Though little known today, Francisco Andrevi Castella (1786-1853) was one of nineteenth-century Spain's most prolific composers of sacred music. He was choirmaster at several important Spanish cathedrals of the time, as well as at the Real Capilla de Madrid (1830-1836) during the last phase of Ferdinand VII'S reign and the first years of Maria Cristina de Borbon's regency. Due to political instability, he was forced into exile in France for more than ten years, where he was named choirmaster of the Cathedrale Saint-Andre de Bordeaux (ca. 1839).
Andrevi's ample corpus of works was widely disseminated and attracted great interest among his contemporaries (1). His music is scattered across approximately thirty archives and other institutions, mainly in Spain and France, and includes multiple manuscript copies and print editions. Yet, despite this widespread dissemination of his works, Andrevi remains largely unknown, as his work has still not been treated to a published catalogue or a critical edition.
Although this article focuses mainly on my forthcoming catalogue of Andrevi's works, I will begin by reviewing the literature and summarising his biography.
Most studies about Francisco Andrevi deal with biographical information, the earliest references dating from the mid-nineteenth century. Days after Andrevi's death, Antonio Fargas wrote his obituary in the Diario de Barcelona for 28 November 1853 (2). The piece is a eulogy and includes the most important biographical details and references to his various positions and works. These references--some of them incorrect--are repeated years later in several reference works, including Jose Parada's Diccionario tecnico, histdrico y biogrdfico de la musica (1868) (3) and Felipe Pedrell's Diccionario biogrdfico y bibliogrdfico de musicos y escritores de musica (1897) (4). More specific details about Andrevi's achievements can be found in the work of his student Baltasar Saldoni's Diccionario biogrdfico-bibliogrdfico de efemerides de musicos espanoles (1868), which highlights Andrevi's work as a teacher (5), and, later, in Jose Perpinan's Cronologia de los Maestros de Capilla de la Santa Iglesia Catedral de Segorbe (1897), which corrects previous errors about his position in the Catedral de Segorbe (6). Among these early reference works, we cannot omit the renowned Historia de la Musica Espanola by Soriano Fuertes (1859). Although this work is riddled with errors, it also presents several relevant facts and hypotheses about Andrevi's examination for the position of choirmaster at the Real Capilla and his subsequent exile. Finally, it is worth mentioning Rafael Mitjana's Historia de la musica en Espana, which was published in French as part of Lavignac and Laurencie's well-known dictionary-encyclopaedia of music (7).
In our own time, there are references to Andrevi in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (8), Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (9), and the Diccionario de la Musica Espanola e Hispanoamericana compiled by Emilio Casares (10), as there are in his Biografia y documentos sobre musica y musicos espanoles (1986) and Documentos sobre musica espanola y epistolario (1988). Both publications identify some of the composer's epistles and other original documents (official certificates, licences, etc.), which has made...