Manuel de Falla

Suite No. 1 from The Three-Cornered Hat

            The triumvirate of composers Granados, Albéniz, and Falla, are the most important composers of twentieth-century Spain, without question.   But, many would award the palm of “first among equals” to Falla.  American audiences know him primarily for three relatively early works:  The “Ritual Fire Dance” from his ballet, El amor brujo; the symphonic suite for piano and orchestra, Nights in the Gardens of Spain; and, of course, the music for The Three-cornered Hat.  All of these compositions are tuneful, accessible, and either rooted in Spanish folk elements, or French impressionism.  However, he went on from the 1920s to explore imaginative and challenging elements of modernism in his stimulating and influential works.