Emili Pujol Vilarrubí (September 10, 1886 - November 21, 1980) was a composer and a leading twentieth-century classical guitar teacher.
Emili Pujol was born in the little village of Granadella just outside Lleida, Spain. He began his studies with Francisco Tárrega in 1902, when he was sixteen years of age. At this time, Miquel Llobet was making his debut as a concert artist outside Barcelona. Pujol fondly remembered his first encounter with Tárrega and in his biography of his teacher, he described his mestre in very endearing, romantic terms.
During the war years 1914-1918 he did not travel much and mainly remained in Catalonia. In 1918 he undertook his first tour of South America, starting in Buenos Aires. The only major interruptions in his concert travels were his marriage to Matilde Cuervas in Paris, an Andalusian flamenco guitarist, and the period of time he devoted to historical research in Paris into the instrumental predecessors of the guitar. The beginning signs of World War II, also prevented him from continuing his concert career.
From 1935 through 1940, Pujol continued giving a few concerts and lectures as well as pursuing his research in Spain, London and Paris. By 1941, he was back in Spain to the end of his life, and he started preparing the volume covering the composer for vihuela Luis de Narváez for the series Monumentos de la Musica Española (Vol. III). The volume was eventually followed by volumes covering Alonso Mudarra (1949) and Valderrábano (1963) in the series. Prior to his death, Pujol had begun work on the largest of vihuela music books, the Orphenica Lyra by Miguel Fuenllana, published in 1554. He considered this book to be the pinnacle of the vihuela school and regarded Fuenllana as the final spokesman for this brief courtly instrumental period in Spanish music.
In 1946, Pujol began his guitar classes at the Lisbon Conservatory of Music which continued through to 1969, perhaps the first instance of guitar instruction being included in an academic institution. During this period he was involved in giving master classes (in 1953 he was personally invited by Andrés Segovia to give classes at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana) and adjudicating guitar competitions. Also at this time, Pujol's first wife Matilde Cuervas died (1956) and seven years later he married Maria Adelaide Robert, a noted Portuguese pianist and singer who greatly assisted him in his final years.
Beginning in the summer of 1965, Pujol launched his International Courses of Guitar, Lute and Vihuela in the city of Lleida, Spain. This event became quite popular and was attended by students and teachers from throughout the world. It was repeated every summer over a ten-year period, and in 1972 it was moved to the thirteenth-century village of Cervera.
His words on Tàrrega's School of Guitar are also applicable to his own spirit which constantly strived to "resolving in advance all the problems which can arise out of the diverse elements which contribute to the performance of a work: instrument, hands and spirit."
Pieter van der Staak,
Selected list of compositions:
124 original compositions (Joan Riera)
Escuela Razonada de la Guitarra Vol I-IV
Canción de Cuna,
Pieza nº 2 (Guajira o Evocación Cubana),
Pieza nº 3 (Tango Español),
Variations on a theme by Aguado,
ME 7899 Aquelarre (Danse des sorcières - 1969) Pujol n°1246,
ME 7028 Atardecer (Crépuscule) Pujol n°1229,
ME 7238 Barcarolle Pujol n°1235,
ME 7580 Becqueriana (Endecha) Pujol n°1240,
ME 3130 Cancion de Cuna (Berceuse) Pujol n°1203,
ME 7884 Canto de Otono (Chant d'automne) Pujol n°1245,
ME 7939 Cap i Cua (Variation désuète sur l'exercice 19 d'Aguado) Pujol n°1248,
ME 7848 Caprice varié sur un thème d'Aguado Pujol n°1242,
ME 7541 Endecha a la Amada Ausente Pujol n°1238,
ME 2186 Étude n°1 Pujol n°1200,
ME 2187 Étude n°2 Pujol n°1201,
ME 2188 Étude n°3 Pujol n°1202,
ME 3128 Exercices en formes d'études, 1. Cahier Pujol n°1221,
ME 7847 2. Cahier Pujol n°1243,
ME 2189 Impromptu Pujol n°1206,
ME 7579 La Libelula Pujol n°1239,
ME 2586-88 Trois Morceaux espagnols:,
3. Guajira Pujol n°1204,
ME 3129 Pequena Romanza Pujol n°1222,
ME 7885 Pizzicato Pujol n°1247,
ME 7236 Deux Préludes Pujol n°1233,
ME 7027 Rapsodie Valenciana Pujol n°1228,
ME 2190 Sevilla (Evocation) Pujol n°1205,
ME 7030 Triquilandia (Jugando al Escondite) Pujol n°1231,
ME 7237 2e Triquilandia:,
1. Œdipe et le Sphinx,
4. La Plume de perdreau,
5. Branle bourguignon Pujol n°1234,
ME 7533 3e Triquilandia,
1. Le Petit Grenadier,
3. Valse Pujol n°1241,
ME 7991 Triptyque campagnard (1971):,
3. Fête Pujol n°1249,
ME 7883 Variations sur un thème obsédant Pujol n°1244,
ME 7029 Veneciana Pujol n°1230,
ME 8046 Canaries (Canarios), air de danse populaire ancienne Pujol n°1415,
ME 8081-01 Duet (étude) Pujol n°1417a,
ME 6942 Manola del Avapies (Tonadilla) Pujol n°1403,
ME 7239 Ricercare Pujol n°1409,
ME 8081 Tyrolienne (Tirolesa) Pujol n°1417b,
(Verleger: Max Eschig Paris)
275 transcriptions (Juan Riera)
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963). Waltzes, arr from the piano Paris : Editions M. Eschig, c1970.