The Miller's Wife's Dance from "The Three-Cornered Hat"
Manuel de Falla once remarked, upon hearing one of Ravel’s colour pieces, “I wish I could write music that sounded as Spanish as that” but he could.
The ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev became acquainted with his music some time around 1917 while on a visit to Spain, and he decided to commission a work for his Ballets Russes based on El Sombrero de Tres Picos by the 19th c. novelist Pedro Antonio de Alarcón. At the composer’s suggestion, they embarked on a tour of Andalusia for research purposes (despite the fact that Falla had recently completed a pantomime score on the same theme, so that he pretty much recycled the material that had caught Diaghilev’s attention in the first place!).
The combined pressures of the First World War and the Russian Revolution obliged the Ballet Russes to carry on business in Spain, Switzerland and North and South America, before arriving in London in 1918, where The Three-Cornered Hat was first performed at the Alhambra Theatre the following year, with sets and costumes by Picasso.
The pantomime revolves around the feeble attempts of the disreputable provincial governor (Corregidor) to seduce the local miller's wife. In this scene he attempts to join in with her fandango but it becomes too much for him and he collapses in a heap.
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If you buy all three of the de Falla dances for wind band (Miller's Wife, Miller & Finale) you will receive a repayment of £35, which is the same as getting the Miller's Dance free.
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