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Composer of the month: De Falla

thu 3 sep 2020

Our composer of the month in October is Manuel de Falla. Together with Granados and Albeniz, De Falla was one of the important advocates of Spanish music both at home and abroad. Folk music almost always plays a role in his works. That is noteworthy because during De Falla’s lifetime, from 1867 to 1947, Spain was anything but a unified state, neither politically nor artistically. Extreme conservatism and religious devotion went hand in hand with anarchism, absurdism and communism. If you are looking for ideology in its sharpest and deadliest form, look to this period in Spanish history. De Falla himself was a Catalan, but studied in Madrid and considered himself to be a Spaniard. That attitude is reflected in, among other things, one of his most famous works, Seven Spanish Folksongs. Spaniards hear the music of the provinces, we hear the music of Spain. Although many of his works became popular precisely because of their Spanish character, De Falla was also looking for a personal touch. His piano works from the first decade of the 20th century are an example of this. Debussy ensured that they were published.

 

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