Antara (Lima, 1930)

Antara

(Lima, 1930)

Prepared by Esperanza Berrocal
Online only (2013)

Antara (ANT) [Panpipe] was published in 1930 in Lima, Peru. This short-lived music journal, originally envisioned as a monthly journal, consists of three issues published in July, August and October. It came about through the initiative of Andrés Sas and Maria Wiesse de Sabogal, the editors and main contributors. Antara represents the first serious attempt to publish scholarly writings on music and related arts in Peru, and the articles show the wide range of cultural interests in Peru at this time. Despite its short run, Antara occupies a significant position among the music journals published in Peru in the first half of the twentieth century, as it reflects a time when growing interest for national musical expression took place.

The structure of the eight to twelve page issues is maintained: an opening article discussing a major topic about Peruvian or European music, followed by three sections of reviews: films, recordings and books. The column “Noticiario” [Musical news] is usually printed between the review pages. Articles of interest include an essay on the history of music in Belgium, a description of the musical practices of the Indian Collas, and a summary of music making during the French Revolution. A section dealing with literature appears in the third issue, discussing the life and work of Baudelaire. In its second issue the journal includes a review of a major exhibition in Lima by the famous Russian painter Nicholas Roerich, who was responsible for scenic designs of Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring. In all issues there are fairly extensive reviews of gramophone recordings of both classical and popular music under the title “Los mejores discos” [The main records], and news of musical life in major European centers, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba and the United States.

The journal also represents the cultural context in which Andrés Sas (1900-1967), among the most influential European musicians based in Peru, would develop his professional career. Andrés Sas was a Belgian composer and musicologist who received his musical training at the conservatories of Brussels and Paris. In 1924, he was hired by the Peruvian government to teach violin in Lima at the Academia de Música Alcedo. He returned to Lima in 1929 to found his own musical school, the Academia Sas-Rosay, with his wife,. Soon after settling in Peru, Sas became interested in indigenous Peruvian music and contributed, during his professional career, substantial studies on diverse Peruvian subjects such as antaras or panpipes ("Ensayo sobre la música Nazca") [Essay on Nazca music], colonial music ("La música en la catedral de Lima durante el virreinato") [Music in the Lima Cathedral during the viceroyalty], and a transcription of La púrpura de la rosa [The Blood of the Rose] by Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco. The latter was the first opera to be composed and performed in the New World.

Maria Wiesse, born in Lima of an intellectual family, grew up in Switzerland. In 1922 she married the painter José Sabogal, a follower of the indigenous artistic movement at the time. Wiesse, who submitted film reviews for ANT, is considered a pioneer of film criticism in Peru. Her important discussion features the merits of the silent film over the “talkie.”