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Falla (y Matheu), Manuel de

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Falla (y Matheu), Manuel de

(b Cádiz, 23 Nov 1876; d Alta Gracia, Argentina, 14 Nov 1946). Spanish composer. The central figure of 20th-century Spanish music, he addressed over the course of his career many of the salient concerns of modernist aesthetics (nationalism, neo-classicism, the role of tonality, parody and allusion) from a unique perspective. Like many Spaniards, he was attracted to French culture. His predilection for the French music of his time, especially that of Debussy, caused him to be misunderstood in his own country, where conservative-minded critics attacked his music for its oversusceptibility to foreign influences. Reaction to Falla's music by his compatriots often mirrored the convulsive political changes the country underwent before and during the Spanish Civil War (1936–9), a period of intense cultural activity whose musical manifestations nonetheless remain relatively unexplored.

1. Childhood and early career.

2. Paris.

3. The established composer.

4. Spanish neo-classicism.

5. The Republic and the Civil War.

6. Latin America.





Falla, Manuel de

1. Childhood and early career.

Falla's parents, José María Falla and María Jesús Matheu, were of Valencian and Catalan origins respectively. As a boy the future composer played elaborate games centring on Christopher Columbus, a predilection biographers have connected to Atlántida; his boyhood fondness for puppets has likewise been linked to the Retablo de maese Pedro. He began piano lessons with his mother, continued with a local teacher, and by the age of ten was attending chamber concerts in Cádiz. As his musical abilities grew, other determinants of his adult personality took hold. He began writing short stories and decided to become an author, a goal he fulfilled, after a fashion, in his articles on music, librettos for his own works, and in his carefully edited and extensive correspondence with important figures in the arts and government. His intense Catholicism and daily practice of spiritual exercises also began in adolescence.

By the mid-1890s Falla, now resolved to become a composer, had begun working with Alejandro Odero, a student of Marmontel and Enrique Broca, who taught harmony and counterpoint at the local conservatory. Falla was now performing his own music in public: such early pieces as the Nocturno and Mazurka for solo piano and the Melodía and Romanza for cello and piano are all rooted in conventional 19th-century tonal language. He would spend long intervals in Madrid studying the piano with José Tragó, a student of Georges Mathias and affiliated with the Madrid Conservatory, where Falla eventually enrolled. There he won several honours, including the first prize in piano in 1899.

By 1900 he was living with his family in the capital; he was obliged to support them by giving piano and harmony lessons. He continued performing his music both in Cádiz and in the prestigious Madrid Athenaeum, a bastion of Spanish intellectual life. For the private Athenaeum audience of 6 May 1900 he introduced the Serenata andaluza and Vals-capricho for piano. Two years later these were to be his first published works, along with the song Tus ojillos negros – early efforts he later harshly disparaged.

He could not make a living by composing and performing salon music, for though he was a skilled pianist, he never achieved the virtuoso status of Granados, Albéniz or Viñes. (His Allegro de concierto, submitted in 1903 to a contest sponsored by the Madrid Conservatory, was beaten by Granados's brilliant composition of the same name.) Nor was writing a large orchestral work realistic, given the severe limitations of symphonic institutions throughout Spain. This left zarzuela, the musical commodity most attractive to Madrid's mass audience. Though Falla was later to confess an incompatibility with the genre, which relied on stock characters, local references and conventional musical language, between 1900 and 1904 he composed six zarzuelas, of which only Los amores de la Inés was staged. His collaboration with Amadeu Vives i Roig, a young Catalan then on the verge of making his name as one of Spain's primary zarzueleros, yielded no commercial gain.

Despite his failure with zarzuela, Falla's first Madrid period solidified his musical priorities. He was much impressed by Louis Lucas's treatise L'acoustique nouvelle (1854), a discussion of the natural generation of consonance and dissonance, which gave theoretical justification to his loyalty to tonal structures. In Madrid he also began his association with Felipe Pedrell, the Catalan composer, critic, teacher and musicologist who moved to the capital in 1902 from Barcelona. Like Pedrell's other students (Granados, Albéniz, Vives, Lluís Millet and Roberto Gerhard) he held Pedrell in high regard, even if he ultimately rejected Wagnerism, the primary orientation of much of Pedrell's music.

In 1905 the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando sponsored a contest for a Spanish opera, and Falla won with La vida breve. This was the first of his explorations of Gypsy cante jondo (‘deep song’), employed here alongside verismo elements and thematic reminiscences. As in subsequent works, he set himself the challenge of elevating traditional Gypsy music to the highest level of art while preserving its primordial essence. Though part of his prize was a public performance of La vida breve, no authorization from a Spanish theatre ever materialized. Frustrated with musical institutions in Spain, in 1907 he accepted an offer to tour France as an accompanist and ended up living in Paris for the next seven years.

