.
At the same time, the book provides an overview of the evolution of the most important instrumental genres in Spain, which have been largely unexplored until now, with various chapters dedicated to the sonata, duet, trio and piano quintet. Luigi Boccherini’s and Gaetano Brunetti’s contributions were a vital part of this process, together with the works of Joseph Haydn, which were well known in Spain very early on, as well as those of many other composers, both from Spain and abroad who still remain largely unknown. The study of the reception processes of these composers linked to the most important centres of the time opens up new perspectives for analysis and enables a history of Spanish music to be presented from a European standpoint.