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De Falla, Manuel

Manuel de Falla was born in the city of Cádiz, Spain. His mother was his first music tutor, and he saw his first piano professor when he was nine years old. He learned music in Madrid from the late 1890s onwards, learning piano with José Tragó and composition with Felipe Pedrell. In 1899, he received first prize in a piano competition at his school of music by unanimous vote, and about that time, he began to use de as his first nickname, and de Falla became his name from then on. A strong curiosity in metaphysical and supernatural topics was a hallmark characteristic of late Romanticism. Falla was well-known for his deep religious beliefs as well as his obsession with supernatural phenomena. The supernatural, magic, and ghosts are all stated in the tale of his well-known composition El amor brujo. There were few native Spanish composers who had made their appearance on the foreign music scene at the turn of the twentieth century. The majority of art music in Spain was "imported," and operas by Italian composers were particularly common. Manuel de Falla's early popularity as an opera composer was a watershed moment in the creation of a Spanish art music culture. Claude Debussy, Sergei Diaghilev, and Paul Dukas were among the many admirers of Falla's knack for evoking the character and spirit of his native country through song. De Falla had known himself as a globally renowned composer by the end of World War I and the early 1920s.

Many works focused on the stories, myths, tradition, and mythology of their native countries emerged as composers of the late Romantic period turned to literary and folk influences for inspiration. Composers like Antonin Dvorak, Bedrich Smetana, Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakoff, and Isaac Albinez, to name a handful, often focused their works on these elements. During his time in Madrid, de Falla became interested in native Spanish music, especially Andalusian flamenco (specifically cante jondo), which can be heard in several of his works thanks to Felipe Pedrell. Several zarzuelas were among his early works, but his one-act opera La vida breve was his first major work. De Falla lived in Paris from 1907 to 1914, where he encountered a variety of composers who influenced his style, including Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, and Paul Dukas, impressionists. He didn't compose any more music until he returned to Madrid at the end of World War I. Though he was never a prolific composer, this was the beginning of his mature artistic era. He published some of his most well-known works in Madrid, including The organ and orchestra nocturne Evenings in the parks of Spain (Nights in the Gardens of Spain, 1916); and the ballet El Amor brujo (Love the Magician, 1915), which contains the Ritual Fire Dance, which has been extensively excerpted and organized. Serge Diaghilev produced the ballet El corregidor y la molinera (The Magistrate and the Miller's Wife), which was later renamed El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat, 1917), with sets modeled by Pablo Picasso.



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