Falla, Manuel de

2. Paris.

There he met Ravel, Stravinsky, Florent Schmitt, Debussy, Diaghilev, Albéniz and Dukas, for the last of whom he played La vida breve shortly after arriving. (He later paid tribute to Dukas in the austere piano piece Pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas, 1935.) Despite Dukas's encouragement and Falla's best efforts, La vida breve was not performed for six more years. In the meantime Ricardo Viñes introduced the Cuatro piezas españolas, a more overtly ‘Spanish’ work than the hybrid La vida breve. The Trois mélodies on texts of Théophile Gautier were also heard for the first time. Falla's use here of non-functional 7th and 9th chords, whole-tone chords and remote key relationships represent a significant shift in his harmonic thinking. In dedicating the third song to Debussy's wife, Emma Bardac, he acknowledged his debt to Debussy, who helped ease his entry into musical Paris and counselled him on several of his compositions. In 1911–12 he travelled to Milan, Brussels and London both to give concerts and investigate possible venues for La vida breve, finally presented (in a French adaptation by Paul Milliet and with some revisions in the score) in Nice in 1913. The following year it played at the Opéra-Comique, where it earned the approbation of critics like Pierre Lalo and André Coeuroy. (The Danse in Act 2 remains one of Falla's most popular works, and is often performed separately.) After the opera's success, Falla, now 37, could at last look forward to a broader appreciation of his music and greater material security, having signed a contract with the publisher Max Eschig. His public image was also in place: descriptions of the diminutive ascetic dressed in black, repeated in so many biographies, date from the Paris years. He took steps to bring his family to Paris, but when World War I broke out, was forced to return to Spain.

Falla, Manuel de

3. The established composer.

His second Madrid period proved more gratifying than the first. La vida breve was performed shortly after his return, and so a few months later were the Siete canciones populares españolas, completed in Paris. He had based the latter work on Spanish folk material, harmonizing terse melodic fragments with rich added-note chords and modal sonorities. Considerable emphasis is given to the piano, as in ‘Jota’, where it provides a brilliant ritornello, and ‘Polo’, where rapid repeated notes pound against the singer's impassioned cries. His balancing of simplicity (‘Seguidilla murciana’, for example, is little more than an elaborated ii–V–I cadence), metrical play and textual subtleties have made the Siete canciones the most performed of all Spanish-language solo songs. Numerous transcriptions, including orchestral arrangements by Berio and Ernesto Halffter, attest to their celebrity.

During 1914 and 1915 Falla travelled throughout Spain with the theatrical impresario Gregorio Martínez Sierra and his wife María Lejárraga, providing incidental music for two sentimental dramas, Amanecer and La pasión, and an adaptation of Othello. Though his correspondence shows considerable attention to production details, he later destroyed these theatrical scores, unconvinced of their worth. By spring 1915 he was back in Madrid. Here Martínez Sierra established a new company, the Teatro de Arte, which was probably where Falla met his future collaborator, Federico García Lorca. The composer cultivated a close working relationship with María, whose contribution to her husband's career has been clarified by Patricia O'Connor (1977) and Antonina Rodríguez (1994): she wrote nearly all of the hundreds of plays, adaptations, articles and reviews that bear Gregorio's name, including most likely the scenarios for Falla's next two stage works, the gitanería (‘gypsy revel’) El amor brujo and the pantomime El corregidor y la molinera.

As in La vida breve, Falla sought in El amor brujo to unite art music with the spirit of traditional Gypsy music. One production feature was the singing of Pastora Imperio, a musically illiterate Gypsy who mastered Falla's music with ‘the ease of a consummate solfègist’, according to him. Unlike La vida breve, however, which marked his triumphant re-entry into Madrid, El amor brujo provoked a wider range of opinion. (Falla eventually made substantial revisions in the score.) Some critics believed his sense of orchestral colour and use of Impressionist devices had been put to good use, even while noting the difficulty of creating a ‘serious’ work from popular elements. But to others El amor brujo failed to evoke a truly Spanish atmosphere precisely because of the composer's absorption of ‘foreign influences’, and, as one critic put it, his ‘obsession with the modern French school’. Similar attacks, rooted in Spain's historical tendency towards isolationism, were to greet the composer throughout his career.

He spent part of the summer of 1915 at Sitges, the Mediterranean artists' colony, completing his ‘symphonic impressions’ for piano and orchestra Noches en los jardines de España. This discursive and extravagantly orchestrated work features several manifestations of the Phrygian 2nd and, unlike most concertos, affords a seamless integration of the piano with the rest of the ensemble. The composer's correspondence makes clear his intentions to offer the work's Impressionist effects as a tribute to ‘the modern French school’, to which he habitually acknowledged his indebtedness.

Despite the xenophobic tendencies of many Spanish music critics, Spain was jolted into a more cosmopolitan mentality during World War I. An increasing number of foreign artists visited neutral Spain, bringing with them new ideas and stimulating dialogue between Spain and greater Europe. For his part in this sudden leap into modernity, Falla wrote several articles on new music, publishing an essay on Stravinsky just before that composer's first visit to Madrid in 1916. In April 1918 he presided over a memorial concert for Debussy, whose music, considered radical by many Spanish critics, was something of a cause célèbre for aesthetic progressives in Spain. (It provided the touchstone for the modernist polemic par excellence, José Ortega y Gasset's La deshumanización del arte.)

