Manuel de Falla

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  • Falla & Lorca: Encuentro

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About Manuel de Falla

Although Falla’s creative output was fairly small, its quality and individuality have ensured that he is regarded as Spain’s greatest 20th-century composer. Born in Cádiz in 1876, in 1900 he moved with his family to Madrid, where he studied the music of Andalusian southern Spain. Falla’s opera La vida breve (“Life Is Short,” 1905), a tragic love story set in Granada, established his reputation. In 1907 he began a seven-year stay in Paris, where he met and was influenced by Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky. Returning to Madrid, Falla composed Nights in the Gardens of Spain for piano and orchestra (1916) and two ballet scores, El amor brujo (“Love, the Magician,” 1915) and El sombrero de tres picos (“The Three-Cornered Hat,” 1919). With a relocation to Granada came the more austere style of the Harpsichord Concerto (1926). Falla then started work on an epic choral cantata, Atlántida (“Atlantis”), which he was never to complete. In 1939, appalled by the Spanish Civil War, he moved to the city of Córdoba in Argentina, where he died in 1946.

Cádiz, Spain
November 23, 1876

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