The Alicia de Larrocha (AdL) collection is a set of documents, an integral and coherent reflection of the performer’s personal and professional career. The uniqueness of the AdL fund lies in the fact that it comprehensively brings together several musical documents of great historical and cultural importance. Few archives bring together all the documents generated throughout a lifetime of music into a single collection. One of the main problems of personal archives is that their dispersion is due to the particularities of this professional activity.
Today, we can enjoy this formidable musical heritage thanks to Alicia’s original family. Her husband, Joan Torra, collected and meticulously preserved any document related to Alicia’s musical career with great interest. Their children, Alicia and Juan Francisco Torra de Larrocha, have undertaken the conservation, preservation and restoration of the documents as well as the digitisation of the entire documentary collection. The fund’s diffusion has been carried out through the digital catalogue that may be consulted online.
In our first contact with the documentary production of AdL, we found a previous arrangement and classification of the documents carried out by Joan Torra in an excellent state of conservation. A change of space was necessary to house the archive while we carried out the first task of description and constitution of the collections according to documentary typology:
- Creative works: 40 compositions from childhood and youth, a folder of sketches.
- Printed and handwritten scores: 12 linear meters of scores with handwritten annotations by AdL on interpretative and technical aspects of the works. Original compositions by Montsalvatge and Mompou.
- Sound collection: approximately one thousand sound documents in different media, highlighting the non-commercial sound recordings.
- Audiovisuals: 70 audiovisual recordings from different sources.
- Correspondence: 3 linear meters, including agents, students, record companies, colleagues, family, etc.
- Concert programs: 5 linear meters of programs covering AdL’s professional career, 1929-2003.
- Graphic and photographic stuff: 50 posters and 36 photographic albums + 2 boxes to be sorted.
- Press: 6 large format albums of press clippings + 2 boxes to be sorted.
- Awards, distinctions, professional and academic recognitions.
- Clothing: 30 dresses and accessories.
- Agendas: 73 personal and professional agendas.
- Library: 15 linear meters of monographs and musical periodicals.
- Furniture: Steinway piano.
This list gives an idea of the variety of documents produced and preserved. When studied and contrasted, the AdL collection opens up a new global vision that allows us to contemplate the performer’s life from different angles and discover all her vital facets. While it is true that each documentary unit contains valuable information in itself, it is not possible to understand the whole archive if we cannot interrelate the various documents. The digital catalogue thus becomes a powerful tool capable of linking these documents together under different perspectives and broadening the multifaceted vision of Alicia de Larrocha’s professional and personal career.
As a final note, the collection includes family documentation belonging to the Joan Torra, Conxita Rauret and Carolina Lacalle funds, as well as the Fund related to the Marshall Academy, where she studied as a young girl and became Director from 1959 to 2009.
Thanks to the information provided by the AdL Archive which includes the enormous volume of ordered, classified and systemised documents, it is possible to reconstruct the historical context and the professional career of the pianist. In turn, this opens the possibility of more profound and comprehensive research for female artists in the musical sphere.
Throughout the coming articles, we will try to develop a musical story, recomposed document after document, thus allowing any researcher, amateur or curious to delve into the exciting artistic life of Alicia de Larrocha.
—Maria Ferré y Elena Elía, Artxidoc
Website: Alicia de Larrocha Archive