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Nights in the Gardens of Spain
7 difficult

About the Composer

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Manuel de Falla

Spain’s most important composer of the twentieth century; he absorbed prevailing trends from the Parisian avant-garde and combined them with nationalist Spanish ideas.

1876Born in Cádiz on November 23, the son of a businessman.
1896–99Piano studies at the conservatory in Madrid; from 1902–1904, private lessons with Spanish nationalist Felipe Pedrell.
1906–08“4 Piezas españolas” for piano.
1906With his opera “La vida breve,” Falla wins a competition to promote Spanish nationalist operas.
1907Relocation to Paris, acquaintance with Dukas, Debussy, Ravel, Albéniz. He is introduced to the circle of the “Apaches,” to which Ravel, among others, belongs.
1909Songs “Tres melodías” after Théophile Gautier.
1909–15“Noches en los jardines de España” (“Nights in the Garden of Spain”) for piano and orchestra, including Andalusian folklore elements.
1913Premiere in Nice of “La vida breve.”
1914Return to Madrid upon the outbreak of the world war. “Las Siete cancíones populares españolas” after texts of old Spanish songs.
1915Premiere of the ballet “El amor brujo.”
1919Breakthrough with the premiere in London of the ballet “El sombrero de tres picos” (“The Three-Cornered Hat”).
1920“Homenaje: pièce de guitare écrite pour ‘Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy’” (“Homage: Guitar Piece Written for ‘Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy’”). He moves to Granada; there he explores flamenco and popular puppet theater with Federico García Lorca.
1923Premiere in Paris of the puppet opera “El retablo de maese Pedro” (“Master Pedro’s Puppet Show”) after an episode in Don Quixote.
1923–26Concerto for harpsichord and five instruments.
1927–46Composition of the scenic cantata “Atlántida”: a monumental work completed by his student Ernesto Halffter and premiered posthumously in Barcelona in 1961 (in concert version) and in Milan in 1962.
1939Relocation to Argentina.
1946Death in Alta Gracia (Argentina) on November 14.

© 2003, 2010 Philipp Reclam jun. GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart

About the Authors

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Johannes Umbreit (Piano reduction)

Prof. Johannes Umbreit studied the piano at the Musikhochschule in Munich. From 1987 onwards he was a regular accompanist at courses given by Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Thomas Brandis, Ljerko Spiller, Igor Ozim, Olga Woitowa, Ernő Sebestyén, Walter Nothas, F. Andrejevsky, Denis Zsigmondy and Zakhar Bron amongst others. He has appeared in numerous radio and TV broadcasts and plays chamber music with members of the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

He is on the jury of different international competitions and has been invited to several international music festivals. Umbreit was a teacher for almost ten years at the Musikhochschule in Munich and at the same time a lecturer for chamber music and piano accompaniment at the Richard Strauss Conservatory. Since 2008 he has been a lecturer at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. As the long-serving managing director of the Richard-Strauss-Gesellschaft, he was made an honorary member of the board in 2009. In May 2011, the Bavarian Minister of Culture appointed Johannes Umbreit an honorary professor of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München on the suggestion of its academic senate.

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