Stravinsky's visit to Madrid was in the company of Diaghilev, whose Ballets Russes earned the special interest of Alfonso XIII. In 1917 Diaghilev and his new choreographer Massine became familiar with El corregidor y la molinera, Falla's hugely successful pantomime based on the novel El sombrero de tres picos by Alarcón. María's scenario depicted Spanish folk-ways in an idealized past; Falla's score was seen as its apt complement, with several critics noting that his music seemed at last purged of ‘debussismos’ and ‘ravelismos’. Diaghilev and Massine saw possibilities in the unpretentious little work, and urged Falla to develop it into a fully fledged ballet. This involved eliminating many of the rather prosaic mimetic devices of the second half (the musical content of the first half stayed largely intact) and expanding from a chamber orchestra to a full symphonic ensemble. For the new version, El sombrero de tres picos, Picasso designed sets and costumes, while Massine's choreography offered a stylized interpretation of Spanish dance. These elements, with Falla's revised score, caused a sensation in London in 1919; reaction by the Spanish public two years later, however, was mixed. While some critics resented the ‘modernist’ portrayal of Spanish character by a company of foreigners, others hailed Falla's ‘ironic’ adaptation of folk material, Massine's extravagant choreography and Picasso's ‘cubist’ sets as a liberating influence on Spanish art.

Yet another wartime visitor to Spain was the pianist Artur Rubinstein, who commissioned from Falla the virtuosic Fantasia baetica. Falla's farewell to the cante jondo idiom, the multi-sectional Fantasia contains acerbic harmonies, often on 4ths and 2nds and providing a percussive underpinning for short, abrupt motifs of narrow melodic range. The generously ornamented lines of the more expansive, metrically free central section evoke flamenco solo singing. Falla also began two theatre pieces in collaboration with María: Fuego fatuo (‘Will-o'-the-Wisp’) and Don Juan, drawn from the familiar Spanish tale. The former, an opera based on themes by Chopin, was neither published nor performed, and on Don Juan Falla vacillated for so long that María finally commissioned a score from Conrado del Campo, thus severing her association with Falla. Before abandoning Fuego fatuo, Falla turned down Diaghilev's offer of Pulcinella; had he, rather than Stravinsky, accepted it, his career might have taken an entirely different direction. Having recently lost both parents, Falla sought greater tranquillity than Madrid could afford. With his sister María del Carmen he moved to Granada in September 1920, where he was to compose his most original works.

Falla, Manuel de

4. Spanish neo-classicism.

In Granada Falla composed, taught, maintained his correspondence and received numerous visitors, including Segovia, José María Sert, the British Hispanist John B. Trend, Wanda Landowska, Ravel and Casella. In 1922 he and García Lorca, a native of Granada, collaborated on the internationally acclaimed Cante Jondo competition, the purpose of which was to forestall what they considered to be the decline of flamenco singing. (A projected collaboration on García Lorca's play Lola la comedianta never materialized.) García Lorca was also active in the 1927 tricentenary commemoration of the birth of Góngora, whose complex, allusory style was becoming increasingly attractive to a group of Spanish poets who saw 17th-century poetic models as vehicles for pure form and objective beauty. Falla's contribution to the Góngora commemoration was Soneto a Córdoba for voice and harp, the sparse accompaniment and declamatory vocal line of which recall the early monodists.

Even before this Falla had been attracted to neo-classical ideals. In 1919 the Princess Edmond de Polignac requested a work for her private theatre in Paris; avoiding the Andalusian idiom, Falla explored medieval and Renaissance sources to complement his own adaptation of chapters 25–6 (part 2) of Cervantes's Don Quixote. Throughout the Retablo de maese Pedro he incorporated music by Gaspar Sanz (a late 17th-century gallarda for solo guitar) and Salinas (a Romance viejo); the latter was found in Pedrell's Cancionero musical popular español, from which Falla borrowed additional melodic fragments. Falla's harmonic vocabulary now embraced octatonic structures, strict modality and quartal harmonies, along with diatonic writing. In contrast to the brilliant orchestration of El sombrero de tres picos a more astringent sonority prevails, incorporating the extreme ranges of the woodwinds, string harmonics and the ironic commentary of the harpsichord, an unfamiliar sound in the 1920s. Meanwhile, the marionettes, with their frozen expressions and mechanical gestures, enact the story of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza's visit to Maese Pedro's inn.

