Manuel de Falla
© Arhivo Manuel de Falla
Born in 1876 in Cadiz, the historical seaport town at the southern-most tip of Andalucia, Manuel de Falla is the greatest Spanish composer of this century. His formal musical education began with piano lessons, and when Falla was twenty his family moved to Madrid where he studied with the distinguished teacher José Tragó. He then went on to study composition with Felipe Pedrell, the teacher and scholar who led the revival of Spanish music which took place towards the end of the nineteenth century. In 1904 Falla's one-act opera La vida breve (Life is Short) won the composition competition of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes and at the same time he was awarded a prestigious piano prize organised by the piano makers Ortiz y Cussó. In 1907 he achieved a long-held ambition of travelling to Paris and was welcomed there by Ravel, Debussy (with whom he had previously corresponded) and especially by Paul Dukas. He completed several chamber works and began work on Noches en los jardines de Espãna (Nights in Gardens of Spain )before the outbreak of war in 1914 compelled him to return to his native country. Two years later he was approached by Diaghilev to write a work for the Russian Ballet and in response composed a mime-play in two tableaux, El corregidor y la molinera (The Magistrate and the Miller's Wife) which, with some subsequent revisions, became El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat), and was produced highly successfully in London in 1919 with choreography by Massine and designs by Picasso.Following the deaths of his parents in 1919 he settled in Granada, where he remained until the end of the Civil War (1939), and composed several of his most important works including El retablo de maese Pedro (Master Peter's Puppet Show), Psyché and Concerto per clavicembalo (Harpsichord Concerto). He then moved to Argentina and worked there until his death in 1946 just a few days before his 70th birthday, leaving the vast oratorio Atlántida still unfinished.
- Deutsche Grammophon releases Manuel de Falla’s El Sombrero de Tres Picos
- The prestigious German label has released a CD with Manuel de Falla’s El sombrero de tres picos performed by the Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid conducted by José Ramón Encinar and the Spanish soprano Ainhoa Arteta.
The specialized press has recognised this outstanding recording with fantastic critics.
- BBC Proms 2013
- The complete programme listings for the 2013 season of the BBC Proms were announced on April 18, and this year’s festival features a whole host of works by Music Sales composers, both old and new.
Running from July 12 to September 7, the Proms features new commissions and a UK premiere by some of Music Sales’ leading composers. On July 25, John McCabe’s BBC commission Joybox will be given its world premiere by the BBC Philharmonic alongside a performance of The Three-Cornered Hat by Manuel de Falla. The fresh and exciting Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Collon, will be giving Philip Glass’s Symphony No.10 its UK premiere on July 31.
As part of Benjamin Britten’s centenary celebrations this year his Simple Symphony will be performed by Camerata Nordica, directed by Terje Tønnesen on August 31 and A Boy was Born by Choristers of Temple Church and BBC Singers, conducted by David Hill on September 3.
One of Music Sales’ leading composers Witold Lutoslawski is celebrated this year with performances of some of his greatest works. Variations on a Theme by Paganini will feature in the opening night of this season and be performed by BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sakari Oramo. Celebrated cellist Paul Watkins performs Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Cello accompanied by BBC Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Adès on July 17 amongst performances of some of his other works this year.
For the full listing of Music Sales works throughout this year’s Proms season please see the website calendar.
The complete programme of 2013 can be found on the BBC Proms website.