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Robert Gerhard (1896-1970), composer

The musical output of Robert Gerhard shows two strong characteristics. On the one hand his music can be seen to follow a clear nationalist tradition, strengthened after 1939 by the tribulations of a distant exile. This nationalism lies at the heart of much of Gerhard's material, making him the last link in a long chain which includes famous names like Falla and Albéniz, and to which must be added those of Granados and Pedrell, both of whom exercised considerable influence on the composer's work.

The second feature to be found in Gerhard's work is his studied and refined compositional techniche, always open to outside influences, and which over the years was to incorporate some of the most representative compositional tendencies of the European musical scene of the first half of the twentieth century. The years spent studying with Arnold Schoenberg were to prove of capital importance in Gerhard's career, as was his adoption of the dodecaphonic note-row in his compositions, making use of all the versatility the serial technique can offer and treating it in his own individual, fully flexible manner.