Of all Falla's works the Retablo enjoyed the most illustrious performance history during his lifetime. Intellectuals and pioneers of contemporary music at home and abroad drew attention to its ‘asceticism’, ‘clean precision’ and ‘austerity’; Falla was also praised for his rigour in working within self-imposed limitations. Similar commentary greeted the Harpsichord Concerto, written for Wanda Landowska and deemed especially praiseworthy by Stravinsky. In the first movement Falla quotes fragments of a 15th-century villancico De los álamos, vengo madre; of greater interest is his extreme concentration of materials. Despite small forces (the harpsichord is one of six solo instruments), miniature formal proportions, fragmented themes, and an essentially monothematic second movement, Falla achieved a remarkable and often arresting range of sonorities, thanks to his careful balancing of the harpsichord's capabilities with the idiosyncratic qualities of each instrument.

Other works drawing on Spain's musical-historical past include the chamber cantata Psyché, set in the court of the 18th-century King Philip V and his consort Isabel Farnese; an introspective yet intense miniature, the work most clearly shows the influence of Debussy. In the spirit of Spanish neo-classicism Falla also composed incidental music for Calderón de la Barca's auto sacramental, El gran teatro del mundo. The 17th-century genre, a one-act drama often didactic or evangelical in nature and a staple of Golden Age theatre, attracted considerable interest among Spanish intellectuals. The score contains a fascinating mix of quotations ranging from the Dresden Amen to the Cantigas; because the composer never considered it an original work it remained unpublished during his lifetime. In the mid-1920s he become attracted to a text by the Catalan nationalist poet Jacint Verdaguer, L'Atlàntida, an epic treatment of Spain, Catholicism and the lost continent of Atlantis. Falla began studying Catalan in order to adapt the text for his projected ‘scenic cantata’ Atlántida, a work that occupied him until the end of his life.

If the stylistic label ‘neo-classicist’ implies an uncomfortably wide range of meanings, it is nonetheless the most accurate description of Falla's works of the 1920s. (Attempts to apply it to earlier works, like El sombrero de tres picos, are misguided in that they do not take into account the broad parameters of neo-classical style as it was practised throughout Europe between the wars.) Nor did musical neo-classicism in Spain take place in a vacuum, as can be seen from contemporaneous literary trends. Although in the 1920s Falla renounced conventionalized Spanish nationalism (Phrygian melodic turns, guitar-based sonorities, flamenco style), he never turned his back on his heritage, as is evident in the references, allusions and models, all handled with extreme sublety, cited above.

Falla, Manuel de

5. The Republic and the Civil War.

When in April 1931 the Second Spanish Republic was installed, Falla was initially receptive to the new government's egalitarian principles. But the Republic's anti-clerical legislation deeply troubled him, as did a rash of church-burnings by radical vigilantes. He became prone to bouts of depression, a condition exacerbated by other health problems (including an inflammation of the iris) and one that greatly slowed his progress on Atlántida. Nonetheless he continued to teach (his students included Ernesto and Rodolfo Halffter, Joaquín Nin-Culmell, Adolfo Salazar and Rosa García Ascot), remaining a figurehead for young Spanish composers. In 1931 he became a nominal member of the Republican Junta Nacional de Música, despite having registered disapproval of the government's religious policy. (In 1932 he turned down a Republican homage from Seville as a gesture of protest.) He also served on the editorial board of Cruz y Raya, a journal for Catholic intellectuals, which published his 1933 article on Wagner, similar in tone to the corresponding passage in Stravinsky's Poetics.

In 1935 he provided music for an auto sacramental by Lope de Vega, and made an intense study of Golden Age polyphony by making ‘expressive versions’ of Victoria, whose Tantum ergo he had already used in El gran teatro del mundo and the second movement of the Harpsichord Concerto. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, Granada was among the first regions to fall under Nationalist (rightist) control. On learning that García Lorca had been apprehended, Falla intervened at considerable personal risk in a fruitless attempt to prevent the poet's execution. Throughout the war the Nationalists courted Falla, sometimes to the point of making propaganda of his religious convictions. They named him president of the newly established Instituto de España (an offer he declined, pleading poor health) and asked him to provide a national hymn (a request with which he half-heartedly complied). By the time the war ended in April 1939, Falla had accepted a conducting engagement from the Institución Cultural Española (ICE) of Buenos Aires. He and his sister travelled to Argentina, where he was to remain for the rest of his life, despite further overtures from the Franco government.

Those who would pigeonhole Falla in one political camp or another overlook, first, the extent to which personal acts, like the practice of religion, assumed political significance during the Civil War, secondly, Falla's admission in his correspondence that the Church was not blameless in its application of worldly power, and, most importantly, his fervent wish to remain apolitical, despite the impracticality of such a desire in those highly charged times. Some biographers have also wrongly described his final years in Argentina as akin to political ‘exile’. Although at the war's end many had little choice but to leave Spain because of their political activities under the Republic, Falla went to Argentina to accept an engagement, not to make a political statement. Disillusioned with Spain and despairing of the direction Europe was taking in 1939, he arrived in Buenos Aires in frail health and in search of solitude.

Falla, Manuel de

6. Latin America.

At first his health and spirits improved. The four concerts he conducted at the Teatro Colón in November 1939, which included the première of his orchestral suite Homenajes, were warmly received. He soon made contact with Argentine musicians, including Alberto Williams and Juan José Castro. Various cultural organizations, like the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes, fêted him. He even came to consider the sea voyage he once dreaded as ‘providential’ and determined to complete Atlántida, now two-thirds finished.

