Nov 29, 2020

Concepción Gómez de Jacoby: Tárrega’s Enigmatic Patron and Recuerdos de la Alhambra

The following is a guest post by David J. Buch, an internationally known musicologist who currently lives in Chicago ( He can be contacted at

The most influential and foundational modern Spanish guitarist-composer is Francisco de Asís Tárrega y Eixea (1852-1909). Both in regard to technique and repertory, Tárrega extended the Spanish guitar tradition and established an international one, alloyed with the "romantic" style, repertory and transcription from other media. His devoted students Miguel Llobet, Emilio Pujol, Josefina Robledo and Daniel Fortea transmitted his music and teachings, which reached Andrés Segovia and virtually all of his followers. Tárrega's compositions and transcriptions are in the repertory of almost every 'classical' guitarist, and his most renown pieces have transcended the instrument and entered broad popular culture as no other guitarist-composer's works.

One of Tárrega's most admired and performed compositions, Recuerdos de la Alhambra, has been known through an early 20th-century publication edited by Tárrega and dedicated as an homage to the French guitarist Alfred Cottin.[1] But in 1991 an autograph manuscript came to light that provided a more precise context for the origin of this rhapsodic tremolo study.[2] The manuscript bears the date December 8, 1899 and has a different title: Improvisación !A Granada¡ Cantiga Árabe. An inscription at the end indicates that the work was composed as a name-day gift to a woman who was Tárrega's student, maecenas and possible muse. The dedication reads "To my eximious disciple Sra. Dª Conchita G. De Jacoby / [from] your teacher and friend / Franco Tárrega. / Màlaga 8 Diciembre 1889" (A mi eximia discípula Sra. Da. Conchita G. de Jacoby / su Maestro y Amigo / Franco Tárrega / Málaga 8 Di[ciem]bre 1899; see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Title and Dedication of Improvisación !A Granada¡ Cantiga Árabe

We learn of the origin and purpose of this fine example of Spanish-'Moorish' romanticism from the intimate inscription that Tárrega added at the end of piece "Since I can't offer you a gift of more value on your saint's day, accept this little poetic impression felt by my soul before the grand marvel of the Alhambra of Granada that we admired together. Franco Tárrega (Ya que no puedo ofrecer a V[uestra]. ofrenda de mas valia en el dia de su santo, acete esta mi pobre nota poética impresion que sintió mi alma ante la grandiosa maravilla de la Alhambra de Granada que juntos admiramos. Franco Tarrega; see Figure 2).[3]

Figure 2: Inscribed Ending of Improvisación !A Granada¡ CantigaÁrabe 

Hence Recuerdos, or more precisely, !A Granada¡, was a gift for a specific woman's name-day, commemorating their time together at the great Alhambra palace. Tárrega dated it on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Many Catholics will know this date because it is often when a child will take the first communion for its symbolic value. In any event, the purpose of !A Granada¡ is closely connected to this woman and the solemn feast day for which she was named.

This study will examine archival documentation concerning "Sra. Da. Conchita G. de Jacoby," revealing more about her and about her relationship to Tárrega. It will then re-examine Tárrega's music that was connected to her in the light of new information. While a number of questions must remain unanswered, the surviving evidence and biographical details will provide a fuller picture of the woman and the context of the music dedicated to her.

Doña Concha Martínez?

Aside from a brief mention in a standard dictionary article from 1934,[4] what we know of Concepción Jacoby comes mostly from a biography of Tárrega written by his student, Emilio Pujol (1886-1980) during the 1950s,[5] and a very brief article that was published in 1952.[6] Both accounts present hagiographic discussions of Tárrega and contain inaccuracies and lacunae. For example, Pujol uses the erroneous name "Doña Concha Martínez" in both publications. He claims that she was about 35 years old at that time she met Tárrega in 1896. She was actually 48 years old that year.[7] Pujol was also unaware that Tárrega composed Recuerdos de la Alhambra for her. In fact, he was apparently aware of only one of the three pieces he composed for her, the waltz !Sola¡, which Pujol claims was written in the suburbs of Barcelona. The autograph manuscript reveals it was actually composed in Valencia.

Pujol was not a firsthand witness to much of what he describes. He met Tárrega in 1902 when he was 16, two years after Concepción and Tárrega suspended their relationship. He may have met Concepción around November, 1907, when she apparently returned to help the ailing musician in his last two years of life. But there are good reasons to believe that he had little or no direct knowledge of her or her family. Moreover, his adulatory approach reflects the worshipful attitude of his years as a teenage acolyte and later, as a faithful apostle of Tárrega's teaching.

While Pujol presents a saintly portrayal of his teacher, his description of "Doña Concha's" character is complex and intriguing. He writes that Concepción possessed "a lively spirit, strong temperament and exalted fantasy, her extreme sentiments ranged from the most humble tenderness to the most imperious energy. There was a strange mixture of commoner and patrician in her bearing. An unrestrained contrast that gave way to a very original and interesting personality, nevertheless shrouded in a nebulous and indescribable enigma.[8] In Pujol's biography, she is by far, the most beguiling and fascinating character in the entire text.

Pujol states that Tárrega, with his wife and two children, moved into Concepción's villa in the San Gervasio suburb of Barcelona, occupying quarters in the tower. But ". . . in 1899, the Tarrega family was installed again in his apartment on [274] Calle de Valencia [in Barcelona], and the master could not hear the name of Doña Concha pronounced without the uncontrollable reflection of a bitter disenchantment on his face." Now Pujol's depiction of Concepción has acquired a decidedly dark aspect, a "dominant and fickle character of said lady, the origin of so many compromising situations."[9]

But it is clear from his writing, that when Pujol deprecates Concepción's character, he traffics in hearsay. Much of his account is based on second hand speculation and unverified assumptions. Treating Tárrega almost as a religious figure, he entirely blames that "dominant and fickle" woman, for the rupture in their relationship. But Pujol was 13 or 14 years old when the break occurred and had not yet met Tárrega or Concepción. Because Pujol does not relate a single firsthand encounter, one suspects that he never actually met her.

Pujol's conclusions about Concepción do not fit his set of facts, and the situation he describes can be interpreted differently. The autograph manuscript of ¡A Granada!, dated December 8, 1899, with its affectionate and intimate inscription and dedication, undermines Pujol's account of a painful break in 1899. One might now think that the break might have occurred in the days immediately following December 8, in the last weeks of 1899. But from November 1899 to May 1900, Tárrega was not in Barcelona but traveling with Dr. Walter Leckie, as the dated manuscripts in Dr. Leckie's two books reveal.[10] The men started their tour together in Castellón in November, then on to Malaga (where he composed !A Granada¡), then Algiers, then Naples, and finally Marseilles. He was not back in Barcelona at the end of May 1900.

Pujol's account of the break is problematic in other ways. Pujol begins with a contradiction when he writes that "Those who, having known Tárrega intimately, knew from experience of the delicate, loyal, affective and respectful tact with which he treated his friends." Pujol continues that that "his friends, surprised at their breakup, did not fail to attribute it to the dominant and fickle character of said lady, the origin of so many compromising situations." If Tárrega treated his friends with respectful tact, how could they know that a "compromising situation" caused the break? And if Tárrega's friends found her character to be so obviously flawed the way Pujol suggests, why did the break surprise them? It is clear that Pujol did not know the actual reason for the break, and the idealization of Tárrega may have influenced him and the individuals he consulted, leading them to entirely blame Concepción. His statements about Concepción spreading stories about Tárrega cannot be assessed as to its veracity either. He never cites any specific examples and his wording again suggests he was repeating hearsay and rumor. Since we only have Pujol's second- or thirdhand accounts to assess Concepción's character, perhaps we will learn something of this woman from investigating the surviving archival documentation and publications that concern her and her family, some of which also had role in Tárrega's life.

Concepción Gómez y Bataller de Jacoby

Pujol provides little precise information on Concepción, some of it inaccurate. He mentions that Concepción Gómez had been a singer and actress in zarzuelas. He states that in Mexico "Concha met the German Jew Jacoby and married him. After a year of marriage, they had a son." He notes that after the death of her sister, she took over the upbringing of her niece Clara. But there is much more to this history, which in some aspects does not conform to the account Pujol presents. A review of documentary sources will help to clarify these aspects.

According to the civil register of 1845-1854 in the Ajuntament de València, Concepción seems to have been given the name Luisa when she was born on April 27, 1848 (see Figure 3).[11] Perhaps this was an error or perhaps the full name was Luisa Concepción. In any event, the civil register of 1851 lists the 3-year-old Concepción as the child of these parents living in this household at the time, three years after the birth of "Luisa." Her father, Juan Bautista Gomez y Molines, was from the small Valencian coastal town, Santa Pola; he was blind. Her mother, Ana Bataller y Fort was from an equally small Valencian inland town, Benifairó. Concepción most likely grew up in poverty.

In 1867, when she was 19 years old, Concepción and her older sister Amalia were both performing at the Teatro Real in Madrid. They are praised in the journal El Artista, where the two sisters are described as "Prima contraltos of the very first rank. A perfect fraternity: doña Amalia Gómez y doña Concepción Gómez."[12] The sisters traveled to the Americas in 1868 as part of the Spanish zarzuela troupe of impresario Joaquín Gaztambide. They eventually found great success in Mexico City, where they first performed with the Eduard Gonzalez Company in late February 1871.[13] At that time Concepción was described as "a highly sympathetic, beautiful Spanish woman with great grace" (guapa española de mucha gracia y altamente simpática).[14]Pujol wrote that "Concha had secondary roles in the same company" as her sister. Surveying Concepción's reviews in contemporary periodicals demonstrates that she had some primary roles in zarzuelas and operettas. In November 1871 she sang the lead role of Catalina, the disguised queen of Portugal in Francisco Asenjo Barbieri's Los diamante de la corona. She also sang Wanda in Offenbach's La Gran Duquesa de Gerolstein, a major role.[15] The reviewers speak of her grace, clarity, and skill. There are also indications of a fiery temperament and a strong will. She caused a major scandal that ended in a small riot at the Teatro Principal when she refused to perform after a discussion with another singer named [possible Rosa] Flores. The affair ended in court, where a judge fined both Concepción and the rioters. The threat to expel her from Mexico was acknowledged as empty, given her "intelligence" and "charms."[16]

Figure 3: Birth Registration of Luisa [Concepción?] Gomez

A short time later Amalia would become a great star in Mexico, initially with her performances in the title role in Jacques Offenbach's La Gran Duquesa de Gerolstein, and later by introducing the scandalous French can-can to South American audiences.[17] But her sister's career on the stage would be short. Her name disappeared from the theatrical reviews by 1874. By that time Concepción had met and married Luis Jacoby. According to the civil petition and the registration of her marriage in Mexico City, as well as the church record (April 6, 1873),[18] Concepción Gómez y Bataller was born in Valencia, the legitimate daughter of Juan Bautista Gomez y Molina [sic, Molines] and Anna Maria Bataller y Fort. She is listed as 23 years old (she was actually 25) at the time of her marriage to Luis Jacoby, the son of Simon Jacoby and Guillermina Goldstein. Luis is given as a 32-year-old native of Berlin, and a naturalized Mexican citizen.

It was probably around 1867 when Luis purchased the Hacienda Obrajuelo, near the city of Apaseo el Grande, in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico (the Jacoby family would lose the Hacienda Obrajuelo during the Revolution of 1914). He also acquired the plantation El Horizonte in Tumbador, Guatamala on the line of the central railroad near the southern border of Mexico[19] (see Figure 4). Along with his brother Martin Jacoby, Luis turned these properties into modern and highly profitable farming, cattle and mining concerns. In 1894 Luis and Werner Hagnauer purchased land in the Sierra Madres to create the Argovia coffee plantation in the state of Chiapas, north of Tapachula, Mexico.[20] The surviving tokens used as payment in the Jacoby plantations are collectibles today (see Figure 5). All of these properties are still operating.

Figure 4: The plantation of Luis Jacoby [El Horizonte] in Guatamala

Figure 5: Tokens from El Horizonte and Argovia plantations

Concepción's marriage did not go unnoticed in the Spanish capital. One satiric periodical reported that:

"La Concha Gomez, that exemplary actress (in terms of chorus girls), has married a capitalist from Mexico, in Mexico. After this success, Arderius appears to have noticed the obvious desire in his female masses to emigrate overseas." (La Concha Gomez aquella actriz ejemplar (suripánticamente hablando), se ha casado con un capitalista de Méjico, en Méjico. Despues de este suceso, parece que Arderius ha notado evidentes ánsias de emigración ultramarine en sus masas femeniles.)[21]

A Son

Pujol was inaccurate when stating that after a year of marriage Concepción gave birth to her son. She was married in 1873. On November 15, 1877 the son of Luis and Concepción, named Luis Maximiliano Jacoby, was born at their residence on the Calle de Presiados in Madrid, Spain. We learn this from a birth certification registered in Mexico City on February 25, 1895.[22] The registration and the Spanish documentation was provided by Martin Jacoby, the brother of Luis and uncle of Luis Maximiliano. The reason for this late registration was perhaps to establish the Mexican citizenship of Luis Maximiliano, facilitating the inheritance of his family's estate in case of his father's death. The only known photograph of Concepción is from early 1878, at the front of the Hacienda Obrajuelo with her husband Luis, her baby, and her brother-in-law Martin (see Figure 6).

Figure 6: Photo of the Jacobys at Hacienda Obrejuelo in early 1878. Front four from the left: Luis Jacoby, Concepción with her baby son Luis, unknown man, Martin Jacoby (with white coat and cigarette). Reproduced with kind permission of Concepción's great grandsons, Jean-Eric Schoettl and Christian Schoettl, who provided this photo.

Separation and Divorce

We have no details of the relationship before, during or after the wedding, but the marriage eventually ended. Around 1898 Concepción empowered the influential businessman Iñigo Noriega Laso (1853-1953) to be her representative in the trial separation of assets, part of the process of obtaining a divorce from Luis Jacoby.[23] Luis had become one of the most successful businessmen in Mexico by that time. As Jacoby & Company expanded their financial holdings, Luis became more influential in the economic and political life of Mexico. The company would not be free of controversy and some financial failures in 1908, reportedly due to misappropriation of funds by Martin Jacoby in the cotton market. In any event, Luis was closely connected to President Profio Diaz and his finance minister José Ives Limentour, hence Jacoby & Company was protected.[24]

On November 4, 1871 Concepción stood as godmother to Amalia's first child, Maria Adriana Padilla, born September 9 of that year. The baby died a few weeks later. In 1875 she was godmother to Amalia's first son, Raphael Carlos Padilla, born on July 24, 1872 (she now adds the name Jacoby). A second son named Conrado Francisco de Paula Padilla was born in 1873 (the church record is not available at this time, but it is likely that Concepción was godmother). It seems that Concepción served as godmother for her sister's only surviving daughter Francisca De Paula Clara Padilla, since after the death of her sister in 1890, Concepción brought Clara to live with her in Spain. On July 10, 1885 Concepción stood as godmother to Amalia's last child, José Joaquin Padilla, born August 28, 1884.

Return to Spain

It is clear from the fact that her son was born in Madrid, and the subsequent photo at the Obrajuelo, that Concepción traveled back to Spain and maintained her ties to her native country. She would eventually move back there, probably in the period of separation and divorce from Luis Jacoby. As late as May 1887 Mexico City newspapers commented on her presence at significant social events such as the grand ball at the Casino Español.[25]

Pujol names four residences in Spain owned by Concepción. In Valencia she lived on the opulent, fashionable Paseo de la Alameda. She also had a rustic house in the Cabañal area of Valencia, close to the beach and the new spa. She had a splendid farm in the surroundings of Alicante that she called La Cachupina. (A gapuchina is a Mexican phrase for Spanish woman living in Mexico.) Finally, she had an impressive villa in the Barcelona suburb of San Gervasio, on the calle de Ballester at the foot of Puxtet hill.[26]

Pujol states that Concepción's "five-year-old son Luisito lived with her, along with a beautiful 16-year-old niece, called Clarita, only daughter of her sister; she took her in when she became an orphan after the suicide of her sister." Again the account is inaccurate. Her son Luis was born in 1877, while her niece Clara was born in 1878.[27] The eleven year error in age differential given by Pujol reinforces the impression that he had little or no first-hand knowledge; he almost certainly never met this family.

In Spain she associated with (and patronized) writers and musicians. Pujol mentions her friendship with Francisco Monleón (the son-in-law of the poet Teodoro Llorente) and Maria Carbonell Sánchez (1857-1926), the Valencian author, professor, feminist. The latter association is verified by contemporary publication.[28]

Amalia Gómez

Concepción's sister Amalia Gómez (see Figure 7) continued her career in Mexico City in the 1870s and 1880s, performing with the Eduard Gonzalez Company and eventually forming her own company, apparently with diminished success.[29] She married a merchant named Epigmenio (also given sometimes as Epigenario) Padilla (1821-1895) and had five children: Maria Adriana (b. 1871, died the same year), Raphael Carlos (b. 1872), Conrado Francisco de Paula (b. 1873), Clara (b. 1878), and José Joachim (b. 1884).

