Siete canciones populares españolas

Composer: Manuel De Falla (b. 1876 - d. 1946)
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Composer: Manuel De Falla (b. 1876 - d. 1946)

Performance date: 03/07/2013

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1915

Duration: 00:13:20

Recording Engineer: Damian Chennells, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation: S-solo, pf

Instrumentation Category:Duo

Artists: Clara Mouriz - [mezzo-soprano]
Julius Drake - [piano]

Siete canciones populares españolas

Born in Cadiz, Falla studied at
Madrid Conservatory, taking the top piano award.  His opera “La Vida Breve” won first prize in Madrid in 1905, securing his fame and he went to Paris in 1907, ostensibly
for a few weeks but stayed for seven years, absorbing the latest musical
developments and becoming a friend of Debussy, Ravel and many others. He
returned to Spain at the
outbreak of World War I and commenced upon a busy period of composing,
including the Seven Popular Spanish Songs,
arrangements of folk songs from around Spain; Falla treats them to his
highly individual impressionistic style while maintaining the integrity of the
folk melodies. They were first performed in Madrid in 1915 by Luisa Vela with the
composer at the piano and they have retained their popularity ever since
including many instrumental arrangements.

first two songs hail from Murcia,
in Southeast SpainEl paño
tells of a Moorish cloth that has been stained and now will sell for
less, while in the second song Seguidilla
the singer complains of someone’s promiscuity – like a coin that passes from hand to hand.  The third song Asturiana is from Asturias
in northern Spain
and is a lament: I stood under a pine
tree and, when it saw me weeping, it wept too
.  The Jota
is a lively Moorish dance from the twelfth century often featuring castanets,
in this example the singer confirms his love for a girl despite her mother’s
disapproval. The fifth song Nana is a
delicious lullaby, said to have been sung to Falla as a baby: Sleep little star of the morning.  This is followed by a Canción,
employing a melody popular throughout Spain: They say you don’t love me but once you did. Finally an Andalusian
folk tune Polo: I have a pain in my heart…a curse on love! providing an upbeat
finish to this remarkable group of folk-song settings.