Surely the cantata's subject matter resonated deeply with the composer: rising from the ruins of Atlantis, the Spanish nation goes forth under the banner of Christ to the New World. A classic narrative of destruction and creation, placed in the age of discovery, Atlántida belongs to the long tradition of colonial epics by Europeans – narratives which, like Atlántida, typically mix history, mythology, biblical references and individual poetic licence. Falla emphasized the text's Christian elements, treating his boyhood hero Columbus as the divine ‘bearer of Christ’; indeed the ethereal ‘Salve en el mar’ is perhaps the score's peak moment, and the closest Falla ever came to writing original religious music.

Yet it may be that his personal stake in the work was precisely what thwarted its completion. Twice (while in Spain) he submitted the text of the ‘Salve’ to ecclesiastical authorities, fearing that it contained improprieties; twice it appeared his worries were exaggerated. Some of Falla's correspondence shows that he was even beginning to question the moral value of composing music in such a troubled world; these doubts, ill health and concern over friends still affected by the war all conspired to sabotage the completion of Atlántida. Renewed economic woes created additional obstacles, for the European war often prevented Falla's royalties from reaching Buenos Aires. (Despite this, he persisted in his habit of giving all that he could to the needy, including exiled Spanish Republicans held in French refugee camps.)

Always seeking greater silence, by the end of 1939 he had moved from Buenos Aires to the Córdoba sierra. Biographers have tended to emphasize the desolate aspect of these last years, yet when health permitted he conducted in the capital (both for live audiences and radio broadcasts), organized commemorative events for Victoria and Pedrell, maintained his correspondence and continued work on Atlántida. His final residence was Alta Gracia, where he died days before his 70th birthday. He left behind the last dated page of Atlántida (8 July 1946) and some 202 folios that constitute the autograph.

Given the sprawling nature of the work, making sense of these folios has been problematic. In 1954 Falla's heirs asked Ernesto Halffter to complete the score, and his 1961 edition was performed in both the concert and scenic versions. Later scholarship found fault with Halffter's version, which, in addition to other problems, includes scenes that Falla seems to have abandoned as early as 1931. But Falla's compositional process is by no means easily grasped from even the most thoughtful sketch study, and any attempt to complete Atlántida would probably have failed.

The tragedy of Falla is that ill health and political realities prevented him from composing more. Only a handful of his works brought him international renown, and two of these (Atlántida and the Retablo) involve sufficiently complex staging that their full impact is seldom appreciated. He tends to be known more for his colourful, folkloric compositions than for the works of the 1920s, so admired by connoisseurs of modern music and undeservedly overlooked in general studies of neo-classicism. As products of their historical context, his works and their reception tell us much about musical life in Spain before the Civil War. As aesthetic objects they stand as striking examples of what could still be accomplished within a tonal framework in the first half of the 20th century.

Falla, Manuel de


printed works published in Madrid unless otherwise stated


first performed in Madrid unless otherwise stated

El conde de Villamediana (op, de Rivas), c1891, unperf., lost, doubtful

La Juana y la Petra, o La Casa de Tócame Roque (zar, 1, J. Santero, after Ramón de la Cruz), c1900, unperf., lost, lib E-GRmf

Los amores de la Inés (zar, 1, E. Dugi), 1901–2, Cómico, 12 April 1902 (1965)

Limosna de amor (zar, J.J. Veyán), 1901–2, unperf.

El cornetín de órdenes (zar, 3), c1903, unperf., lost, collab. A. Vives

La cruz de Malta (zar, 1), c1903, unperf., lost, collab. Vives

Prisionero de guerra (zar), c1903–4, unperf., GRmf (photocopy), collab. Vives

La vida breve (lyric drama, 2, C. Fernández Shaw), c1904–13, Nice, Casino Municipal, 1 April 1913 (in French), vs (Paris, 1913); fs (Paris, 1982)

La pasión (incid music, G. Martínez Sierra [M. O Lejárraga]), 1914, Lara, 30 Nov 1914

Amanecer (incid music, Martínez Sierra [Lejárraga]), 1914–15, Lara, 7 April 1915, lost

El amor brujo (gitanería, 1, Martínez Sierra [Lejárraga]), 1915, Lara, 15 April 1915, US-Wc (London, 1924); rev. (ballet, 1), 1916–17, Paris, Trianon-Lyrique, 22 May 1925

Otelo (Tragedia de una noche de verano) (incid music, Martínez Sierra [Lejárraga]), 1915, Barcelona, Novedades, ?Oct 1915, lost

El corregidor y la molinera (pantomime, 2 scenes, Martínez Sierra [Lejárraga], after P. de Alarcón: El sombrero de tres picos), 1916–17, Eslava, 7 April 1917 (London, 1983); rev. as El sombrero de tres picos (ballet), 1916–19, London, Alhambra, 22 July 1919 (London, 1925)

