El Drama de Amelie (Spanish Edition)

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Duke's songs are notable for their variety of style, their superb craftsmanship, and the genuine emotion and expression he is able to convey. His choice of poetry was most frequently drawn from his American contemporaries, particularly Frost, Teasdale, cummings, Van Doren, Millay, and E. His prolific output of songs combined with a consistent quality of composition represent a major contribution to the American art song literature. Subsequent to his death, more and more of his songs were gradually published with the devoted financial assistance of concerned admiring friends and colleagues who had long recognized the their quality, artistic beauty, and musical importance.

R enowned as the father of twentieth-century Spanish song, Falla was born in the Andalusian city of Cadiz and received his earliest musical education both there and in Madrid. His mother began his pianoforte studies while finding local musicians Odera and Broca to instruct him in harmony, counterpoint and composition. In Falla moved to Paris where, aided and encouraged by Debussy, Dukas, and Ravel, he combined the principles of Impressionism with his already personal Spanish style. With the performances of his now revised La vida breve in Nice and Paris followed by a highly acclaimed performance in Madrid , Falla's reputation as a leading figure in the Spanish Nationalist School was secured.

In , with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and the ascendancy of the Franco regime, Falla moved to Argentina settling in Alta Gracia where he spent his last years. The most performed of all Spanish art songs, these are quite representative of his early style.

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Following Pedrell's dictum to draw upon Spanish folk song as a 'source' for developing a truly Spanish style, Falla sketches the spirit of Spain in his arrangements. Somewhere between arranged folk-song and fully composed art song, in his Siete canciones Falla liberally draws out the original folk melody and fills the piano accompaniment with a variety of Spanish rhythms drawn from primarily Andalusian sources.

His goal is always to evoke the 'spirit' of the song rather than be dictated by it. The brilliantly pianistic accompaniments are full of invention and artistry, interpreting and developing values and ideas not readily revealed in the song itself. Simple text, but deep in content, Falla's colorful hues recreate an idiom both clearly Spanish and distinctly 'Falla'. He was a man content to be himself: a personality by all accounts mild, reserved, and socially charming.

His students there included Ravel, Koechlin, and Nadia Boulanger, all influential in their own way on succeeding generations of musicians.

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Nine years following this appointment, he became director of the Conservatoire. His music marks the revival of purely French music after a long period of foreign domination in the arts, and his revolutionary harmonic processes influenced many succeeding generations of composers. His music never 'shouts'; it is delicate, interwoven with infinitesimal expressive nuances.

His piano solo works and piano accompaniments to songs tend toward a feeling of orchestral fullness, often readily adaptable to string quartet and quintet arrangements. In fact, he himself in arranged his well known song cycle 'La Bonne Chanson' for string quintet, though he later regretted the added texture as redundant, much preferring the simple piano accompaniment.

In he began studying composition with Felipe Pedrell. Returning to Barcelona in , Granados gave some recitals and had some of his compositions successfully performed, but most of his time was spent teaching at his music school, the Academia Granados, which he established in Barcelona in In , his recognition as a composer was permanently established with the success of his piano suite Goyescas. His best pieces show a sensitivity and simplicity along with a tendency to be less highly decorative than most assume Spanish nationalistic music to be.


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Granados was a remarkable pianist; his song accompaniments are exceptional in their partnering of the voice, using figures derived from the national accompanying instrument of Spain, the guitar. The spontaneity and brilliance of these accompaniments combine fine piano technique and style with a melodic line rooted in Spanish vocal idioms.

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Granados's song style and treatment of the piano influenced the vocal music of Falla, his younger contemporary, and of Turina; all used piano figures that imitate techniques of guitar performance: arpeggiated chords, fast repeated chords rasgueados , and repeated notes punteado. His reputation has, until recently, rested almost solely on his numerous compositions for the piano. Granados was essentially a miniaturist; his music is full of finely crafted details, and his mature stage works seem to be a series of cameos.

