Manuel de Falla

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Falla, Manuel de

(mänwĕl` dā fä`lyä), 1876–1946, Spanish composer; pupil of Felipe Pedrell. In Paris from 1907 to 1914, he met DebussyDebussy, Claude Achille
, 1862–1918, French composer, exponent of musical impressionism. He studied for 11 years at the Paris Conservatory, receiving its Grand Prix de Rome in 1884 for his cantata L'Enfant Prodigue.
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, DukasDukas, Paul
, 1865–1935, French composer and critic. He was influenced by both the romanticism of Wagner and the impressionism of Debussy. His compositions are few, the best known being a symphonic poem, The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1897), and an opera,
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, and RavelRavel, Maurice
, 1875–1937, French composer, b. in the Pyrenees. He entered the Paris Conservatory in 1889, where he was later a student of Fauré. Ravel became a leading exponent of impressionism.
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, and was to some extent influenced by their impressionism. His music, however, remained distinctively Spanish, rooted both in Andalusian folk music and the classical tradition of Spain. Falla was an authority on flamencoflamenco,
Spanish music and dance typical of the Romani (Gypsy), or gitano. Flamenco dancing is characterized by colorful costumes, intense and erotic movements, stamping of the feet (zapateado), and clapping of the hands (palmada
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 music and made use of it in his compositions, keeping the vitality of flamenco but imposing upon it rigorous musical structure. Notable among his compositions are an opera, La vida breve [life is short] (1913); a suite for piano and orchestra, Noches en los jardines de España [nights in the gardens of Spain] (1916); and the celebrated ballets El Amor Brujo [wedded by witchcraft] (1915) and El sombrero de tres picos [the three-cornered hat] (1917). From 1921 to 1939 Falla lived in Granada, organizing festivals of native folk songs and touring Europe to conduct his own works. He moved to Argentina in 1939, where he directed the first performance of his guitar solo, Homenaje (1920); later orchestrated as Homenajes. His ambitious choral work La Atlántida occupied his later years; it was finished after his death by Ernesto Halffter and presented in Madrid in 1961.


See G. Chase, The Music of Spain (1960) and S. Demarquez, Manuel de Falla (tr. 1968).

Falla, Manuel de


Born Nov. 23, 1876, in Cádiz; died Nov. 14, 1946, in Alta Gracia, Argentina. Spanish composer and pianist.

Falla studied piano with J. Tragó and composition with F. Pedrell. He first gained recognition with the opera La vida breve (Life Is Short), composed in 1905 and first performed in Nice in 1913, and several subsequent works based on Andalusian folklore. He also gave piano recitals. From 1907 to 1914, Falla lived in Paris, where he met Debussy, Dukas, and Ravel. The music of the French composers influenced Falla’s symphonic impressions for piano and orchestra Noches en los jardines de España (Nights in the Gardens of Spain, 1915). Other major works by Falla include the ballets El amor brujo (Wedded by Witchcraft; Madrid, 1915) and El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-cornered Hat; London, 1919) and the opera El retablo de Maese Pedro (Master Peter’s Puppet Show, 1923; based on Cervantes’ Don Quixote), which combines elements of the opera, ballet-pantomime, and puppet show of Castilian folklore.

Notable among Falla’s other compositions are Fantasía bélica for solo piano (1919), a concerto for harpsichord and chamber orchestra (1924), Siete canciones populares españolas (1914), Quatre Pièces espagnoles for piano (1909), and a composition for solo guitar (1920), dedicated to the memory of Debussy. Many of Falla’s works are known from adaptations for violin and piano by F. Kreisler and P. Kochański and for cello and piano by M. Maréchal.

Falla’s music combines elements of the Spanish national tradition with those of Western European music of the early 20th century. It is marked by clarity and perfection of form, a wealth of rhythmic effects, and lush orchestral color. Intensely expressive, it nevertheless demonstrates a discipline of emotion.

In late 1939, Falla emigrated from Franco’s Spain to Argentina, where he occasionally appeared as a conductor.


In Russian translation:
Stat’i o muzyke i muzykantakh. Moscow, 1971.


Krein, Iu. Manuel’ de Fal’ia. Moscow, 1960.
Ossovskii, A. “Ocherk istorii ispanskoi muzykal’noi kul’tury.” In his book Izbr. stat’i, vospominaniia. Leningrad, 1961. Pages 227–88.
Bronfin, E. “Manuel’ de Fal’ia kak muzykal’nyi pisatel’.” In M. de Falla, Stat’i o muzyke i muzykantakh. Moscow, 1971. (Translated from Spanish.)
Cúelar, J. M. de Falla. Madrid, 1968.


References in periodicals archive ?
Mientras que la prensa de izquierdas aplaude en diciembre de 1932 el estreno madrileno de la Consagracion de la primavera considerada como un acto revolucionario, Manuel de Falla sigue trabajando en una cantata escenica basada en el poema epico L'Atlantida que relata el nacimiento de Espana y la expansion de la fe catolica en el Nuevo Mundo, proyecto del que solo quedaran fragmentos al morir el compositor en 1946 en Argentina.
La contribucion de Eckhard Weber ("Los Titeres de Cachiporra und El retablo de Maese Pedro: Manuel de Fallas Beschaftigung mit dem Puppentheater und die neuen Tendenzen im Musiktheater seiner Zeit") trata de los proyectos de Falla y Lorca para un teatro de munecos -preocupacion que sigue una tendencia incuestionable de los anos 20 (118)-, de los cuales hace falta destacar particularmente la representacion de Los Titeres de Cachiporra en el dia de los Reyes del ano 1923 (125).
Manuel de Falla y el musicologo Domingo Jose Samperio se reunian frecuentemente a platicar de su entranable Espana.
He was awarded numerous prizes, including the Manuel de Falla National Prize in 1947 for his Concierto vasco (see below), and in 1997 the Medalla de Oro al Merito en las Bellas Artes from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture.
The Masters will be led by Manuel de Falla and Frederico Mompou.
The new collection finds her with singers well known to us today: Dennis O'Neill, Jason Howard and, for me the star of the show, Nucia Focile with three melodies by Manuel de Falla.
Muy pronto, en plena juventud, Garcia Lorca empezo a expresar su sensibilidad artistica en distintos campos, en la musica, por ejemplo, bajo el influjo de quien fue su cercano amigo y maestro de guitarra y piano, el impresionista espanol por antonomasia, don Manuel de Falla.
Manuel de Falla, foremost among Spanish composers of the modern era, joined many of Spain's leading intellectuals and artists by leaving his homeland in a state of disillusionment; he remained in Argentina from 1939 until his death in 1946.
But for me the star of the show is Nucia Focile who has three melodies by Manuel de Falla.
Del todavia vivo autor del Concierto de Aranjuez, con quien acabo de encender a sus muchos admiradores, canto sus Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios, en una correcta diccion hispanica que complemento con dos canciones mas del talento de Manuel de Falla.
Con La vida breve (1913), de Manuel de Falla (1876-1946), la cosa ya cambio: es una exquisita obra espanola, pieza capital entre las operas escritas en aquel pais, con libreto del experimentado Carlos Fernandez-Shaw (autor del texto de muchas celebres zarzuelas, como Luisa Femanda, Dona Francisquita, La Tabernera del Puerto .
As might be expected, the "Generacion del '27" (those pre-Spanish Civil War artists, such as Federico Garcia Lorca, Salvador Dali, Conchita Supervia, and "La Argentina") musical figurehead of Manuel de Falla (1876-1946), as well as Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909) and Enrique Granados (1867-1916), influenced much of the Halffters' music.