Fuego fatuo (comic op, 3, Martínez Sierra [Lejárraga]), 1918–19, unperf., E-GRmf* (Madrid, 1996) [based on Chopin themes]; acts 1 and 3 orchd A. Ros-Marbá, perf. Granada, 1 July 1976

El corazón ciego (incid music, Martínez Sierra [Lejárraga]), 1919, San Sebastian, Nov 1919, lost

La niña que riega la albahaca y el príncipe preguntón (incid music, F. García Lorca), 1922, Granada, home of García Lorca, 6 Jan 1923, GRmf* [based on Españoleta y paso medio, transcr. Pedrell: Cancionero, iii]

Misterio de los reyes magos (incid music), 1922, unpubd; Granada, home of García Lorca, 6 Jan 1923, GRmf* [based on music from Pedrell: Cancionero, i and iii, and folksong arr. L. Romeu]

El retablo de maese Pedro (puppet op, 1, Falla, after M. de Cervantes: Don Quixote), 1919–23, concert perf., Seville, S Fernando, 23 March 1923; stage, Paris, home of Princess Edmond de Polignac, 25 June 1923 (London, 1924)

El gran teatro del mundo (incid music, P. Calderón de la Barca), 1927, Granada, 18 June 1927

La vuelta de Egipto (incid music, F. Lope de Vega), 1935, Granada, 9 June 1935, GRmf*

La moza del cántaro (incid music, Lope de Vega), 1935, Granada, June 1935

Atlántida (cantata escénica, prol., 3 pts, Falla, after J. Verdaguer), 1926–46, inc.; completed by E. Halffter, concert perf., Barcelona, Liceu, 24 Nov 1961; stage, Milan, Scala, 18 June 1962 (Milan, 1962); rev., concert perf., Lucerne, Kunsthaus, 9 Sept 1976


first performed in Madrid unless otherwise stated

Noches en los jardines de España, sym. impressions, pf, orch, 1909–15 (Paris, 1922): 1 En el Generalife, 2 Danza lejana, 3 En los jardines de la Sierra de Córdoba; Real, 9 April 1916; rev. chbr orch, c1926 (1996), Seville, S Fernando, 14 Dec 1926

El amor brujo, 1915–16 (1996), Sociedad Nacional de Música, 28 March 1916 [rev. of stage work]

El sombrero de tres picos, 2 suites, 1916–21, Eslava, 17 June 1919 (some dances only)

Fanfare sobre el nombre de E.F. Arbós, tpt, trbn, perc, 1934, Calderón, 28 March 1934, E-GRmf*

Homenajes, 1920–41 (Milan, 1953): Fanfare sobre el nombre de E.F. Arbós, A Claude Debussy: elegía de la guitarra [after gui work, 1920], A Paul Dukas: Spes vitae [after pf work, 1935], Pedrelliana [after Pedrell op La Celestina], 1926–41; Buenos Aires, Colón, 18 Nov 1939


Choral: Con afectos de jubilo y gozo, S, women's chorus, pf, 1908; Balada de Mallorca (J. Verdaguer), chorus, 1933 [after Chopin: Ballade, F]; Invocatio ad individuam trinitatem, 4vv, 1935 [from stage work La vuelta de Egipto]; Himno marcial (J.M. Pemán), chorus, pf, drums, 1937 [after Pedrell: Canto de los almogávares]

Solo vocal (for 1v, pf unless otherwise stated): Preludios: Madres, todas las noches (A. de Trueba), 1900 (1980); Rimas (G.A. Bécquer), c1900 (1980): Olas gigantes, ¡Dios mio, que solos se quedan los muertos!; Tus ojillos negros (C. de Castro), 1902 (n.d.); 3 mélodies (T. Gautier), 1909–10: Les colombes, Chinoiserie, Séguidille; 7 canciones populares españolas (popular texts), 1914: El paño moruno, Seguidilla murciana, Asturiana, Jota, Nana, Canción, Polo; Oración de las madres que tienen a sus hijos en brazos (G. Martínez Sierra), 1914; El pan de Ronda que sabe a verdad (Martínez Sierra), 1915; Psyché (G. Jean-Aubry), 1v, fl, vn, va, vc, hp, 1924; Soneto a Córdoba (L. de Gógora), 1v, hp/pf, 1927


Doubtful: Cantares de Nochebuena (popular texts), 1v, gui, zambomba (friction drum), rebec, c1903–4

chamber and solo instrumental

Melodía, vc, pf, 1897 (1980); Romanza, vc, pf, 1897–8; Pieza, C, vc, pf, c1898; Pf Qt, G, 1898–9, lost; Mireya, poema, fl, vn, va, vc, pf, 1898–9, lost: 1 Muerte de Elzear, 2 Danza fantástica; Serenata andaluza, vn, pf, c1899, lost; El amor brujo, str qt, db, pf, 1914–15 [from stage work], rev. 1926 (1996): Pantomima, Danza ritual del fuego; Homenaje: pièce de guitare écrite pour ‘Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy’, gui, 1920; Fanfare pour une fête, 2 tpt, timp, b drum, 1921; Concerto, hpd/pf, fl, ob, cl, vn, vc, 1923–6 (Paris, 1928)


