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Listening Corner Selection 2
December 13, 2014
Music in the late 1800’s and even more so after the year 1900 began to reflect many different styles. One of the characteristics of music during this time was a trend toward nationalism. In other words, composers in different countries began to write music about their own culture and folk lore. The music of Spain became popular even among musicians from other countries.
Ritual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo (Love, the Magician) by Manuel de Falla (Click here to access Claudio Abbado conducting the Chicago Symphony)
Manuel de Falla was a Spanish composer who lived from 1876 to 1946, but it was in 1915 – during World War 1 – that he wrote one of his most famous pieces…a ballet called El Amor Brujo (sometimes translated as Love, the Magician). A ballet is a story that is told through a series of dance selections, just as an opera is a story told in song. Today we have one of the best known selections from his ballet. It’s called the Ritual Fire Dance.
There are sudden, even startling changes of dynamics in this dance, from the woodwind and string trills that sound like bees buzzing, to the very loud passages with the French horns. The oboe is also featured with some very mournful sounding melodies. And, just before the end, the tempo begins to accelerate and the music becomes agitated.
What words would you use to describe the way the music sounds to you, or the way it make you feel?