Falla, Fire Dance (1915)

"Fire Dance" is taken from Manuel de Falla’s ballet El Amor brujo (The Bewitched Love). During the ballet, the ritual fire dance is performed by gypsies to help a widow exorcise the ghost of her dead husband. Originally composed for a small ensemble of winds and strings, this version is performed by a dozen cellos.

Crocellomania directed by Valter Dešpalj

Manuel de Falla

Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) lived in Madrid and Paris before settling for several years in Granada. In 1939, the Spanish Civil War forced him to move to Argentina where he died in 1946. Often regarded as the greatest Spanish composer of the twentieth century, Falla has been classified as part impressionist and part neo-classicist, composing stage works (including musical comedies, ballets, and operas), orchestral music, vocal music, chamber music and piano music. He is known for composing music that sounds distinctly Spanish.

And why am I writing about Falla? Frankly, I am looking for an excuse to embed the following two videos on this blog. The
Hommage pour le Tambeau de Debussy is haunting and the performance of the "Ritual Fire Dance" is great fun. I recommend turning the volume up for the Fire Dance.


"[Hommage pour le Tombeau] is only four minutes long, but includes twenty minutes of music."

– Benjamin Britten

Falla, Hommage pour le Tombeau de Debussy, Justyna Sobczak, guitar

Falla, "Ritual Fire Dance" from El Amor Brujo
(Arranged by R. Leopold and performed by Cellomania Croata directed by V. Despalj.)