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Francisco Javier García Fajer (Composer)

Born: 2nd December 1730, Nalda, Spain

Died: 9th April 1809, Zaragoza, Spain

Nationality: Spanish

Francisco Javier García Fajer El Españoleto was a Spanish composer of the Italianate galante school.

He studied at the choir school at Zaragoza Cathedral. As a young man he moved to Italy, where he was chapelmaster of the see of Terni 1754-56 and gained his Italian epiphet Lo Spagnoletto, which he retained even back in Spain as El Españoleto.

The Italian musical environment during the 1750s was characterised by composers on the threshold between galante and early classical such as Niccolò Jommelli and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.

García Fajer returned home as maestro de capilla of la Seo in Zaragoza 1756 till his death during the French siege of Zaragoza in 1809. As part of his Italianate reforms the Spanish villancico was supplanted by the Latin responsory.

García Fajer was out of favour for many years in Spain due to his promotion of Italianate musical idiom, however in recent years he has been rehabilitated and taken on his own merits as a galante composer.

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