El compositor y director Casimiro Espino y Teisler (1845-1888)

  1. Flores Rodríguez, Marta
Supervised by:
  1. José Ignacio Suárez García Director

Defence university: Universidad de Oviedo

Fecha de defensa: 30 September 2022

  1. María Encina Cortizo Rodríguez Chair
  2. Gloria Araceli Rodríguez Lorenzo Secretary
  3. Andrea García Torres Committee member
  4. Víctor Sánchez Sánchez Committee member
  5. Francesc Cortès Mir Committee member
  1. Historia del Arte y Musicología

Type: Thesis


Casimiro Espino y Teisler (Madrid, 1845-1888) was a composer and conductor from the second half of the 19th century. He was especially recognized for his work leading the Unión Artístico-Musical de Madrid orchestra and for the composition of a large number of zarzuelas in collaboration with Ángel Rubio. However, Espino also served as 1st violin in several of the main companies and groups from the period, such as the Sociedad de Conciertos de Madrid or the Teatro Real orchestra. Likewise, his role as conductor wasn’t restricted to the Unión Artístico-Musical, since he directed different theater companies such as the Eslava and Variedades theaters, participating in the establishment of the teatro por horas. As conductor of the Unión Artístico-Musical, he spread national and international repertoire, he gave the Madrid public the opportunity to listen the Wagner’s Parsifal prelude for the first time, and he allowed many young Spanish composers to became known. He worked alongside renowned Spanish artists, such as Manuel Fernández Caballero, Manuel Nieto or Juan Goula, as well as foreigners, for example Víctor Mirecki, Giovanni Bottesini and Adelina Patti. Additionally, he joined as a teacher in the Instituto Filarmónico, which allowed him to take an active part in the educational reform process of the period. His musical legacy exceeds one hundred compositions and includes lyrical, symphonic and religious works, some of which were well received both in Spain and abroad. This PhD Thesis allows an approach to the life and work of this composer and conductor, reviving an important figure of the end of the 19th century in Madrid. In the first chapter, a biographical reconstruction based on his professional career is carried out. In this sense, his stage in the Real Conservatorio de Música y Declamación is deepened, where he studied with Juan Díez, Rafael Hernando and Emilio Arrieta, winning first prizes in violin (1864) and composition (1869). The following five chapters develop his intense professional career based on the various areas of intervention. The second chapter is dedicated to religious music, addressing his facets as director and composer of a total of 23 works and incorporating the analysis in the cases in which scores are preserved. The third chapter collects his functions as interpreter, composer and conductor in the Madrid symphonic groups Sociedad de Conciertos, Filarmónica de Madrid and Unión Artístico-Musical, including the complete study of this last orchestra. Likewise, 12 symphonic works are analyzed. The fourth chapter is devoted to lyrical theater, alluding to his work as concertmaster and director in various theater companies and analyzing his extensive corpus in terms of reception until 1890, due to the need to temporarily limit the investigation. At the same time, this chapter provides relevant information on a large part of Ángel Rubio's production, taking into account that 59 of the 75 works located arose from the Rubio-Espino company name. In the fifth chapter, four selected cases of the lyrical repertoire are analyzed: Una tiple de café (1876), ¡Cómo está la sociedad! (1883), Meterse en Honduras (1883) and ¡Quién fuera libre! (1884). The last three, composed together with Ángel Rubio, constitute the most successful works, at least from the point of view of the number of repeat performances they had and their impact in other provinces and even in Latin America. The study of these four cases allows us to delve into his compositional style, as well as into other aspects related to the reception and diffusion of the género chico at a national and international level. Finally, the sixth chapter includes his interventions in other areas, such as benefits and masked balls, in which he undertook the functions of performer, conductor and composer. In this sense, it is worth mentioning the direction of the Teatro Real company in the performance of Roberto el diablo (1881), as well as the chamber music evenings offered with renowned members of the Filarmónica de Madrid (1872-1874), in which the audience were introduced to an unusual repertoire at the time. Likewise, the 21 pieces that Espino composed for the Zarzuela and Real masked balls are included, analyzing the four scores that are preserved: El correo de amor, Las amazonas, Hércules and La Paquita. The content of these chapters is complemented in the appendices, where the catalogue of his work is included. The last one should be highlighted, which incorporates all the concert programs offered by the Unión Artístico-Musical de Madrid, constituting a valuable source of information in terms of circulation of the symphonic repertoire in Spain. In this way, the present investigation provides an approach to the figure of Casimiro Espino in its main dimensions and contributes to the knowledge of the musical history of the 19th century in Spain.