Amalia committed suicide on October 28, 1890. The death register records a "death by tragic gesture of Señora Amalia Gomez y Padilla of Valencia in España, 49 years old, married to Epigmenio Padilla de Zamosa" (. . . falleció de gesto tragico la Senora Amalia Gomez y Padilla de Valencia a España, de 49 cuarento y nueve años, casada con Epigmenio Padilla de Zamosa . . ).[30] The local newspapers provided more detail, for example:

Suicide: Under this epigraph, several of our colleagues have brought to light the news that on Calle de Ortega number four, a woman ended her life, dropping from the third-floor corridor. Better informed, we assure to our readers that Mrs. Amalia Gomez (who is the alleged suicide), lived in house number 34 on Ortega Street, and according to the opinion of reliable sources (people of recognized standing), her ability to reason was highly impaired.

On Wednesday night, when she was in an attack of madness, she left his house and went to number 4 on the same street; He entered the interior, and asked by the concierge where she was going, Mrs. Gomez told him to a shop on an upper floor.

Mrs. Amalia Gomez ascended the first and second stairs, and when already on the third floor she threw herself over the railing into the patio of the aforementioned house, falling into a fountain of water, from where a wall painter took her and moved her to her domicile.

The police were notified by the housekeeper of number 4, and the inspector, Mr. Francisco Arrieta, accompanied by the physician assigned to said office, attended to the situation.

Mrs. Gomez was already in her room, and under her bed covers; Recognized by the attending physician, the latter stated that Mrs. Gomez had no injury on the outside, and that therefore he expected her to develop some symptoms from internal injuries that she did not show at that time, except for her mental disturbance . . . Despite the fact that Mrs. Gomez had no external injury, she died last night and it is inferred that it was from the blow she received; because the fountain is too small and has a division in the center, on which the aforementioned and unfortunate Amalia fell.[31] 

Hence Amalia's daughter Clara was 12 years old when her mother died. Concepción brought her to Spain, to live in her household. Pujol offers vignettes in which Tárrega becomes a part of Clara's life, and the young woman and her husband Ramón Planiol look after the guitar master in the difficult years before his death (see below).

Figure 7: Lithograph of Amalia Gómez[32]

Fellow Travelers

Pujol tells that in 1896 Concepción was a student of Tárrega's close friend, the guitarist and artist Manuel Loscos[33] in Valencia; she invited Tárrega (see Figure 8) to perform at her home on Paseo de la Alameda, along with some prominent individuals including the writer María Carbonell. That "she was like a sleep-walker and she fainted," and that doctors had to revive her seems like more exaggeration on Pujol's part. (At the time women wore corsets that could contribute to fainting.) In any event, her relationship with the guitarist became a close one, and she became devoted to Tárrega and to the guitar. He called her "Conchita," the affectionate diminutive he wrote on two of the three pieces he dedicated to her. According to Pujol, they were so close that Tárrega and his family moved into the tower in Concepción's San Gervasio villa in 1897 and stayed there some two years, while still maintaining their apartment on Valencia street.

Miguel Llobet was studying with Tárrega in this period, making copies of a number of his pieces that survive today in the archive of the Music Museum of Barcelona.[34] Llobet almost certainly met Concepción at that time, likely visiting his teacher at her villa.

Figure 8: Tárrega in 1896

In his entry on Tárrega, Prat (1934), who studied with the guitarist in the period 1900-1904, mentioned that Concepción toured with the guitarist in Spain and elsewhere. Pujol states that not long after meeting Tárrega she and her niece Clara accompanied Tárrega on a concert tour of Andalusia, visiting the Alhambra in Granada, where one evening the composer was inspired to write the initial idea for Recuerdos de la Alhambra. Since our earliest source for this piece is the still rough "improvisation," dated December 8, 1899, this account seems like speculation on Pujol's part. The dedication and title "Improvisación" indicate that the piece was a later memorialization of the visit, written extemporaneously without being pre-planned.

In his article, "Tárrega as Teacher," Pujol states that in 1896 the Vicar of Picaña, don Francisco Corell, musician, painter and a fine orator, one of Tárrega's best disciples and friends, invited doña Concha Martinez [sic] de Jacobi, her brother [sic] and sister [sic] Clarita, Ramon Planiol, don Antonio Tello and other friends of the Maestro to a supper at Picaña. After the meal the good priest said grace. Doña Concha could not repress a sob and a few tears. "why are you crying, Conchita?" asked Tárrega. "Because," she said, "it is many years since I prayed." Tárrega replied: "I am often praying, for he who works, and he who studies, prays." This is apparently an inaccurate reading of a letter from Corell that Pujol would transcribe accurately in his later biography of Tarrega (p, 222). This transcription of the letter correctly states that Clarita was Concepción's niece. Ramón (Clara's husband) is not mentioned, merely Tello and "other friends" (otros amigos). Doña Concha does not say "it is many years since I prayed," but that it has been many years since she said the Pater Noster prayer (Padrenuestro). Picaña is a municipality on the outskirts of Valencia. It seems plausible that Tárrega was staying at Concepción's residence in Valencia at that time.

Our secure information on Tárrega's travels comes mainly from his dated manuscripts and those of his students. On June 16 he dedicates a Prelude in A minor (later published as Preludio No. 2) to Miguel Llobet in Barcelona. As for 1897, Tárrega composed his Mazurka in G in Barcelona on March 16, 1897, and his Vals !Sola¡ and Mazurka Conchita for Concepción were written in Valencia on July 29, 1897. Again it is plausible that he was staying at Concepción's residence in that city, and perhaps giving recitals there as Pujol recounts.

Pujol states that "in the Fall of 1897 Tárrega, Dona Concha, her son Luis and Don Martín Jacoby, brother of the deceased husband of the señora, found themselves in Paris, at the Grand Hôtel du Périgord [today the Lyric Hotel, 2 Rue de Gramont]. On 25 November a concert was announced at the Nouveau Salle Pleyel on the Rue Rochechouart, with the brothers Alfred and Jules Cottin with the students La Lombarde y Fernandez." Again Pujol is in error. Luis Jacoby was not dead in 1897, he was living in Paris at No. 1 Avenue du Bois de Boulogne (now Avenue Foch).[35] Three photos of Luis Jacoby at the Argovia plantation have survived from the early 20th century (see Figure 9).

Tárrega was back in Barcelona on August 15 1897, where he made a transcription of the popular march from the opera Cádíz by Joaquín Valverde Durán (1846-1910). According to a February 3, 1898 letter from Tárrega to Alfred Cottin in Paris (reproduced in Pujol's biography) the guitarist is still in Barcelona. In 1898 Daniel Fortea became his student, and he probably visited his teacher at Concepción's villa, like Llobet.

Figure 9: Luis Jacoby at the Argovia coffee plantation, ca. 1900-1908. Reproduced with kind permission of the Hagnauer family, who provided this photo.


According to Pujol (p.131), "Among the friends that Tárrega had in Barcelona society was Don Ramón Planiol, a young man from a great fortune who owned a magnificent estate in Sampol de Mar and very valuable properties in Cuba. Introducing Clarita on one occasion, he was captivated by her beauty and attractiveness, and asked after her at home to Doña Concha. Although the girl initially resisted, Tárrega's reflections and advice contributed to making her change her mind; The marriage was celebrated in short order, and the master was named the best man at the wedding." Tárrega's role in the life of Clara further reinforces an impression of an intimate involvement in Concepción's family circle. Clara, who would come into considerable wealth through her marriage to Rámon (Jose Joaquin) Planiol Claramunt (1859-1935),[36] was also a deeply religious Catholic, who committed her time and energy to charitable activities.[37] Pujol (p. 201) tells that Rámon and Clara would continue to support Tárrega in the years when Concepción no longer was his patron, actually supervising his family's budget until Concepción would return to help support Tárrega in 1907, when she accompanied the guitarist on a final tour.

Ramón and Clara had interest in new modernist architecture that was captivating Barcelona at that time, and they commissioned Ignasi Mas Morell to design two remarkable modernist houses in Havana and in Ramón's birthplace, San Pol de Mar, Spain (1910). They also commissioned the architect to design the main school in San Pol de Mar, although they lived much of their lives in the modernist house in Havana on the elegant Malecón esplanade. On October 27, 1920 they arrived with their son Valentine in New York from Cherbourg on HMS Olympic. Clara listed her closest living relative as "Aunt Conchata Jacobi, Alicante, Spain." Valentine and his daughter Isabel lived much of their lives in the United States, eventually settling in Miami, Florida, where the family line ended in 2011.