His songs share an abundance of delicate musical touches. G ranados wrote a number of songs, among them what he called tonadillas escrito en estilo antiguo 'tonadillas written in the old style'. These he composed with texts by his librettist, Fernando Periquet, evoking the 'majas' and 'majos' of Goya's time, intending each of them to be a kind of romantic song associated with eighteenth century Madrid. By this very nature, he envisioned them as being accompanied by guitar, and his piano accompaniments inevitably reflect guitar figurations. More sophisticated than the tonadillas , his Canciones Amatorias tend to more subtlety and are more inward looking.

They embody much less of a folk flavor and much more of the mark of an international caliber composer. Their beauty and sophistication bear witness to the true tragedy of Granados's early death. Although born in Mexico her mother, Julia Torres Palomar, was Mexican , her father was Spanish and moved the family to Spain for a period of time when Grever was very young.

After returning to Mexico, she studied singing with her maternal aunt, Cuca Torres. In she married an American oil company executive, Leo Agusto Grever, adopting her husband's surname for all of her compositions. In addition to single songs, Grever wrote what she called 'song dramas'. Among these are her one-act drama The Gypsy and her miniature opera El cantarito For most of her songs and operas, Grever also wrote her own Spanish lyrics, with English lyrics being provided by various American lyricists.

Among her other commercial successes were the songs Te quiero dijiste , sung in the film Nancy Goes to Rio , and Cuando vuelvo a tu lado , revived in as the song What a Difference a Day Made, a bestseller for singer Dinah Washington. G rever has been praised for "her innate gift of spontaneous melody. B orn in Elmira, upstate New York, Charles Griffes is commonly regarded as one of the first American composers whose work was both distinctly American and international in caliber. At age eleven, while recuperating from typhus, he expressed a fascination for the classical genre of music played by his older sister, a piano teacher, who subsequently began his piano instruction.

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By 13 he began studying with Mary Selena Broughton who, after four years of study, recognizing his talent, both recommended and financed his further studies at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. After completing two years at Stern, Griffes remained in Berlin for some further study with Engelbert Humperdinck, during which time Griffes's original intention of pursuing a career as a concert pianist transformed into a desire for composition. At the death of his father, undertaking the support of his widowed mother, Griffes returned to the US and accepted a position as music instructor at the Hackley School for Boys in Tarrytown, NY, a position which exhausted his energies but which he nonetheless kept until his early death.

Although he had been composing since his days in Germany, his works were increasingly modern and unconventional making it difficult to find acceptance among publishers. During the last six years of his life Griffes composed his most important works, the most significant being his orchestral piece 'The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan' which was finally performed by the New York Symphony in November just months before his untimely death from lung and heart problems aggravated by ongoing overwork and emotional strain. A lthough he had been composing since his days in Germany, his works were increasingly modern and unconventional making it difficult to find acceptance among publishers.

However his style quickly changed to a more impressionistic style when, after , he began setting English text. Overall, his songs exhibit a wide range of mood and style usually divided into romantic, impressionistic, oriental and abstract categories, and using Japanese and American Indian themes as well as oriental scales.

Like all good songwriters, Griffes had a gift for integrating the written word with the tonal language of music. His songs are both lyrical and luxurious, tapping into a wide range of poetry and literature, inclining toward a musical language that is descriptive and pictorial. As his style developed and as he searched more and more for his unique 'voice', Griffes inclined toward more exotic and modern poetry, producing songs that critics of his day labeled 'ultramodern'.

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His piano accompaniments are generally rich and elaborate, indicative of his pianistic roots. Griffes often accompanied his own works and was fortunate in the quality and intelligence of the singers he was able to attract. His vocal lines generally demand an advanced competence in musicianship and a vocal technique generally associated with mature singers. He further supplemented his studies in Brussels with Leo Jongen in organ, and in Cologne with Otto Neitzel in instrumentation.

In , he moved permanently to Madrid as the chair of harmony at the Madrid Conservatory, in becoming its director. Guridi ranks with Falla and Turina as one of the most important composers of that generation, one of a group of Spanish composers later referred to as the "Maestros" for their role in laying the groundwork for a truly Spanish nationalist musical sound. I nspired by Basque folk music during his stay in Bilbao, Guridi devoted himself to writing music rooted in the Basque tradition rather than in the music of Andalusia as did Falla and Granados.

