Happy birthday Manuel de Falla!

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Manuel de Falla (November 23, 1876—November 14,1946) was a Spanish composer. He is considered one of Spain's most important 20th century musicians. He composed pieces for piano, orchestral pieces, operas, and zarzuelas.

ManueldeFallaFalla was born Manuel María de los Dolores Falla y Matheu in Cádiz, Spain to José María Falla y Franco and María Jesús Matheu y Zabal. His mother and his grandmother were the first to introduce him to music. He went on to study with Eloísa Galluzo, Alejandro Odero, and Enrique Broca.

In 1896, he moved to Madrid to study at the Real Conservatorio de Música y Declamación. After taking classes in composition and piano, he composed Melodia for cello and piano. Following this, he won first place at the piano competition at the school.

He continued to compose pieces like Canción para Piano and Serenata Andaluza y Vals-Capricho para Piano. (Image source)

His studies of composition with Felipe Pedrell were what first piqued his interest in Andalusian music. Many of his composition began to include zarzuelas, lyric-dramatic pieces that included sung scenes. La Juana y la Petra and La Casa de Tócame Roque are examples of Falla's zarzuelas.

In 1902, his Los Amores de la Inés debuted in the Teatro Cómico de Madrid. He continued to compose and his work continued to be featured at bigger and bigger places.

In 1907, Falla moved to Paris, where he was influenced by many impressionist composers like Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy and Paul Dukas.

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It wasn't until 1913 that his first important work premiered—it was a one-act opera called La Vida Breve. The piece won first prize in the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando musical competition.

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His maturity as a composer came upon his return to Madrid. Some of his most well-known pieces were composed during this period, including the ballet El Amor Brujo (1915), the nocturne Nights in the Gardens of Spain (1916), and the ballet The Magistrate and the Miller's Wife or The Three-Cornered Hat (1917).

For the next two decades, Falla lived in Granada, Spain, and continued to compose. In 1939, he moved to Argentina following Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War. (Image source)

Some of his notable works from the last decades of his life include the puppet opera El retablo de maese Pedro, the orchestral cantata Atlántida, Suite Homenajes.

In 1940, he was named Knight of the Order of King Alfonso X of Castile. He remained in Argentina until his death, despite being offered a pension from Franco regime to return to Spain.

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Sunday, 23 November 2014
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