Concepción lived in a palatial mansion at the corner of Avenues de Rapp and Bosquet in the Gros Caillou quartier of the 7th Arrondissment (see figure 10). A visit to her house in the early 20th century was recounted in print by Eusebio Blasco: "Of the artists that premiered or figured in the company . . . Concha Gomez, one of those two beautiful Valencian sisters who replaced la Checa [the Czech] and La Hueto creators of Calypso and Venus, went to Mexico and there she married the wealthy German banker, Jacoby, coming to settle and establish herself in Paris ten years ago, where she invited me to dine with at her magnificent house on the Avenue de Bosque [sic, Bosquet] number 1, where I found her living like a grand rich lady."[38] Today this mansion is the Bulgarian Embassy, with the address 1 Avenue Rapp, at the Place de Résistance.

Figure 10: Avenue de Bosquet, No. 1, c. 1900

Pujol tells that Concepción inherited two magnificent buildings on la Rue de Théodore de Banville in Paris after the death of her husband. But these large Beaux Artes style apartment buildings (Nos. 11, 13, 15, and 17) were projects of her son, designed by the architect Franck Henry, and constructed in 1911, well after the death of her ex-husband. At that time the Rue Théodore de Banville in the 17th Arrondissement was a relatively new area of the city. Luis's descendants still possess the family apartment in one of these buildings.

The Break

Since Pujol only provides vague second- and third-hand opinions on the reason for the break, concentrating on Concepción's "dominant and fickle character" (carácter dominante y voluble), we are left with only speculative explanations. The more recent suggestion, that her romantic overtures to Tárrega were rejected, cannot be dismissed out of hand. But other explanations are equally plausible, perhaps even more so. An alternative explanation is that Pujol was accurate in saying she was disloyal, but this was specifically referring to her patronage of Tárrega, not her romantic intentions. By 1899 she apparently had launched the career of the much younger and attractive Catalan guitarist-composer Miguel Llobet, who was also more inclined to concertize than Tárrega, and to do so internationally. Prat, (1934, p. 184-5) recounts that after meeting Llobet, Concepción took him to Malaga, and in 1900 to Paris, bringing him out of the Barcelona area for the first time and allowing him to begin an international concert career. Tárrega had referred to Concepción as his "eximious disciple." Pujol presents her patronage of Llobet as an act of disloyalty, and Tárrega may have seen it the same way. The mark of a true disciple is consistent loyalty, and no disciple is more disappointing than a disloyal one.

Later years

Pujol tells that Concepción reconciled with Tárrega in 1907, after the guitarist's health had been steadily declining. She went with him again on a final tour, as Pujol writes: "Should Tárrega give some concerts in Alicante and Alcoy, Doña Concha decided to accompany him to the first of these cities, where she owned, as already said, a beautiful country estate called La Cachupina." The short tour was delayed but eventually occurred.

Besides Pujol's account of Concepcíón's rapprochement with Tárrega in 1907, and her subsequent participation in his last concert tour, we have very little information of her activities and interests after Tárrega's death in 1909, mainly a few requests to restore and improve her properties in Barcelona. One of these petitions, from 1906, bears her signature (see Figure 11) and does not yet refer to her as widow (see note 27). The death of her ex-husband most likely occurred in June 1909. There is a record of the June 22, 1909 burial of one Louis Jacoby at Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.[39] This coincides with a June 26, 1909 death notice in Le Nouveau Monde stating that Monsieur Jacoby died as a result of an accident on his return to Paris from Chantilly.[40] The last known signed letter from Luis Jacoby is dated May 9, 1907.[41]

The newspaper Diario de Alicante 6/1448 (January 2, 1912) [p. 1], reports in its "Notas de Sociedad" that Concepción was returning to Barcelona. The "Noticias" in the journal El primitivo Alicante obrero: diario de la tarde: defensor de las Sociedades Obreras de Alicante 1/ 9 (July 7, 1916) [p. 2], reports the birth of Concepción's first granddaughter, Maria Luisa, Concepción y Soledad.[42] The Diario de Alicante 16/4007 (March 9, 1925) [p. 1], reports the death of Concepción among the "Gente conocida" (prominent people). She is the "distinguished Señora Concepción Gomis Bataller, widow Jacoby; we join his son Luis and other family members in their just grief." (Ha fallecido en esta capital la distinguida señora Concepción Gomis Bataller, viuda de Jacoby. A su hijo don Luis y demás familia, acompañamos, en su justo dolor.) She was 76 years old at the time of her death.

Figure 11: The Signature of Concepción Gómez de Jacoby

Information on her son's activities were made public in various periodicals. These include the exhibition of his paintings at the Grand Palais of the Exhibition Universelle of 1900,[43] his work as an engineer and competitive driver for Hispano Suiza automotive company,[44] and his business transactions in Mexico. 

The Patronage Continues

Concepción's son and daughter-in-law, María Suelves de Jacoby (another beautiful actress, born in Zaragoza, c. 1888, see Figure 12), continued patronizing artists and musicians. Their spacious apartment in Paris served as a kind of salon, where painters such as the married couple Louis-Théodore Dubé (Canadian, 1861-1943) and Martha Jane Thweatt (American, 1854-1944), and the Catalonian Josep Mompou (1888-1968) would visit and even reside for extended stays. Josep's brother, the composer Federico Mompou (1893-1987) lived with the Jacoby family for long periods in Paris, and he even gave piano lessons to the children.[45] Mompou would dedicate his Dialogues for piano to María Suelves de Jacoby in 1923.[46] We don't know how the Catalonian composer met Luis and María, but it very well might have been through Concepción in her villa on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Figure 12: Maria Suelves y Solans de Jacoby. Reproduced with kind permission of Jean-Eric Schoettl and Christian Schoettl, who provided this photo.

The Music Dedicated to Concepción

Tárrega dedicated at least three works to Concepción. The earliest known pieces dedicated are !Sueño¡, Mazurka Conchita and Improvisación !Sola¡, both dated June 29, 1897 in Valencia, Concepción's native city where the she resided much of the year. These two pieces appear like many other Tárrega autograph manuscripts, that is to say, each is a first (and probably final) draft with a few corrections written into the score. They are written clearly enough so as to be legible to the recipient, who was intended to play them. Both pieces were part of the Miquel Llobet's music collection that was dispersed after the death of his daughter Miguelina Llobet Aguilar in 1987. The collection was later reassembled in part by Fernando Alonso Mercader (1945-). It seems reasonable to assume that Concepción owned these two pieces and gave them to Llobet when she helped to launch his career around 1900. Both pieces are part of the large Fons Llobet, which was acquired by the Archive of the Museu de la Música de Barcelona[47] in 2015 from Alonso. The Archive gave the two pieces a common shelfmark (ES AMDMB 4-469-7-1-FA123), having been a single unit with two works.

The use of the term "Improvisación" in the title of two of these three pieces written for Concepción (based on present knowledge these seem to be the only two pieces by Tárrega with this word attached) suggests a work that was written extemporaneously without being carefully planned, organized, or edited. Sometimes the genre for this type of piece is called an impromptu, a term also used for poems written on the spur of the moment. In comparing !A Granada¡ with Recuerdos de la Alhambra (see below for details) one has the impression that the earlier version is based on a moment of compositional inspiration; it is less refined at certain points, particularly in the harmonic dimension and the ending. However, the manuscript itself seems the most carefully prepared and inscribed that Tárrega ever produced.

Improvisación !Sola¡

This languishing, sentimental waltz has the title !Sola¡, meaning "alone." Perhaps this is a reference to Concepción's state, as her divorce was probably underway or completed at the time. A halting, rhapsodic character is created by having the opening phrase in a simple waltz rhythm answered by a short ascending motive marked ritenuto. This limping quality is also indicated in the third sections of !Sola¡ with its tempo fluctuations.

This piece bears the dedication "A mi ideal amiga di Sra. Da. C. Gomez." The locution "ideal friend" here is of interest. She was also Tárrega's student at the time (on the 1899 manuscript !A Granada¡ the dedicatee is an "eximious disciple"). On the one hand the locution "ideal friend" may simply mean "exemplary friend," but on the other hand the word "ideal" might suggest that Tárrega was referring to a platonic relationship. It seems doubtful that the composer would be taking such an occasion to send a message to the dedicatee that their relationship was platonic; if such a meaning was intended it might reflect the acknowledgement of mutual feelings about their relationship that had been discussed or observed. In any event we cannot know if this was the intended meaning.

Pujol specifically cites !Sola¡ as the unique piece dedicated to Concepción. As is the case with all three pieces originally dedicated to her, the association with her would be hidden in the published versions. !Sola¡ would be re-edited and published some 47 years after Tárrega's death with the title Paquito, the familiar diminutive name of Tárrega's son Francisco, who is also credited as the "arranger" of the piece.[48] Later publications of Paquito have even more variants from the 1897 autograph manuscript !Sola¡. There is no evidence that any later version was a product of Tárrega's doing.

