ALL ABOUT THE PALACE OF CATALAN MUSIC
The most beautiful modernist concert hall in Barcelona is not by Antoni Gaudí, but by his teacher and leader of Modernism, Lluis Domenech i Montaner, who directed the construction works between 1905-1908. The building was designed to be the headquarters of the Orfeo Catala, a society created to promote music in the Catalan world, specially through choirs. Their focus wouldn’t be just the preferences of the cultural elites, but also the Catalonia traditions and the working classes, who through those choirs had access to more educated music styles.
Domenech i Montaner envisioned a building that would be an antem to Music, profusely decorated with sculptures related to local and international musicians, people singing, muses playing instruments… The treatment of light to enhance the inside of the concert hall, and the solutions to perfect its acustic conditions included innovative techniques and materials for the time. The demolition of the church next door in the 1980’s made possible and additional entrance of light (already planed by Montaner, who was thinking ahead) and the construction of a modern wing containing additional service areas, a restaurant and a second smaller concert hall.
What you’ll see during your palau de la musica visit
The façade of the Catalan Music Palace
The best point to observe the façade of the Barcelona Palau de la Musica is from the corner with Amadeo Vives street. There raises a large sculpture representing the “popular catalan song”, where several characters representing the Catalan society sing along, surrounding a young girl that symbolizes “The Song”, and topped by Saint George – patron saint of Catalonia. You can recognize a group of farmers and a group of fishermen, as well as mothers and their children of different social levels. A farmer holds an arm of The Song, meaning that the singing belongs to the people of Catalonia. The fishermen are the ones that help Catalan music travel around the world on their ships. Mothers transmit the traditional songs to the younger generations.
From the corner you also get a nice view of the balcony on the second floor, with its famous columns decorated with flower mosaics. You’ll also see sculpted portraits of famous composers: Bach Beethoven, Palestrina and Wagner. On the street level you can still see the (now closed) little windows of the original ticket offices, decorated also with colorful mosaics.