Gavotte et Musette, c1892, lost; Nocturno, c1896 (1996); Scherzo, c, 1898; Mazurka, c, c1899; Mireya, c1899 [transcr. of chbr work]; Serenata andaluza, c1900 (1996); Canción, 1900 (1996); Vals-capricho, 1900 (1996); Cortejo de gnomos, 1901 (1996); Serenata, 1901; Serenata andaluza no.2, c1901, lost; Suite fantastica, c1901, lost; Allegro de concierto, 1903–4; 4 piezas españolas (4 pièces espagnoles), c1906–8: Aragonesa, Cubana, Montañesa, Andaluza; Fantasia baetica, 1919; Homenaje: pièce de guitare écrite pour ‘Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy’, 1920 [arr. of gui work]; El sombrero de tres picos, pianola, 1921–6 [arr. of ballet]; Canto de los remeros del Volga, 1922 (1996); Pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas, 1935


G. Rossini: Ov. to Il barbiere di Siviglia, rev. orch, c1924

C. Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, rev. orch, 1924

F. Pedrell: Canción de la estrella [from Els Pireneus], rev. orch, 1941–2 (1997)

‘versiones expresivas’: T.L. de Victoria: Ave Maria, Sanctus, 1932; O. Vecchi: L'Amfiparnasso, no.1, 1934; J. del Encina: Romance de Granada, Tan buen ganadico, 1939; P. de Escobar: Ora sus, 1939; F. Guerrero: Madrigal, 1939; Victoria: O magnum mysterium (In circuncisione Domine), Gloria, Benedictus, Tenebrae factae sunt, Miserere mei Deus, Vexilla Regis, in festo Sancti Jacobi, 1940–42

Also other arrangements and transcriptions


MSS and other materials in E-GRmf

Principal publishers: Chester, Eschig, Manuel de Falla Ediciones, Ricordi, Unión Musical Española

Falla, Manuel de


El ‘cante jondo’ (canto primitivo andaluz) (Granada, 1922)

‘La proposición del cante jondo’, El defensor de Granada (21 March 1922)

‘Wanda Landowska à Grenade’, ReM, iv/4–6 (1922–3), 73–4

‘¿Cómo son la nueva juventud española?’, La gaceta literaria (1 Feb 1929)

Correspondence, 1931–45 (US-NYp Gilbert Chase Collection)

Escritos sobre música y músicos: Debussy, Wagner, el ‘cante jondo’, ed. F. Sopeña (Madrid, 1950, 5/1993; Eng. trans., 1979)

Cartas a Segismondo Romero, ed. P. Recuero (Granada, 1976)

G.F. Malipiero: Manuel de Falla: evocación y correspondencia (Granada, 1980)

‘Epistolario Falla-Rodrigo’, Homenaje a Joaquín Rodrigo (Madrid, 1981), 24–53

Correspondencia entre Falla y Zuloaga, 1915–1942, ed. R. Sopeña (Granada, 1982)

Falla y Turina a través de su epistolario, ed. M.P. Gutierrez (Madrid, 1982)

Falla, Manuel de


KdG (H.-G. Klein)

F. Pedrell: ‘La vida breve’, La vanguardia (29 May 1913)

A. Salazar: ‘El corregidor y la molinera’, Revista musical hispano-americana, ix/4 (1917), 8–12

J. Turina: ‘Manuel de Falla’, Chesterian, no.7 (1920), 193–6

J.B. Trend: ‘Falla in “Arabia”’, ML, iii (1922), 133–49

A. Salazar: ‘Polichinela y Maese Pedro’, Revista de Occidente, iv (Madrid, 1924), 229–37

E. Istel: ‘Manuel de Falla’, MQ, xii (1926), 497–525

A. Salazar: ‘El “Concerto’” de Manuel de Falla: idioma y estilo, clasicismo y modernidad’, El sol (3 Nov 1927)

J.B. Trend: Manuel de Falla and Spanish Music (New York, 1929/R)

A. Carpentier: ‘Manuel de Falla en París’, Social, xv/8 (1930); repr. in Obras completas de Alejo Carpentier, ix (Mexico City, 1980), 251–4

A. Roland-Manuel: Manuel de Falla (Paris, 1930/R)

G. Chase: ‘Manuel de Falla's Music for Piano Solo’, Chesterian, xxi (1940–41), 41–6

O. Mayer Serra: ‘Falla's Musical Nationalism’, MQ, xxix (1943), 1–17

A. Sagardia: Vida y obra de Manuel de Falla (Madrid, 1946, enlarged 2/1967)

J.M. Thomas: Manuel de Falla en la isla (Palma de Mallorca, 1947)

