Manuel de Falla (1876–1946), along with Granados and Albéniz, was one of the first Spanish composers in more than 300 years to win international acclaim.
He was probably the most gifted of the three (although Granados tragically died young on the Lusitania in 1916), and his music is firmly rooted in the folk music of Spain. The main influences on his musical personality are Debussy, Ravel and the Russian nationalists, especially Rimsky-Korsakov, and he is one of the most original and distinctive composers of the 20th century. El amor brujo and El sombrero de tres picos are well known as vividly scored orchestral works (both were conceived as ballets), but they also exist as highly effective piano suites, and Alicia de Larrocha was one of the foremost exponents of this repertoire.
Recording made in 1973.
New booklet notes by French piano connoisseur Jean-Charles Hoffélé.
‘What to say of Alicia de Larrocha in music such as this? Only, I think, that one cannot imagine it more idiomatically and imaginatively played … In Spanish music her playing has all the rhythmic verve, and the control, of Rubinstein at his best, and I cannot hear enough of her.’ Gramophone, April 1975
“De Larrocha provides a totally engrossing recital relishing Falla's sultry impressionism as well as the more percussive folkloric style of his Fantasia Baetica.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2010 *****
“Larrocha does not so much play the music as inhabit it” Gramophone Magazine, February 2011
“The pre-eminent interpreter of Spanish piano music, she brings an engagingly animated spirit to these Falla pieces, reflecting his confidence in the creation of a distinctively Spanish form” The Independent, 23rd July 2010 ****