This element contributed to Guridi's unique sonorities as compared to other more internationally-known Spanish composers. It also meant that, because of the suppression of all things Basque under the Franco regime, his music did not immediately reach the level of international recognition achieved by other Spanish composers of his generation.

Of his songs and song-cycles, including three song-sets in native Basque, by far the most well-known and performed are his Seis canciones castellanas and Seis canciones infantiles His Basque roots, combined with his own tendency to express in his own personal musical language, set Guridi's style apart from other Spanish composers.


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His music inevitably reflects his own unique style with a color rooted in a strongly Basque heritage. Particularly beautiful of all his songs, and a favorite of Spanish divas, is the hauntingly beautiful No quiero tus avellanas from his Seis canciones castellanas. Hahn was a child prodigy, purportedly composing his first songs at the age of 8, and beginning study at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 10 or Hahn was always also attracted to poetry and the written form in general, hence his successful career as a music critic as well as his long and enduring friendship with Marcel Proust.

Hahn was also a fine conductor and was music director of the Paris Opera from In addition to his art songs, Hahn's compositions include ballets, incidental music for plays, and operetta. He was also a successful singer in his own right frequently both singing and accompanying his own songs at the most fashionable Parisian 'salons' of the time.

H ahn broke no new ground with his compositional style, but beautifully reflected the romantic character of the times.


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  8. For this reason he has been sometimes neglected as a composer. Hahn's musical style is exemplified in one of his most famous songs, 'Si mes vers avaient des ailes'. The characteristic intimacy with flowing accompaniment and a romantic melodic line masterfully expressive of the text is truly remarkable considering that it was composed at the age of 13 while he studied at the Conservatoire. Hahn's music is described as 'melodious and graceful' and always attentive to the demands of expressing the text.

    His treatment of the text is exemplary, seemingly intent on creating a speech-like momentum within the constraints of maintaining a flowing melodious line. He was attracted to some of the finest poets of the time, so adequately interpreting their meaning that Verlaine himself was said to have wept at a particularly setting of one of his own poems. B ritish composer Herbert Howells is most well-known and respected for his instrumental and choral compositions, particularly for his sacred works.

    Much of his sacred works are considered staples in the repertoire of Britain's Anglican churches and his motets have been described as "the finest written in the twentieth century. Among those early-published art songs are King David and Come Sing and Dance, both considered to be "classics" and well deserving of "their place in the vocal repertoire".

    As a composer, Howells's superior technique allowed musical success in small forms as well as large and make his works immediately appealing to performers as well as audiences. That he had a clear understanding of both the technical and musical aspects of the vocal instrument is demonstrable in how well conceived is his vocal writing. His keyboard background as well as his early absorption of the English Renaissance style lend to his best art song accompaniments a character of presence and pairing with the voice that marks compositions of the finest art song composers.

    Under her care, he had his first contact with the piano. At 13 years of age he took second place in the Juegos Florales, a poetic competition for youth, receiving recognition from that organization's prestigious judges Luis G. Beyond this point, Lara's biography takes on an almost legendary character. His personality was so charismatic that numerous stories attached themselves to him which Lara, characteristically, saw no reason to dispel.

    So effusive was he in regards to this incident that he went so far as to procure an official birth certificate with this date, engendering much scholarly debate. What seems clear is that by his twenties, perhaps even earlier, Lara was making a living playing the piano at cafes, cantinas and brothels. In a clear antithesis to his father's middle-class Mexican upbringing, Lara had found his unique 'niche' in life: a life centered around music and women.

    L ara's popularity began very early in his career and accelerated quickly to the forefront of popular acclaim. The emergence of radio broadcasting in the 's propelled him into a career of major success. Artus de Penguern. Urbain Cancelier. Dominique Pinon. Claude Perron. Isabelle Nanty.