J. Pahissa: Vida y obra de Manuel de Falla (Buenos Aires, 1947, 2/1956; Eng. trans., 1954/R)

J. Jaenisch: Manuel de Falla und die spanische Musik (Zürich and Freiburg, 1952)

M. García Matos: ‘Folklore en Falla’, Música [Madrid], nos.3–4 (1953), 41–68; no.6 (1953), 33–52

K. Pahlen: Manuel de Falla und die Musik in Spanien (Olten, 1953)

L. Campodonico: Falla (Paris, 1959/R)

R. Arizaga: Manuel de Falla (Buenos Aires, 1961)

E. Ansermet: ‘Falla's Atlántida’, ON, xxvii/1 (1962–3), 8–13

E. Molina Fajardo: Manuel de Falla y el ‘cante jondo’ (Granada, 1962/R)

Musica d'oggi, v/4–5 (1962) [Atlántida issue]

F. Sopeña: Atlántida: introducción a Manuel de Falla (Madrid, 1962)

R. Barce: ‘Atlántida, el problema formal’, Estafeta literaria [Madrid], no.258 (1963), 14–15

S. Demarquez: Manuel de Falla (Paris, 1963; Eng. trans., 1968)

G. Fernandez Shaw: Larga historia de ‘La vida breve’ (Madrid, 1964, enlarged 2/1972)

A. Gauthier: Manuel de Falla: l’homme et son oeuvre (Paris, 1966)

J. Viniegra: Vida íntima de Manuel de Falla y Matheu (Cádiz,1966)

J. Grunfeld: Manuel de Falla: Spanien und die neue Musik (Zürich, 1968)

M. Orozco: Manuel de Falla: biografía illustrada (Barcelona, 1968)

T. Beardsley: ‘Manuel de Falla's Score for Calderón's Gran teatro del mundo: the Autograph Manuscript’, Kentucky Romance Quarterly, xvi (1969), 63–74

C. Chávez: Falla en México (Mexico City, 1970)

A.R. Tarazona: Manuel de Falla: un camino de ascesis (Madrid, 1975)

R. Crichton: Manuel de Falla: Descriptive Catalogue of his Works (London, 1976)

E. Franco: Manuel de Falla y su obra (Madrid, 1976)

F. Sopeña: Manuel de Falla y el mundo de la cultura española (Madrid, 1976)

P. O'Connor: Gregorio y María Martínez Sierra (Boston, 1977)

B. James: Manuel de Falla and the Spanish Musical Renaissance (London, 1979)

R. Crichton: Falla (London, 1982)

A. Budwig: ‘The Evolution of Manuel de Falla's The Three-Cornered Hat, 1916–1920’, JMR, v (1984), 191–212

A. Budwig: Manuel de Falla's Atlántida: an Historical and Analytical Study (diss., U. of Chicago, 1984)

A. Budwig and G. Chase: Manuel de Falla: a Bibliography and Research Guide (New York, 1986)

A. Gallego: Catálogo de obras de Manuel de Falla (Madrid, 1987)

Manuel de Falla tra la Spagna e l'Europa: Venice 1987

F. Sopeña: Vida y obra de Manuel de Falla (Madrid, 1988)

J. de Persia: Los últimos años de Manuel de Falla (Madrid, 1989)

A. Gallego: Manuel de Falla y El amor brujo (Madrid, 1990)

A. Gallego: Conciertos de inauguración del Archivo Manuel de Falla (Granada, 1991)

J. de Persia, ed.: Manuel de Falla: Diálogos con la cultura del Siglo XX (Granada, 1991)

J. de Persia, ed.: Manuel de Falla, Poesía: revista ilustrada de información poética, nos.36–7 (Madrid, 1991)

J. de Persia: Primero concurso de cante jondo (Granada, 1992)

J.-C. Hoffelé: Manuel de Falla (Paris, 1992; Eng. trans., 1995)

R. Barce: ‘Profilo ideologico di Manuel de Falla’, Musica/Realtà, xlii (1993), 31–56

A. Rodríguez: María Lejárraga: una mujer en la sombra (Madrid, 1994)

E.A. Seitz: Manuel de Falla's Years in Paris, 1907–14 (diss., Boston U., 1995)

M. Christoforidis: ‘Folksong Models and their Sources in Manuel de Falla's Siete canciones populares españolas’, Context, ix (1995), 12–21

C.A. Hess: ‘Manuel de Falla's The Three-Cornered Hat and the Right-Wing Press in Pre-Civil War Spain’, JMR, xv (1995), 1–30

Y. Nommick: ‘Manuel de Falla: de La vida breve de 1905 à La vie brève de 1913: genèse et évolution d'une oeuvre’, Mélanages de la Casa de Velázquez, xxx (1994), 71–94

M. Christoforidis: ‘Manuel de Falla, Debussy and La vida breve’, Musicology Australia, xviii (1995), 1–10

Y. Nommick: Jardines de España de Santiago Rusiñol a Manuel de Falla (Granada, 1997)

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