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Manuel de falla

Manuel de Falla (by his full name: Manuel Maria de los Dolores Falla y Matheu ) is one of the most important composers of Spain, born November 23, 1876 in Cadiz (Spain), and died on November 14, 1946, in Alta Gracia (Argentina).

Manuel de Falla began studying piano at the age of eight with provincial teachers, before becoming, in 1890, a pupil of José Tragó, a high-level pianist. He obtained a prize after being, from 1896 to 1898, student at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid. In 1904, he wrote The Brief Life, a sort of exercise to complete his short training in instrumentation with Felipe Pedrell who is the initiator of Spanish music.

Befriending Paul Dukas, he made a stay in France (1907-1914) where he met Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Isaac Albéniz. These three great consecrated musicians find in him "a great witty composer" . In 1908, his four Spanish plays are published in Paris and in 1910, as well as his Three Melodies on texts by Théophile Gautier.

He returned to Spain and wrote the first version of his ballet music L'Amour sorcier in 1915, followed by the ballet Le Tricorne in 1917, which was successfully premiered in London two years later by Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Among his other major works Nuits in the gardens of Spain (1921), for piano and orchestra; The Brief Life, lyric drama in two acts, taking place through the evocation of the charms of the city of Granada; The Altarpiece of Maître Pierre (1922), chamber opera; his Concerto for harpsichord and five instruments (1923-1926) dedicated to Wanda Landowska: one of the very first modern works dedicated to this instrument in the course of "resurrection". Falla writes after this date only works of circumstance (For the tomb of Paul Dukas for solo piano, 1935) and devotes himself to a cantata on a poem of Verdaguer y Santalo, Atlantis (remained unfinished and ended by Ernesto Halffter).

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