Manuel de Falla’s “The Three-Cornered Hat” Dances, Alicia de Larrocha

Manuel de Falla’s ballet score, El sombrero de tres picos (“The Three-Cornered Hat”) bathes in the bright colors of a searing Iberian sun. Filled with the infectious rhythms of Spanish dance, it is music which is sultry, exotic, and at times tantalizingly mysterious. The Three-Cornered Hat was commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev in 1919 and premiered the same year in London by the Ballets Russes. It expanded on de Falla’s two-scene pantomime, The Magistrate and the …

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A Brief Musical Tour of Catalonia

Catalonia was thrust into the headlines last week amid a tumultuous attempted referendum regarding independence from Spain. For centuries, the sliver of land on the Mediterranean, once under Moorish control and now home to 7.5 million people, has alternated between independent republic, French protectorate, and Spanish region. Anchored by its capital, Barcelona, Catalonia has developed its own distinct language and culture. All of this got me thinking about the music of Catalonia …

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