Discover our catalogue

Manuel de Falla

7 Canciones populares españolas

transcribed for mezzo-soprano and orchestra

Printed in 1914, the Siete canciones populares españolas number among Manuel de Falla’s most famous works, which he composed both for voice and piano and for voice and orchestra. The seven songs were an immediate success. They inspired many composers to make arrangements of them; Luciano Berio’s (for voice and chamber orchestra) are among the most felicitous. His capture of the Spanish atmosphere in the songs is masterly. The arrangement unfolds all its magic in the synthesis of the rhythmic characteristics and the often dance-like layout. Berio’s virtuosity is unmistakable; however, as in his folksongs, it steps into the background in favour of the seductive, Mediterranean melos.

Go to work

Composed in 1906, the Chamber Symphony op. 9 for 15 solo instruments represents a high point in Schönberg’s artistic development. The reasons that motivated Schönberg as early as 1914 to arrange this Chamber Symphony for orchestra were not only related to practical performance aspects, however (enabling performance at larger concert halls), but were also connected to the fundamental problem that originated quasi-intrinsically from its hybrid position between orchestral and chamber music. The orchestral version from 1914 was never published and is now available for the first time as completely new orchestral material. A later orchestral version, which is further from the original, was produced by Schönberg when he was already in American exile.

Go to work

Alban Berg died on 24 December 1935, before he could finish his opera Lulu; the orchestration of the third act is incomplete, existing only as a short-score. Of the 1300 bars of this short score (comprising the totality of Act III), 416 are orchestrated by Berg himself; the best part of the remainder consists of instrumental indications, and the music of 88 bars is somewhat uncertain. Berg wrote his “Symphonic Pieces from the Opera Lulu,” the Lulu Suite, a year before his death, in order to give the eagerly expectant music world an impression of his new creation. After a long and thorough study of all the related material and similar consideration of the positive and negative aspects involved, Friedrich Cerha decided to make a playable version of Act III. He worked on it from 1962 to 1974 and, after Helene Berg died, he revised it again in 1976 –1977 and 1981 in light of newly accessible sources. Since comparison of the short score and the full score of the first two acts and the orchestrated parts of Act III shows that there are no significant divergences, Cerha saw no reason why he should not adhere to the layout as it was set down in the short score. The posthumous premiere of the first two acts took place in Zurich on 2 June 1937, while the first performance of the entire opera was given on 24 February 1979 in Paris. Cerha’s reconstitution of Act III made it possible to choose between the two-act and the three-act versions.

Go to work