Falla's <i>La vie brève</i> (1914) and Notions of “Spanish Music”

Samuel Llano

in Whose Spain?

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199858460
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979905 | DOI:

Series: Currents in Latin American and Iberian Music

Falla's La vie brève (1914) and Notions of “Spanish Music”

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This chapter analyses the conflictive notions of “Spanish music” underpinning different interpretations Falla's stint in Paris (1907-1914), most especially regarding the Paris première of La vie brève (Opéra Comique, 1914). The symbolic significance of the greatest achievement of a living Spanish composer, has surrounded judgements about the transformation that Falla's style underwent in Paris with questions as to the validity and independence of a Spanish musical “school.” Since Falla's time, several critics and scholars have suggested that Falla earned success in Paris by submitting to a “foreign” taste and betraying his “true” identity, and that his music constitutes a case of “self-exoticism.” This chapter discusses the strengths and weaknesses of such interpretation and questions fixating notions of “authenticity.”

Keywords: authenticity; exoticism; Manuel De Falla; opera; Spanish music; France; nationalism; verismo

Chapter.  11340 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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