Document Type



The literature on the music of Manuel de Falla has called ample attention to the striking stylistic developments in Falla’s music of the 1920s. The familiar sound of Spain was replaced by the acerbic neo-classic idiom identified with the music of Stravinsky. The issue is complex. Falla’s new music continued to draw on Spanish resources and technical aspects of harmony and rhythm reflect continuities that can be traced back to the earliest works of Falla’s maturity, namely, the Cuatro piezas españolas (1909). The first of these pieces “Aragonesa” was composed largely in 1906, and before Falla re-located in Paris and fell under the direct influence of Debussy’s mentorship. In this piece, the form and music of which can be traced to the jota dance of Aragon, Falla initiated a search for a modern harmonic idiom. The tutelage and music of Felipe Pedrell and the music of Debussy’s Danse sacrée were influential. But the letters, writings, sketches, and especially Falla’s copious annotations in Louis Lucas’s 1854 book L’Acoustique nouvelle, all kept in the Archivo Manuel de Falla in Granada, provide the resources necessary for documenting Falla’s invention. The Coda brings the piece to an end with a resourceful, and somewhat ingenious, treatment of, what Falla calls, “internal rhythm,” which anticipates, what Michael Christoforidis calls, the “evolving concept of ritmo interno” as it applies to irregular phrase lengths in the Concerto for harpsichord (1926).