Spanish Classical Music

Artists of Classical Music
  • Andrés Segovia
  • Antonio Soler
  • Enrique Granados
  • José Carreras
  • Manuel de Falla
  • Pablo Casals
  • Plácido Domingo

Manuel de Falla (1876 - 1946)

Manuel de Falla (full name Manuel Maria de Falla y Matheu), a famous Spanish composer, was born in Cádiz in 1867. As a young child, his mother gave him music lessons and later he learnt to compose under Felipe Pedrell. In the time between 1905 and 1907 de Falla taught piano in Madrid, and then moved to Paris, living there until 1914, when he moved yet again to Granada. In 1939 de Falla travelled to Buenos Aires in Argentina where he passed away on November 14, 1946.

In spite of Pedrell’s initial influence in his compositions, De Falla soon manager to develop a distinct style of his own. He drew upon features typical of traditional Spanish folk music with harmonies and melodies vaguely resembling Andalusian music intertwined with French impressionistic elements, which he had picked up through his friendship with renowned composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.

In Paris he worked on many important compositions, namely Noches en los jardines de España (Nights in Gardens of Spain; 1909-1916), the opera La vida breve (Life is Short; 1913), the ballet El amor brujo (Love, the Malician; 1915), El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-cornered Hat; 1919) and the puppet play El retablo de Maese Pedro (The Master Pedro Puppet Play; 1924). His Harpsichord Concert (1923-1926) was also one of his masterpieces, along with other songs and pieces for the guitar.