Life of Manuel de Falla

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Track Listing

  1. Andante comodo con espressione
    Alta Gracia, Argentina, 1946
  2. Allegro con brio – Andante con dolce
    A Spaniard in Paris/Un español en París, 1907 – 1914
  3. Walzertempo con vigoroso – Adagio con affettuoso
    The Waltz of Life/El vals de la vida
  4. Concerto for Guitar – Allegro vivo – Andantino
    A Night In Buenos Aires/Una noche en Buenos Aires
  5. Intermezzo – Adagietto
    Nights in the Gardens of Spain/Noches en los jardines de España
  6. Finale – Andante comodo – Walzertempo – Allegro vivo con energico
    Recapitulation and the Adagio/ Recapitulación y El Adagio

Liner Notes

In both the English and the Spanish speaking world, Manuel de Falla (1876 – 1946), is undoubtedly Spain’s most famous composer. He is known for his remarkable musical works which, although rooted in the traditions of his own country, have universal appeal.

When composing this tribute to de Falla, my first intention was not to mimic his music. I wanted to represent his life and emotions through my own music. This process of composing about another composer and other lands, however, gave way to introspective feelings and emotions about myself. The melodies, motifs and rhythms throughout this complex work are developed, repeated and varied in each movement. The music is a portrayal of the life of a great artist but, in a larger sense, it is a representation of life itself; development, change and struggle.

I. Alta Gracia, Argentina, (1946)

This opening movement depicts the last days of Falla’s life in the countryside of Argentina. It is deeply melancholy in character and paints a picture of an artist forever separated from his homeland of Spain.

II. A Spaniard in Paris, (1907 – 1914)

The music begins with Falla’s first trip to Paris. Youth and vigor dominate in this movement. To him, Paris is the most exciting and artistic city in the world.

III. The Waltz of Life

This waltz is a lopsided one, both Vienese and Spanish in character. The music is relentless and depicts the struggle of life. There is a first climax followed by a quiet section that builds in intensity to a second climax.

IV. Concerto for Guitar, (A Night In Buenos Aires, 1939)

Inspired partly by a personal trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. In a small bar, a man begins to play a guitar and sing. The atmosphere and music creates a sense of loneliness and longing for the past or another place.

V. Intermezzo, (Nights in the Gardens of Spain)

This is night music. The music creates a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere both haunting and mysterious. One might envision the castles and churches as well as gardens of Spain.

VI. Finale, (Recapitulation and the Adagio)

This movement is the most dramatic. All the other movements come together here with great intensity and clarity and reache a massive climax and then resolve to inner peace. It is almost as if Falla sees his whole life again and finds sanctuary and peace within himself.

Production Credits

United Media Productions, Ltd.
Producción Bellas Artes
La Vida De Manuel De Falla (The Life of Manuel de Falla)

Recorded at U.M.P. Studios, April, 1998, Chicago

Assistatnt Recording Engineer:
Edward Fitzgerald

Creative Design Consultant:
Nancy Donald

Spanish Translation/Traducción:
Luisa Bonilla-Mérida y María Jesús

Translation Editor:
Enrique Sáez

Art Direction and Graphic Design:
Paul Comacchio, Midnight Oil
in association with
Studio 676, Chicago, IL

Program Notes:
Frederico Sopeña, David Urman, Robert Freed, Casey Winn

Packaging and Duplication:
Mike Carver, Cassette Services, Arlington Heights, IL

Remixed and Remastered by:
Audio Mixers Recording Company, Steve Shwartz

Muchismas Gracias:
Instituto Cervantes, Chicago, Miguel Martín, Presidente, Pamela Diaz de Léon, María Jesús

Composed, Orchestrated, Performed and Produced by:
Casey Winn

Re-orchestrated and re-mastered at UMP Studios, April, 2006, Austin, TX

Many of the photographs used on this cover are from a wonderful book entitled “Manuel de Falla: his Life & works,” published under the sponsorship of the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, España, 1996 edition, I.S.B.N.: 84-9212-99-0-5. It is available for loan at Instituto Cervantes, Chicago, 888-000-8888

©1998 United Media Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.