Juan Arriaga, The Spanish Mozart

Fifty years to the day of Mozart’s birth was born Juan Crisostomo Arriaga.  Juan Arriaga, born in Bilbao-Biscay, Spain is known as the “Spanish Mozart.”  They not only enjoy the same birthday of January 27 but they also were genius child prodigy’s and both died at a young age. Mozart died when he was only 35, while Juan Arriaga died at the extreme young age of 19, 10 days before he was about to become 20.  It is thought he died of tuberculosis. 

Juan C. Arriaga [1806 -1826]

It is probably their similar biographies and not their music the reason that Juan Crisostomo Arriaga is known as the Spanish Mozart.  Arriaga’s music was more a mixture of the Classical and Romantic Eras and not just Classical like Mozart. 

One difference between Mozart and Arriaga is that Mozart was an extremely prolific composer in his young life, while Arriaga, as you would expect dying as a teenager, had some very good but not very many compositions. God only knows how many great compositions Arriaga could have produced if he had lived more years.

To get a flavor of this genius teenager’s music listen to his thoughtful string quartet in D-Minor; his beautiful solemn Stabat Mater; his bright playful Symphony in D-Major that has 4 movements: 1. Allegro con brio, 2. Andante, 3. Scherzo and  4. Adagio – Allegretto; and finally Arriaga’s pleasant String Quartet #2 in A Major.

Please turn up the volume to hear some wonderful music from the “Spanish Mozart”, Juan Arriaga.

Juan Arriaga: String Quartet in D minor:

Juan Arriaga: Stabat Mater:

Juan Arriaga: Symphony in D Major:

Juan Arriaga: String Quartet #2 in A Major:

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