June 22, 1611 - June 27, 1679
born in Daroca, Spain, composed during the Baroque period
Pablo Bruna is generally regarded as the leading Spanish keyboard composer of his time. Of his 33 surviving works all but one are for organ and 20 of those are so-called tientos, a style of piece popular in late seventeenth century Spain, a sort of Iberian counterpart to the ricercare or fantasia that was generally written for the organ. Baptized on June 22, 1611, Bruna had a luckless childhood, contracting smallpox at the age of five and suffering permanent blindness as a consequence. It is not so much that little is known about Bruna's life; rather, because of his blindness his existence was largely uneventful, apart from his organ playing, teaching, and compositional activities.
He exhibited musical talent in his childhood in spite of his handicap and by his teens had become an accomplished organist. In 1631 he was appointed organist at Santa Maria la Mayor Church, in Daroca (Aragon). He remained in this post until 1674 when he was elevated to maestro di capella at the church. Throughout most of his life Bruna was also a teacher, numbering among his students composer and organist Pablo Nassarre, and two nephews who would become successful musicians in their own right: Diego Xaraba y Bruna and Francisco Xaraba y Bruna.
Among Pablo Bruna's more popular works are Tiento de primer tono de mano derecha y en medio a dos tiples, Tiento de primero tono, and Tiento de 1 tono de mano derecha. His style often incorporated much counterpart and generally exuded an energetic passion and intensity typically associated with the Spanish musical persona. Bruna also made seven settings of the Pange Lingua. He died on June 27, 1679. ~ Robert Cummings, Rovi