About “La vida breve” by Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)
La vida breve is an opera (lyric drama) in two acts with a libretto by Carlos Fernandez-Shaw. Although its original language is Spanish, there is the fact that it was released in French on an adaptation, in this case, by Paul Milliet, in the Municipal Casino in Nice on April 1, 1913.
Falla wrote La vida breve in 1905 for a contest of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid and won the first prize. The unsuccessful attempts to release it, despite having won the prize of the Madrid Academy of Fine Arts, and the natural attraction, as a musician, for Paris Falla feel encouraged to march in 1907 to Paris, where he remained until the start of the First World War. The premiere in Madrid did not come until 1914.
Musically, we consider it among the early works of Falla, although it suggests characteristics that would be developed later. The musical and dramatic Andalusia, the Spain flamenco sounds and moves from this score, which is now regularly represented.
The critic of Le Courrier Musical, Paris, writes to the premiere in Nice, just before the first performance in Paris in 1913: “This is a verismo drama, but, overall, is a work of Italian influence, full of aesthetic verismo. ” After some harsh words dedicated to the musical Spain when he warns “that even the French supporters of the Spanish composers insist enough on the difficulties they encounter in their country to publish and to release instrumental and dramatic works of high style. That’s the case of La vida breve, distinguished by theAcademy of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1905 and presented in 1913, and not in Spain but in France.
María Rodríguez, mezzo-soprano
Marina Pardo, mezzo-soprano
Vicente Ombuena, tenor
Alfredo García, baritone
Gustavo Peña, tenor
Josep Miquel Ramón, baritone
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, conductor
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