Author Topic: de Falla Station  (Read 9330 times)

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Offline Szykneij

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de Falla Station
« on: February 19, 2011, 09:16:46 PM »
I could have sworn Manuel de Falla had his own thread here but I seem to be mistaken, so let's start one for this deserving composer. I was listening tonight to his "Suite Populaire Espangnole" performed by violinist Cho-Liang Lin, originally composed as a collection of Spanish songs for voice and piano. Ten years after its premier in 1915, violinist Paul Kochansky arranged six of the songs for violin and piano with da Falla himself contributing the accompaniments. The beautifully haunting "Asturiana" is my favorite of these short virtuosic pieces. One of Spain's most important composers of the 20th century, Falla composed these works after moving to Paris in 1907 where his music was influenced by Ravel, Debussy and Dukas. He returned to Madrid shortly after the start of World War I.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2011, 09:21:57 PM »
No thread on de Falla? ??? This is astonishing! I love his music so much particularly the ballets. Those sweaty Spanish rhythms still resonate with me to this day. I find it interesting that he spent the last years of his life in Argentina and didn't compose a single composition while he was there (I believe he was there for 5 years). He was working on his massive cantata Atlantida, but never finished it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 09:41:19 PM by Mirror Image »
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Luke

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 02:17:15 AM »
Firstly, kudos for the thread title!

de Falla, to me, means the following pieces:

Harpsichord Concerto
Psyche
El Retablo de Maese Pedro
Fantasia Baetica
Nights in the Gardens of Spain
Homenage a Debussy

I have less interest in the more picture postcard Spanishness of some of the other music, but those pieces I listed - goodness me but they are wonderful! I adore the brittle spiciness that happens when the 'otherness' of the Spanishness meets the 'otherness' of the historical or the otherwise alien - the medieval, the Moorish, the mechanical, the show-within-a-show, the ancient. The Harpsichord concerto and El Retablo are for me, then, the heart of de Falla's music, whilst Psyche has this cool, classical languor that is utterly unique. Meanwhile the Fantasia, a startlingly harsh piano work, finds more of the real Spain than any postcard pieces, however bejewelled and wonderful (by Albeniz or Granados etc - bear in mind that i love the best of Albeniz and Granados!). Nights in the Gardens of Spain, whilst more impressionist and less harsh, I simply think is a fabulous piece, so full of throbbing mystery. The Homenage is a tiny piece, not very important in some ways, but it's a perfect gem anyway.

Offline Luke

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 02:19:39 AM »
This is the de Falla disc I listen to most often. Given that in the grand scheme of things de Falla is not a composer who figures much in my mind, however much respect I have for the pieces i just mentioned, it's surprising how much time this one gets in my CD player, and that says a lot, I think (the Orbon pieces are fabulous too, an inspired coupling, operating in that same Spanish-Moorish-Medieval zone with music of great force and character - wonderful stuff, a joy to listen to)

« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 02:22:40 AM by sul G (again) »

Offline Guido

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2011, 03:02:32 AM »
Best thread title ever.

Thanks Luke for this. I remember we talked about him before and I dutifully bought the works you recommended, but I found them hard to like in their brittle febrility... maybe it's time to have another go.
Geologist.

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Offline Luke

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2011, 03:33:43 AM »
So much sweet soul under there, Guido! give em another play...

Offline Luke

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2011, 03:39:13 AM »
Oh, and MI, I was just thinking - you've been talking recently about your new-found love for a particular group of operas within a genre which as whole you find difficult - I'm talking of Pelleas, Bluebeard, and particularly in this case of Ravel's operas. To me, Falla's Retablo is somewhere in the same lineage as the Ravel two - the artificial, doll-like world of L'enfant, the exquisite Spanishery of L'heure. I recommend it to you highly.

Drasko

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 05:29:15 AM »
I'm very fond of El corregidor y la molinera, first version of El sombrero de tres picos. Originally written as a pantomime, scored for 17 instruments. Somewhat longer and more rambling and I'm actually not sure is it preferable to Sombrero in any way, but I find it more intimate, atmospheric and easy going than tighter wound and brilliant sounding ballet version, and I play it much more often. Would really love to see it staged as pantomime or perhaps a puppet play. 

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2011, 07:22:18 PM »
I should also mention my love for Nights in the Gardens of Spain, this is really a dreamy, beautiful work.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2011, 07:25:27 PM »
Oh, and MI, I was just thinking - you've been talking recently about your new-found love for a particular group of operas within a genre which as whole you find difficult - I'm talking of Pelleas, Bluebeard, and particularly in this case of Ravel's operas. To me, Falla's Retablo is somewhere in the same lineage as the Ravel two - the artificial, doll-like world of L'enfant, the exquisite Spanishery of L'heure. I recommend it to you highly.

Thanks, sul G. I have a copy of this opera somewhere. I think it's the performance by Mata on Dorian. I'll have to listen to it.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Luke

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 12:58:55 AM »
Thanks, sul G. I have a copy of this opera somewhere. I think it's the performance by Mata on Dorian. I'll have to listen to it.

Ah, good, that's the one I was talking about, it's gorgeous. (And you were right before, btw, I'm Luke, so you don't need to worry about the sul G bit! That was just my attempt to ward of the login demons)

karlhenning

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 05:32:50 AM »
No thread on de Falla? ??? This is astonishing! I love his music so much particularly the ballets. Those sweaty Spanish rhythms still resonate with me to this day. I find it interesting that he spent the last years of his life in Argentina and didn't compose a single composition while he was there (I believe he was there for 5 years). He was working on his massive cantata Atlantida, but never finished it.

Yes, we heard a Suite from Atlàntida at Symphony this past November.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 07:38:50 AM »
Yes, we heard a Suite from Atlàntida at Symphony this past November.

How was it Karl?
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 07:39:15 AM »
Ah, good, that's the one I was talking about, it's gorgeous. (And you were right before, btw, I'm Luke, so you don't need to worry about the sul G bit! That was just my attempt to ward of the login demons)

I'll definitely check it out Luke, thanks.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

karlhenning

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2011, 08:02:18 AM »
How was it Karl?

Beautiful. Made one long for what might have been.

karlhenning

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2011, 08:02:52 AM »
Took me a long minute to figure out the thread title FWIW.

Offline Szykneij

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2011, 01:01:52 PM »
Took me a long minute to figure out the thread title FWIW.

That's because you never adopted the Boston accent.  ;)
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline jowcol

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2011, 03:14:59 PM »
I may be a Philistine, but I really like El Amor Brujo... Nights in the Gardens in Spain would be my second choice..
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2011, 03:22:42 PM »
I may be a Philistine, but I really like El Amor Brujo... Nights in the Gardens in Spain would be my second choice..

Great works. Love them both. Nothing Philistine about liking something you connect with. If it moves you, then that's all that matters.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: de Falla Station
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2011, 02:28:16 PM »
Only one page for this composer? Pitiful...

Anyway, it seems de Falla isn't discussed much around here which is a crying shame because the man created some magical music. Today, I picked up a few recordings to add to my collection of his music:



Not pictured:

Manuel de Falla: El Amor Brujo, El Sombrero de tres picos
Marilyn Horne
Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez
New York Philharmonic
Sony
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy