Much of Jesús Guridi’s work pays tribute to his Basque heritage. He was born in Vitoria in the Alava province of north-eastern Spain, south west of San Sebastian. Like Turina he was a pupil of d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum, and went on to study organ and composition with Joseph Jongen in Brussels. Having returned to Bilbao, he made a name for himself as conductor, organist and composer. The Franco regime, however, suppressed works that related to Basque culture, which meant that operas such as Mirentxu
(1910) and Amaya
(1920), zarzuelas such as El caserío
(1924) and his three Basque song cycles never became popular during his lifetime. That was not the fate of his Seis canciones castellanas
, which were published in 1941 by Union Musical Española, the state publishing company, and have remained firmly in the repertoire since the day of their publication.
from notes by Richard Stokes © 2013