!Sueño¡, Mazurka Conchita

!Sueño¡ [meaning "Dream"] Mazurka Conchita bears no dedication on the manuscript. Instead Concepción's diminutive familiar name is embedded in the title, suggesting this is a musical portrait of the lady. If so, this portrait certainly reflects the contradictory enigmatic woman described by Pujol. The opening is a direct quote from another Mazurka, namely Op. 7, No. 1 by Frederic Chopin. Perhaps this was a favorite piece of Concepción or the composer, who was a skilled pianist as well as a guitarist. This first section (in a bright C major) has Chopin's triumphant ascending melodic sweep and complimentary descent (with flourishes that is all Tárrega). One can easily imagine that "lively spirit, strong temperament and exalted fantasy" that Pujol described. Likewise, Pujol's description of an "unrestrained contrast" is perhaps found in the second, harmonically unstable section, seeming almost like a different piece. Starting in the relative minor, the key alternates with the modal median minor. It leads to a final segment marked "misterioso," recalling Pujol's words to describe Concepción's personality: "a nebulous and indescribable enigma" The title "Dream" also contributes to the impression that this piece is a kind of brief vision or reverie, with seemingly incongruent elements in close proximity.

!Sueño¡ was published by Ildefonso Alier as No. 10 in the series Obras póstumas escogidas para guitarra, plate No. 5393. This first print includes two minor modifications involving bass notes with harmonic implications: one finds an F natural instead of the original F sharp on the final beat of bar 7 and a low E on the first beat of bar 8 instead of the original tonic C. Both seem to be errors, as a missing sharp is not a rare in music printing and the low E is impossible to play at the same time as the G a third higher. The reason for the omission of name "Conchita" from the title remains a mystery. Perhaps it is a vestige of the break, or if the family was involved in the posthumous publication project by Ildefonso Alier, perhaps there remained some resentment over perceived wrongs.

Improvisación !A Granada¡ Cantiga Árabe,

Two and a half years later, Tárrega composed another piece for Concepción while in Malaga. He gave it the title Improvisación !A Granada¡ Cantiga Árabe, but it was published as Recuerdos de la Alhambra a few years later. Spanish nationalist composers at the time, particularly Isaac Albeniz, but also others, wrote pieces about memorable Spanish places. But !A Granada¡ is the only piece Tárrega ever composed about a place.[49]

This autograph manuscript is a rarity in that it is a completely pristine fair copy that Tárrega meticulously wrote, including a with a personal dedication and an intimate inscription at the end. The manuscript is unique as it was a gift presented to Concepción, commemorating the time they spent together in Granada, admiring the Alhambra palace and fortress complex, hence its original title !A Granada¡. Based on our present knowledge, there seems to be no other autograph score by Tárrega quite like this one.[50]

No longer the "ideal friend," in 1899 manuscript the dedicatee is an "eximious disciple," and Tárrega is now the friend when he writes "Maestro y Amigo" in the dedication. She is a "distinguished" or "eminent" follower and student. The inscription at the end seems the most personal and intimate Tárrega ever wrote on a piece of music. The piece is a "little poetic impression felt by my soul before the grand marvel of the Alhambra of Granada that we both admired together." Moreover, the piece is a gift for Concepción's name-day, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The religious significance of the day is yet another indication of the special nature of this gift, and perhaps a reminder of the religious aspect the appears in the only direct account of their conversation, held in the home of the vicar of Picaña, Francisco Corell.

Like the other two pieces connected to this lady, the provenance of the manuscript almost certainly begins in Concepción's household. It remained in the Jacoby family in Paris, and was given to their close friend, the composer Federico Mompou, who lived with them in their spacious residence on the Rue Théodore de Banville during much of his time in Paris.[51] The composer's wife, the pianist Carmen Bravo Mompou (c. 1923-2007) exchanged the manuscript with Fernando Alonso Mercader for Mompou's autograph score of the piano suite Impresiones íntimas (1914).[52]

* * * 

This piece is not without precedents. Isaac Albéniz composed a set of seven pieces devoted to memories of Spanish places, Recuerdos de Viaje, Op. 71 (1886-87). No. 4 is entitled "En la Alhambra," and is also in A minor. Furthermore, there exists an earlier tremolo study on the memory of a beautiful Spanish locale. José Viñas (1823-1888) composed a capricho, Recuerdos de Palma, also in A minor with an large A major conclusion using tremolo technique. Like the Alhambra in Granada, Palma, the capital city of the island of Mallorca, has clear remnants of its Moorish past.

The subtitle of !A Granada¡, Cantiga Árabe, indicates something of the vocal quality of this "Arabian song," with its sustained cantilena created through tremolo technique. But what exactly is "arabian" about the piece? The Spanish nationalist composers also used words such as árabe, arabesca, moresca and similar terms to suggest this particular form of exoticism.[53] Tárrega hints at Moorish culture by inflecting the quivering, lyrical line with rapid triplet ornaments at several key cadences, suggesting the "arabesque" quality of "oriental" melody. Equally important is the use of the so-called "dominant phrygian mode," associated with Arabic, Hebrew, flamenco and Indian musical genres, among others. Here it is given in subtle hints during the minor key segments, as when the E, F natural, G sharp and A are heard in close proximity. These elements are even more pronounced in the two other original "Moorish" compositions by Tárrega, the Capricho Árabe and the Danza Mora.

The Romantic era fascination with Andalusian 'flamenco' dance and guitar techniques should not be dismissed when considering the rhythmic aspect of this style. The repetitive, rapid-fire execution of tremolo technique creates not only a sustained melodic line but an unmistakable rhythmic character reminiscent of the feet, clapping, finger snaps and castanets of dancers.[54]

In regard to the melody, just as the Mazurka Conchita starts with a direct quotation from Chopin's Mazurka Op.7/1, !A Granada¡ may also begin quoting the work of another composer. Wolf Moser seems to have been the first commentator to notice that the initial phrase resembles the opening vocal line of Nadir's aria "Je crois entendre encore" from George Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles. Is this more than a coincidence? Another similarity noticed by Moser: Both pieces are about remembering something or someone that touched the soul.


One aspect of the transformation of !A Granada¡ into Recuerdos de la Alhambra recalls the break in the relationship of Tárrega and Concepción: the change of dedication to the Parisian guitarist Alfred Cottin. It might be meaningful that the new dedicatee would be a person whose acquaintance with Tárrega was facilitated by Concepción. Tárrega met Cottin in Paris, on a visit in 1897 that Concepción sponsored. Pujol recounts that she, along with her niece Clara and her brother-in-law Martin Jacoby accompanied Tárrega on the trip where he performed in a concert on November 28 (the program is reproduced in Pujol 1960, p. 133 and Rius, p. 108).

There are number of variants between the 1899 !A Granada¡ and the reading in the later Recuerdos de la Alhambra published by Vidal Llimona y Boceta, almost certainly prepared under the supervision of the composer. The autograph has the indication Andante rather than Andantino found in the print. There are no dynamics in the autograph at all until the last 6 bars (p, pp, ppp y pendiendo). There are only two indications of fingering and one indication of a left hand position. In bar 4 the last note in lower line is E, not G (perhaps an error). In bars 9-10 the harmony is in D minor chord rather than F major. In bar 11 there is an E dominant 7th chord rather than E major. In bar 14 the first note is an open A in the bass, not C sharp. There are slightly different voicings in the lower line, for example, in bar 17 the first note in lower line is F, not D. The repeat of the initial minor section after the major section is not found in the autograph, nor the additional major section that follows this repeat. This shortened structure is the way most modern performers have played the piece. The manuscript reading ends with a simple A major arpeggiated chord rather than the broader arpeggio that leads to the final high-voiced chord in the print.

An Ex-Prisoner of The Devil's Tower (Un ex-presidiario de la Torre del Diablo)

One more piece by Tárrega may have a connection to Concepción. In Dr. Walter Leckie's "Red" music book, Tárrega inscribed a Preludio with the arcane subtitle "Una vision en la Torre del Diablo" (A Vision in the Devil's Tower, see Figure 13), and dedicated it to Leckie in Algiers on March 9, 1900.[55]This strange and uniquely puzzling title has never been explained.

Figure 13: Title of Preludio: Una vision en la Torre del Diablo

Tárrega wrote yet another piece with a related inscription in that same book, the Estudio sobre un Motivo de Wagner: "A mi predilecto amigo el Sr. D. Vivianno de Zannoni / Un ex-presidiario de la Torre del Diablo." Algiers, 14 April 1900.[56] Zannoni is almost certainly a pseudonym for Leckie, his "best friend." "An ex-prisoner of the Devil's Tower" appears below the dedicatory inscription, where the name of Tárrega should have appeared (see Figure 14). What does he mean by calling himself that? And why these strange code names shared by the two friends?

