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Siete canciones populares españolas

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

Clara Mouriz (photo credit: José Manuel Bielsa)

Clara Mouriz (photo credit: José Manuel Bielsa)

Composer
Manuel De Falla (b. 1876 - d. 1946)
Composition Year
1915
Artists
Clara Mouriz [mezzo-soprano], Julius Drake [piano]

Programme Note Writer:
© Ian Fox

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.

The first two songs hail from Murcia, in Southeast SpainEl paño moruno tells of a Moorish cloth that has been stained and now will sell for less, while in the second song Seguidilla murciana 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.

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Siete canciones populares españolas

Composer: Manuel De Falla (b. 1876 - d. 1946)
Performance date: Wednesday 3rd July 2013
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Manuel De Falla (b. 1876 - d. 1946)
Work Title Siete canciones populares españolas
Composition Year 1915
Artist(s) Clara Mouriz [mezzo-soprano], Julius Drake [piano]
Performance Date Wednesday 3rd July 2013
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Stars in the Afternoon
Duration 00:13:20
Recording Engineer Damian Chennells, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Duo
Instrumentation S-solo, pf
Programme Note Writer © Ian Fox

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.

The first two songs hail from Murcia, in Southeast SpainEl paño moruno tells of a Moorish cloth that has been stained and now will sell for less, while in the second song Seguidilla murciana 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.