M. De Falla’s work is strongly influenced by Spanish folk music in which the guitar is central. Although he composed only one piece for that instrument his inspiration was flamenco and early Spanish music, including the guitar works of Gaspar Sanz. The guitar also features in Falla’s first great success, the opera ‚La Vida Breve’. For this recording, we have selected and transcribed works in which the influence of the guitar was dominant thus translating these pieces back to their original source of inspiration. We felt that adding percussion would enhance the rhythmic element that is most characteristic for the music of Spain. We hope that showing De Falla’s work in this dynamic light will bring new audiences to his brilliant music. Widely regarded as the most distinguished Spanish composer of the early twentieth century Manuel de Falla was born in 1876 in Cádiz . After initial piano lessons he moved to Madrid to study composition with Felipe Pedrell. His first breakthrough came in 1905 with his opera La vida breve. Between 1907 and 1914 he lived in Paris and came under the influence of impressionist composers such as Debussy, Dukas and Ravel. Armed with the idioms of impressionism, Falla moved back to Madrid (1914) and composed works such as El Amor Brujo or El sombrero de tres picos, which are strongly influenced by the flamenco music of Andalusia. In the 1920s, Falla altered his stylistic direction, coming under the influence of Stravinsky’s Neo-Classicism. In 1939 he moved to Argentina where he spent his final years working on his cantata Atlántida. He died in 1946.The Spanish Dance is taken from the wedding scene of the opera La Vida Breve (Life Is Short). De Fallas first major work (and a winner of a compositions prize in Madrid) is a sort of Spanish cavalleria rusticana. It was composed in 1905 but not premiered until 1913. The first version of El amor brujo (Love, the Magician) a „gitanera” or gypsy ballet in one act, was written and premiered in Madrid in 1915. It is a love story about a gypsy girl Candela, who can only be freed from the evil spirit of her murdered past husband through the kiss of perfect and true love. Siete canciones populares espanoles („Seven Spanish Folksongs” 1914) and Tus ojillos negros “Your small black eyes” (1902-1903) were originally written for voice and piano.Download booklet
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