Figure 14: Dedication of Estudio sobre un Motivo de Wagner

In his biography, Pujol refers to a period before 1900, when Tárrega and his family lived in the tower of Concepción's villa in San Gervasio, a wealthy and at the time bucolic suburb of Barcelona. Pujol recounts stories of Tárrega's life at that villa, situated at the base of Puxtet hill, and the admirers who came to hear him play. Pujol also states that Tárrega had moved his family out of that tower and back to their apartment in Barcelona in 1899, assuming this was because of the break in relations between the guitarist and his patron. We have already observed that the manuscript !A Granada¡, dated December 8, 1899, contradicts Pujol's account of the break. Yet Tárrega's reference to himself as an "ex-prisoner in the devil's tower" suggests that he felt himself a prisoner in Concepción's villa, and that he discussed that experience with Leckie. In fact, the English word "prisoner" is written in pencil above the Spanish "ex-presidiario."

The reasons for Tárrega's characterization cannot be discerned at this time, any more than the reason for the rupture in their friendship. Perhaps it was Concepción's romantic intentions that Tárrega rejected (or visa-versa). Or perhaps it was Concepción who no longer wanted to have Tárrega and his family in her home. Perhaps she had demanded direction over the guitarist's career, and he rejected such a controlling patron. Perhaps Tárrega's wife had enough of her husband's close relationship and travels with another woman. As for why Tárrega felt a prisoner in the tower, perhaps he regarded Concepción as the negative presence in early 1900. But this seems inconsistent or hypocritical when viewed in the context of December 8, 1899, when he dedicated his precious gift of !A Granada¡ to the patron who had done so much for him and for his family at the very time Pujol claims that the abrupt and unpleasant break occurred. Until he began to get transient ischematic attacks with paralysis (followed by bouts of depression) Tárrega had been traveling and performing in Spain and abroad. He was never accompanied by his family; as early as 1893 Walter Leckie was a companion on the tours, and after 1896, Concepción would travel with him. Living with his family into the San Gervasio villa might well have felt like being trapped, being pulled in two different directions by his family on the one hand and his patron on the other. What is telling is that after leaving the villa, he did not return to live with his family but spent the next six months with Leckie in Spain, Africa, and Italy. This seems like the decision of a man who wants his freedom from the demands of family and patron. And the subsequent erasure of any trace of Concepción from Tárrega's posthumous legacy seems to suggest that the Tárrega family wanted her presence in his life to be erased from memory.

Tárrega edited his "Vision from the Devil's Tower" for publication as a "Preludio" without the subtitle and it appeared in print some two years later. The revisions seem telling: Instead of the original languid mui lento tempo, the revised version moves at more of a walking pace, indicated by an andante sostenuto tempo. There are some minor changes and the ending is substantially different. The original ends with an ascending six-note subdominant minor chord, marked perdendosi, then resolving into a sensual three octave tonic chord. The new version has a much grander ending, a big crescendo over a tonic arpeggio, followed by a three-chord cadence with final tonic note. The original seems a more sensual, heart-rending expression of romantic loss, of hurt, and longing. Not the relief of a man freed from imprisonment in a hellish tower. But any conclusion based on these revisions is speculation. We can no longer know the reasons for the changes, for the broken relationship or for the use of the term "prisoner," any more than we can know the thoughts of the composer regarding these pieces. And although Pujol yielded to rumors and assumptions of bad faith on Concepción's part, until there appears substantial evidence, the mystery will remain, another enigma of this most enigmatic woman.


I wish to thank Lucia Nieto Schuger for her help with the Spanish texts. Luis Briso de Montiano, Jean-Eric Schoettl, Christian Schoettl, and the Hagnauer family, generously provided information and materials.

[1] Published in Barcelona by Vidal Llimona y Boceta, No 13, plate #1102.

[2] In his biographical study of Tárrega's music Wolf Moser first revealed the existence of the 1899 manuscript with the dedication to la sra. Jacoby. See Wolf Moser, Francisco Tarrega y la Guitarra en Espana entre 1830 y 1960. Valencia, España : Piles Editorial de Música (2009), p. 137-8. The first edition of this book was Francisco Tárrega: Werden und Wirken: die Gitarre in Spanien zwischen 1830 und 1960 (s.l.: Saint-Georges, c1996). The first Spanish translation was published as Francisco Tárrega: devenir y repercusión: la guitarra en España entre 1830 y 1960 (Castellón de la Plana: Consejo Municipal de Cultura, 2007). The manuscript is now in the archive of the Museu de la Música de Barcelona, shelfmark ES AMDMB 4-469-7-1-FA124. The provenance will be discussed later in this study.

[3] Tárrega refers to December 8 as Concha's "saint's day,' but the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is not, strictly speaking, a day in the sanctorale (the annual cycle of feasts of various saints in the Liturgical calendar), but in the temporale cycle, i.e., days that celebrate events in the life of Jesus Christ.

[4] Domingo Prat, Diccionario biográfico–bibliográfico—histórico: crítico de guitarras (instrumentos afines), guitarristas (profesores–compositores–concertistas–lahudistas–amateurs), guitarreros (luthiers). Danzas y cantos—terminología (Buenos Aires: Romero y Fernández [1934]), p. 319, briefly mentions Concepción: "Neither will we forget the great guitar enthusiast and protector of other guitarists, the wealthy Valencian doña Concepción Jacoby, with whom he also made excursions to the peninsula and other European countries" (Ne se olvidará tampoco a la gran enthusiasta de la guitarra y protectora luego de otros guitarristas, la acaudalada valenciana doña Concepción Jacoby, con quien también hizo excursiones por la peninsula y otros paises de Europa.)

[5] Emilio Pujol, Tárrega. Ensayo biográfico (Lisboa: Talleres Gráficos de Ramos, Afonso & Moita, L.D.A., 1960/ Valencia: Artes Gráficas Soler. S.A., 1978).

[6] Emilio Pujol, "Tárrega as Teacher," Guitar News 9 (1952), 2-3. This account appears to be based on a letter from Francisco Corell, recounting an incident with Tárrega, Doña Concha, and the lady's "sister and brother." She had no sister or brother at the time, and the putative sister, Clarita, was actually her niece. See below for more details. The letter is also discussed in Adrián Rius [Espinós], Francisco Tárrega 1852-1909 Biography (Valencia: Piles Editorial de Música S.A, 2006), p. 108.

[7] Inaccuracies concerning Dr. Walter Leckie in Pujol's Tárrega biography are discussed in Louis de Swart's introduction to A Tárrega Collection (London: Ariel Publications, 1980), 5-7.

[8] Pujol, Tárrega. 127: De genio vivo, fuerte temperament y exaltada fantasia, extremaba sus sentimientos desde de la más humilde ternura hasta la más imperiosa energía. Había en su porte una extraña mexcla de plebeyez y señorío. Un distinción desembarazada daba paso a una personalidad muy original e interesante, envuelta sin embargo, en nebuloso e indescrirable enigma.)

[9] "al carácter dominante y voluble de dich señora, orígen de tantas situationes comprometidas," Pujol, 1960, p. 140-1). Rius (2006), p. 110, suggests that the break followed a rejection of Concha's romantic advances, but cites no source for this claim.

[10] The Tárrega Leckie Guitar Manuscripts; Lessons with the Maestro, edited by Brian Whitehouse (Halesowen: ASG Music Limited, [2015]).

[11] Ajuntament de València, Servici de Patrimoni Històric i Artístic, Arxiu Històric, Tècnics d´arxiu, Nacimientos 1848, April, No. So67. I wish to thank Alicia Martínez Alonso for providing these sources. The baptismal records of the San Martín church for this period were destroyed in political violence of July 1936.

[12] El Artista ii/13 (September 7, 1867), p. 991: "Primeras contraltos de primissimo cartello. A perfecta fraternidad, doña Amalia Gómez y doña Concepción Gómez." The same sentence appears in Revista y Gaceta Musical i/37 (September 13, 1867), p. 200.

[13] La Iberia v/1197 (2/26/71) p. 3.

