MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946)

The composer Manuel de Falla studied in his home city of Cadiz, and at the Madrid Conservatory. In 1905 he won a prize awarded by the San Fernando Academy, and in 1907 settled in Paris, where he furthered his studies with Debussy, and met Ravel, Albéniz and Stravinsky. 1913 saw the première in Nice of his opera Life is Short followed in 1915 by Love the Magician. From 1914 onwards Falla lived in Granada. In 1922 he organised, together with Federico García Lorca, a renowned cante jondo, or 'deep song', flamenco festival and in 1925 founded the Betic Chamber Orchestra. After the Civil War, he moved to Argentina, where he worked on his most ambitious work, Atlantis, which he was unable to finish.

His musical output is the product of a detailed development of melody and rhythm. His aim was to compose genuinely Spanish music, without straying into folksiness, while nonetheless maintaining the musical foundations of popular tradition.

His music was to evolve from the Andalusian mood of his ballets towards the more Castilian Puppet Opera of Master Pedro. He deployed in his work every sonic technique of contemporary music (polyrhythm, polytonality, oriental elements).

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