Sacred Passions: The Life and Music of Manual de Falla by Carol Hess

By Carol Hess

The paintings of composer Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) levels from late-romantic salon items to evocations of flamenco to stark neoclassicism. but his paintings has met with quite a few reactions, counting on the viewers. In his local Spain, he's thought of a pacesetter within the avant-garde and the best composer within the Spanish cultural renaissance that prolonged from the latter a part of the 19th century until eventually the outbreak of the Spanish Civil warfare in 1936. within the usa his song used to be imported as a part of the "Latin" tune craze of the Thirties and 40s and organized by means of pop artists and utilized in MGM musicals. equally enigmatic are the main points of Falla's existence. He by no means sustained an enduring, intimate dating with a girl, but he created compelling girl roles for the lyric degree. even if he turned incensed whilst publishers altered his tune, he greater than as soon as tinkered with Chopin and Debussy. regardless of insisting that he was once apolitical, he eventually took facets within the Spanish Civil struggle. All his lifestyles, his rigorous model of Roman Catholicism introduced him either solace and suffering in his quest for non secular and inventive perfection. In Sacred Passions: The lifestyles and song of Manuel de Falla, Carol Hess explores those contradictions and gives a clean realizing of the lifestyles and paintings of Manuel de Falla. development on over a decade of study on Spanish tune, Hess examines his paintings when it comes to musical kind and explores the cultural milieu during which he labored. Biographical, historiographical, and cultural threads are explored opposed to the compelling backdrop of early twentieth-century Spain, the place Falla used to be a pivotal determine in a bunch that integrated not just his Spanish modern Enrique Granados, but additionally composers Dukas, Stravinsky, Ravel, and the gang referred to as les Apaches, and plenty of different artists and writers. in this striking cultural renaissance referred to as the "Silver Age," Lorca, Bu?uel, Dal?, Unamuno--and de Falla--created a few of their maximum works. Hess explores a couple of myths in past biographies, together with his lifestyles as an ascetic saint, his meant misogynistic developments, and the accusations of homosexuality. She additionally bargains a balanced view of his habit through the Spanish Civil conflict, a wrenching occasion for a Spaniard of his new release and which Falla biographers have left principally unexamined. Hess additionally examines the idea of de Falla as simply a high-class pop composer, the quintessentially Spanish composer of colourful and unique dances from The Three-Cornered Hat and El amor brujo. She contains contemporary learn on de Falla, attracts upon untapped assets within the Falla information, and reevaluates de Falla's paintings when it comes to present matters in musicology. eventually, Hess areas de Falla's beautiful track, which straddles well known and critical idioms, securely the most effective of his better-known ecu contemporaries. What emerges is a portrait of a guy whose lofty religious values encouraged singular musical utterances yet have been usually at odds with the decidedly imperfect wrold he inhabited.

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Extra resources for Sacred Passions: The Life and Music of Manual de Falla

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Self-love” and the ways of art During his early years in Madrid, Falla tested his abilities in zarzuela. First, however, he completed several salon works. Around 1898, he composed a Scherzo in C Major, which, along with a Nocturne in F Minor (probably from 1899) and a Mazurka in C Minor, disclose his admiration for Chopin. ”41 Still, these early works are marked by constraint, in both harmonic language and emotional range. The Mazurka exploits conventional key relationships both at the level of its insistently regular eight-bar periods and at the level of its largescale structure, which, with a threefold repetition of the A section, suggests a rondo with a plagal codetta.

51 In the final weeks of his life, he became incensed upon discovering that, thanks to the rapacious North American music industry, the Serenata had circulated for years in altered form without his authorization. These modest works could not begin to alleviate Falla’s economic woes, however, and anxious for his family’s well-being he decided to try his hand at zarzuela. As Tragó reported to Viniegra, Falla “expressed to me . . ”52 To this end, Falla consulted José Jackson Veyán, also from Cádiz and the author of several libretti.

No score has survived. The libretto, however, was inspired by the romantic poet and dramatist the Duque de Rivas, two of whose sonnets appeared in earlier issues of El Cascabel, hand copied by the editor in chief. Although the project is briefly mentioned in Pahissa, it may be that Falla only sketched it (or just imagined it) for his make-believe theater. After all, his compositional technique was extremely limited at the time, and opera seems an improbable medium for an inexperienced fifteen-year-old.

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