[14] Enrique Olavarria y Ferrari, Reseña Histórica del Teatro en México, 1538–1911, vol. 2 (Mexico City: Edición Porrúa, 1961), p. 826. A number of performances and reviews of Amalia are given in this source. Although Amalia would surpass her sister on the stage, it was Concepción that struck the critics of El Federalista and La Iberia as "an arrogant girl, but nicely turned out, lovely; in short, a beautiful theatrical figure, as only Spain or the Spanish Americas can produce. The zarzuela, already known and known by heart, had the novelty of being sung perfectly by Amalia Gomez and her young sister. Fresh and sweet voices, graceful statures, elegant clothing, and also, the attractions of the spring of life, giving birth to the sympathies of the spectators who applauded with sincere enthusiasm." El Federalista Periódico Político y Literario i/48 (2/24/71), p. 3: "una muchacha arrogante, hecha á torno, guapa; en fin, una bella figura teatral, como solo la puede producir España ó las Américas españolas. La zarzuela ya conocida y sabida de memoria, tuvo la novedad de ser cantada perfectamente por Amalia Gomez y su jóvan hermana. Una voz fresca y dulce, una estatura gallarda, un trage elegante, y además, los atractivos de la primavera de la vida, hicieron nacer las simpatias de los espectadores que aplaudieron con un sincere entusiasmo." La Iberia. Periódico de literatura, ciencias, artes, agricultura, comercio, industria y mejoras materiales v/1197 (2/26/71), p. 3, quotes El Federalista in its review.

[15] El Siglo diez e Nueve, Sétima épocha. Año xxxi 11/26/71 Tomo 53 Numero 9819, p. 1.

[16] El Federalista Periódico Político y Literario i/169 (7/19/1871), p. 2; El Ferrocarril iv/70 (3/24/71) p. [2-] 3; El Ferrocarril iv/165 (7/18/71), p. 3 iv/169 (7/22/71), p. 3.

[17] For details on Amalia's career see Anna Agranoff Ochs, "Opera in ContentionSocial Conflict in Late Nineteenth-Century Mexico City," Ph.D. dissertation, the University of North Carolina, 2011.

[18] Archivo de Registro Civil de Distrito Federal, Año de 1873 / Libro de copias de matrionios /juzgado del Estado Civil de la Capital, 122v-123v, numero 158: Presentación del C.o [Ciudadono] Luis Jacoby y Concepcion Gomez; 125v-126: numero 161: "Matrimono del C.o Luis Jacoby con Concepcion Gomez." Asunción Sagrario Metropolitano, Matrimonios 1868-1891, 1873, Abril, 54v-55r. The marriage occurred at the Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de la Santísima Virgen María a los cielos.

[19] This photograph of Luis Jacoby's estate on the Guatemala Central American Railroad is found in Pan American Magazine 7 (1898), p. 96.

[20] See Pan American magazine vi/6 (October 1908), p. 613-16.

[21] Gil Blas - Periodico Satirico ix/6 (11 February, 1872), p 4: Francisco Arderius (1835-1886) was an actor, musician and impresario who published the satirical weekly newspaper La Correspondencia de los Bufos for several months in 1871. I wish to thank Luis Briso de Montiano for supplying this reference.

[22] México, Distrito Federal, Registro Civil, Nacimientos, 1861–1934, 1895, No, 72, 28v-29r. Archivo Estatal de Distrito Federal Archivo Estatal de Distrito Federal. Courtesy of the Academia Mexicana de Genealogia y Heraldica.

[23] "In the year of 1898 his [Iñigo Noriega Laso] house in Mexico City was on Calle de Capuchinas Number 12, his offices were on Calle de La Cadena number 16, at that time he was on the cusp, his successes allowed him enormous influence and recognition among the richest in society, he participated as attorney-in-fact for Doña Concepción Gómez de Jacoby in the divorce trial of this woman, wife of Don Luis Jacoby, one of the largest businessmen in Mexico, power obtained due to a trial separation of property due to divorce, between the Jacoby spouses." (En el año de 1898 su [Iñigo Noriega Laso] casa en la ciudad de México estaba en la calle de Capuchinas Número 12, sus oficinas se encontraban en la calle de La Cadena número 16, en ese momento se encontraba en la cúspide, sus éxitos le permitieron una enorme influencia y reconocimiento entre los más ricos de la sociedad, participó como apoderado de Doña Concepción Gómez de Jacoby en el juicio de divorcio de esta mujer, esposa de don Luis Jacoby, uno de los mayores empresarios de México, el poder lo obtuvo debido a un juicio de separación de bienes por causa de divorcio, entre los esposos Jacoby.) See "Un indiano de leyenda. La Increíble Historia de Don Iñigo Noriega Laso" on the blog:

[24] For a highly critical contemporary report on the scandal, see Carlo de Fornaro, Diaz Czar of Mexico (S.l., International Publishing Co., 1909), p. 107.

[25] El Diario del Hogar: Periodico de las Familias vi/ 197 (5/5/87), pp. 1-2 ("Ecos de la semana"), notes the presence of "La Sra. Gómez de Jacoby was wrapped in salmon brocade and plaid blue, and displayed magnificent diamonds. (La Sra. Gómez de Jacoby staba envuelta en brocade salmon y azul plaido, y lució magníficos brillantes)

[26] The Arxiu Municipal Contemporani de Barcelona has files for three separate building and restoration requests for Concepción's property from 1906 (shelfmark Q127 FO 1779), 1913 (Q127 FO 743), and 1915 (Q127 FO 63). The villa on Calle de Ballester (previously the Calle de Riego) consisted of two buildings, Nos. 17 and 19 and a large garden. These buildings no longer exist.

[27] Francisca De Paula Clara Padilla Gomez was born 28 June 1878, and baptized 3 January 1879 in Asunción Sagrario Metropolitano, Mexico, Distrito Federal, Film 35215, Mexico, Select Baptisms, 1560-1950 [database on-line].

[28] "D.a Concha Jacoby" is listed among Carbonell's "profesores y admiradores" in the Homenaje á María Carbonell, Obras publicadas con motivo del homenaje que le ofrecen sus admiradores (Valencia: Imprenta Hijo de Francisco Vives Morr, 1915), p. 578.

[29] See Enrique Olavarria y Ferrari, Reseña Histórica del Teatro en México, 1538–1911, vol. 2 (Mexico City: Edición Porrúa, 1961), p. 780, 784, 786, 794, 796, 811, 815-17, 819-20, 823, 826, 939, 947-8,

[30] The death was recorded on October 29, 1890 in the Registro Civil del Estado de Distrito Federal, México. 1889-1890, f. 225r. Courtesy of the Academia Mexicana de Genealogia y Heraldica.

[31] Diario del hogar x/41 (November 2, 1890), p. 3: Suicidio: Bajo este epigrafe, varios de nuestros colegas has dado a luz la noticia de que en la calle de Ortega numero cuatro, una senora puso termino a su vida, dejandose caer desde el corredor de tercer piso. Mejor informados aseguiamos a nuestros lectores que la Sra. Amalia Gomez (que es la presunta suicida), habitaba la casa numero treinta y cuarto de la calle de Ortega, y segun opinion de personas de reconocido criterio, se hallaba perturbada en alto grado su razon.
            La noche del miercoles encontrandose en un acceso de locura, salio de su casa y se dirigio a la casa numero cuarto de la misma calle; penetro en el interior, y preguntada por la portera a donde iba, le dijo la Sra. Gomez que a un negocio a los altos.
            Effectivamente, la Sra. Amalia Gomez subió la escalora primera y la secunda, y ya en e tercer piso se arrojó del barandal al patio de la referida casa, cayendo en una fuente de agua, de donde la sacó un maestro pintor y la trasladó a su domicilio.
Avisada la policia por la portera de casa numero cuatro, si dió parte a la quinta demarcacion, y en el acto concurrió el secretario de esa Inspeccion Sr. Franciso Arrieta accompañado del Medico adscrito a dicha oficina.
            La Sra. Gomez ya se hallaba en su habitacion, y bajo las ropas de su lecho; reconocida por el medico que concurriera, declaró este ultimo, que ninguna lesion tenía la Sra. Gomez esteriormente, y que por lo tanto se esperase a que tuviera algunos sintomas de enfermedad que en esos momentos no teniá, salvo su extravío mental . . . A pesar de no tenor la Sra. Gomez ninguna lesion exterior, murió anoche y so infiere que del golpe que recibió; pues la fuente es demasiado pequeña y tiene una division en el centro, sobre la que cayó la referida y desgracia Amalia.

Other accounts include: La Patria illustrada viii/45 (November 10, 1890), 536-7. "Well, who knows what dark storms agitated Amalia's soul, who knows what strange thoughts crossed her imagination, silent as pain and cruel as misfortune!" (Pues bien, quien sabe qué sombrias tempestades agítaban el alma de Amalia, quién sabe qué extraños pensamientos cruzaban por su imaginacion, silenciosos como el dolor y crueles como el infortunio!) And La patria xiv/4135 (November 10, 1890), p. 2: Amalia "ended her days, throwing herself resolutely from the top of a house from Ortega street, to the patio of the house, falling into the fountain, which was emptied, pouring out the water to throw her back on the ground. It seems that in her last days, according to our information, she did not have the very sane judgment as is said, and having become ill and having been prescribed a scrubbing and a few tablespoons, but she swallowed the entire quantity, causing her terrible pain, that made her decide to end her life." (… puse fin á sus días, arrojándose resueltamente desde lo alto de una vivienda del calle Ortega, al patio de la casa, cayendo en la fuente, la cual se vació, airviéndole el agua para arrojarla de nuevo al suelo. Parece que ella en sus últimos dias, según nuestras informaciones, no tenía el juicio muy cabal que digamos, y habiendo enfermado y teniedo recetadas una friega y unas cucharadas, ella lo tamó todo junto, ocasionándoole esto terribles dolores, que la decidieron á poner fin á sus días.)

[33] Tárrega dedicated his study La Mariposa to Loscos.

[34] These are: La mort d'Ase' de Grieg arranjat per Francesc Tàrrega (shelfmark FA168), 'Copiado por M. Llobet, Barcelona 1898;' Zarzuela. La Marcha de Cádiz. Gavota de los Patos' arranjada per Francesc Tàrrega (FA 169), 'Copiado por M. Llobet, Barcelona 1898;' and four Tárrega Preludios (FA 177, 178, 180, and 181), all marked 'Copiado por M. Llobet, Barcelona 1899.' There are two pieces copied in 1897: Romanza' de Schumann arranjada per a guitarra per Francesc Tàrrega (FA 182), 'Copiado por M. Llobet Barcelona 1897, and Air de Ballet' de Massenet arranjada per a guitarra per Francesc Tàrrega (FA 183), 'Copiado por M. Llobet Marzo 1897.'

[35] A handwritten letter from Luis to finance minister José Ives Limantour dated April 22, 1897, is preserved in the Centro de Estudios de Historia de México Carso, Fondo CDLIV: Colección José Y. Limantour 1880-1934, shelfmark 1a. 1883.27.7194.

[36] Established in Havana at a very young age, Ramón was president of the company Asociación Nacional y Unión Industrial y Comercial, a business of importing and exporting construction materials and carpentry, with the "Fábrica de Mosaicos La Cubana." This business expanded throughout the island during the early years of the twentieth century. For his charitable work Ramón was awarded the Grand Cross of Alfonso XII.

[37] Mrs. Clara Padilla de Planiol is mentioned as one of the three women who guard the complements of Virgin (que tomaron possession del cargo de Camaristas de la Virgen) during the procession in Gerona. See La Hormiga de ora. Ilastración Católica 34 (September 25, 1920), p. 516. The article also includes a blurred photograph of Clara.

[38] Eusebio Blasco, "Recuerdos, Cambios, Fortuna <<El Jovan Telémaco>>," in Alrededor del Mundo ii/41 (March 15, 1900), p. 246: "De los artistas que la estrenaron ó figuraban en la compañia . . . Concha Gómez, una de aquellas dos hermanas valencianas tan hermosas que reemplazaron á la Checa y la Hueto creadoras de Calipso y Ve. nus, se fué á Méjico y allí se casó con el rico banquero, alemán Jacoby, viniendo á establecerse á Paris hará unos diez años, domde me invité á comer en su magnifica casa de la Avenida del Bosque numeró 1, en la que la encontré viviendo á lo gran señora rica."

[39] Père Lachaise cemetery, Nos. du register d' inhumations 3342. Dates des inhumations: 22 Juin 1909, Louis Jacoby. See

[40] Nouveau monde et l'echo des deux mondes réunis. Journal hebdomadaire. Politique et littéraire, industriel et commercial 1078 (June 26, 1909), p. 2: "Échos et Nouvelles . . . Nous apprenons avec le plus vive peine le décès de M. Jacoby, mort des suites d'un accident survenus il y a quelques jours au retour de Chantilly. M. Jacoby avait reside pendant de longues années au Mexique, où il s'et acquis de nombreuses amitiés. Nous adressons à sa veuve et à toute sa famille l'expression de notre douloureuse sympathie." The following month the Mexico City newspaper El Tiempo. Diaro Catolico xxvii/8613 (July 18, 1909), p. 2, also reported the death of M. Jacoby, although the writer wonders if this might be Martin Jacoby.

[41] Two addresses appear on this handwritten, signed letter from Paris: 7 rue Théodule-Ribot, which is cancelled, and 108, Boulevard de Courcelles. The letter is addressed to the Mexican finance minister José Ives Limantour, Jacoby congratulations him on his recent admission to the French Academy of Political and Social Sciences. This letter is part of the correspondence of Luis and Martin Jacoby with Limantour, preserved in the Centro de Estudios de Historia de México Carso, Fondo CDLIV: Colección José Y. Limantour 1880-1934, shelfmark 2a. 1907.22.130. The correspondence also includes typed but unsigned letters from 1908.

[42] Luis and Maria Suelves had a second daughter, Marguerite, born in Barcelona, on November 25, 1918.

[43] See William Walton, Exhibition Universelle 1900. The Chefs-d'oeuvre: Applied Art 6 (Philadelphia: G. Barrie & Son, 1900), p. 79. These three painting apparently were donated to the collection at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City. See Eduardo Baez Macias, Guía del archivo de la antigua Academia de San Carlos, 1867-1907, Vol. 1 (Mexico City: National Autonomous University of Mexico, 1993), p. 580: 1. Soledad. Alrededores de Barcelona. 2. Fondeadero de Veleros en el Puerto de Valencia (efecto de Marina) 3) Vista de Vinaroz (Cataluna) Paris 14 de Octubre de [1898].

[44] In the Diario de Alicante xvii/5297 (July 23, 1928 [p. 2]), Luis is described as an engineer living in Palma de Mallorca, and staying at Reina Victoria Hotel in Alicante.

[45] In both the 1931 and 1936 Paris census, Federico Mompou is listed as "ami et compositeur" residing in the Jacoby household. The 1931 census also indicates that Dubé and Thweatt also lived with the Jacoby family.

[46] The premiere of the Dialogues was given at the salon of Baron Robert de Rothschild in Paris and published by Max Eschig in Paris in 1926. Mompou had achieved a great deal of recognition in the French capital, and spent much of his life there.

[48] "Arreglo de Francesco Tárrega (hijo)." This version is found in Francisco Tarrega Album No. 4. Cinco Obras Originales para Guitarra (Madrid: Ediciones Musicales Madrid, 1956), p. 6-7. "Paquito Vals in Do" is the third piece in this collection, and it it is the only one with the date of 1956 (the other pieces have earlier dates, 1929 and 1930). There are a number of variants, mostly in the expressive indications, giving an impression of a more conventional danced waltz rather than a dreamy vals lento.

[49] For example, Isaac Albeniz wrote pieces such as Cadíz, Granada, Seville, Iberia, Cataluña, Mallorca, Aragón, Castilla, Cuba, Rumores de la Caleta, Puerta de Tierra, Torre Bermeja (the vermillion tower at the Alhambra palace), and Zaragoza. Enrique Granados wrote Andalucía and Rapsodía aragonesa.

[50] The many pieces that Tárrega dedicated to Walter Leckie and inscribed in the Englishman's music books clearly show a close friendship, a familiar comradery, and even "inside jokes (see below for an example). But these inscriptions are less formal and personal than those in the pieces he composed for Concepción. He never prepared a manuscript as a gift to Leckie, nor did he compose a musical portrait of the man by adding his name to the title.

[51] See Víctor Fernández, «Recuerdos de la Alhambra» en venta por 80000 euros. Subastan en Barcelona la partitura original de la conocida obra de Francisco Tárrega" in La Razón, June 25, 2011.

[52] Moser, op. cit., 137-8: "The manuscript was in the possession of the family of the Spanish composer Federico Mompou and only since the beginning of 1991 has it become accessible again." (El manuscrito se encontraba en posesión de la familia el compositor Español Federico Mompou y sólo desde principios de 1991 ha vuelto a sea accessible.)

[53] For example, Granados composed such pieces as Suite oriental (árabe) for orchestra, Arabesca (1890), Canción arabe, and Moresque. There are many other pieces by Spanish composers with these terms.

[54] For example, great Carmen Amaya (1913-1963), who was filmed in the 1930s.

[55] The Tárrega Leckie Guitar Manuscripts; Lessons with the Maestro, edited by Brian Whitehouse. (Halesowen: ASG Music Limited, [2015], p. 223. This piece, with some emendations, would become the fifth prelude published in under the composer's supervision by Antich y Tena in Valencia, Spain (plate number 392) in 1902.

[56] Ibid., p. 1.

© Dr. David J. Buch 2020. All rights reserved.