Sacred Passions: The Life and Music of de Falla

Sacred Passions : The Life and Music of Manuel de Falla: The Life and Music ...
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In Falla met Stravinsky and in —12 traveled to London, Brussels, and Milan, to give concerts and investigate possible venues for La vida breve , which he had composed shortly after his arrival in Paris in but which, despite the support of Dukas and Falla's own best efforts, was not finally performed until 1 April at the Municipal Casino in Nice , with the libretto translated into French by the dramatist Paul Milliet.

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While at no stage was he a prolific composer, it was then that he entered into his mature creative period. In Granada he wrote the puppet opera El retablo de maese Pedro Master Peter's Puppet Show , and a concerto for harpsichord and chamber ensemble Harpsichord Concerto , The puppet opera marked the first time Falla included the harpsichord in his orchestra. Both of these works were written with Wanda Landowska in mind.

In these works, the Spanish folk influence is somewhat less apparent than a kind of Stravinskian neoclassicism Hess a ; Hess b , , ; Hess , , , The orchestration of the piece remained incomplete at his death and was completed posthumously by Ernesto Halffter. Franco's government offered him a large pension if he would return to Spain, but he refused.

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Falla did spend some time teaching in exile. His image appeared on Spanish currency notes for some years.

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New arrivals. Carol A. The work of composer Manuel de Falla ranges from late-romantic salon pieces to evocations of flamenco to stark neoclassicism. Yet his music has met with conflicting reactions, depending on the audience.

Manuel De Falla

In his native Spain, Falla is considered the most innovative composer of the first half of the twentieth century. Likewise, in the United States, Falla enjoyed a strong following in the concert hall. But many of his works, especially some of the "colorful" or "exotic" dances from The Three-Cornered Hat and El Amor Brujo, were taken up during the Latin music craze of the s and 40s and appeared in everything from jazz and pop arrangements to MGM musicals.

Similarly enigmatic are the details of Falla's life. He never sustained a lasting, intimate relationship with a woman, yet he created compelling female roles for the lyric stage.

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Although he became incensed when publishers altered his music, he more than once tinkered with Chopin and Debussy. Despite insisting that he was apolitical, Falla ultimately took sides in the Spanish Civil War, initially allying himself rather half-heartedly with Franco's Nationalists but later rejecting the honors they proffered. All his life, his rigorous brand of Roman Catholicism brought him both solace and agony in his quest for spiritual and artistic perfection.

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Hess explores these contradictions and offers a fresh understanding of this fascinating composer. Building on over a decade of research, Hess examines Falla's work in terms of musical style and explores the cultural milieus in which he worked.

About this Book

During a seven-year sojourn to Paris just pior to World War I, Falla associated with composers Dukas, Stravinsky, Ravel, and the rest of the group known as les Apaches. Hess also explores a number of myths cultivated in earlier biographies, including Falla's supposed misogynistic tendencies and accusations of homosexuality, which have led some biographers to consider him a saint-like ascetic. Sacred passions : the life and music of Manuel de Falla.

Responsibility Carol A. Physical description xvi, p. Online Available online.

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