The Miller's Dance from "The Three-Cornered Hat"
A brand new Miller’s Dance for wind band! This arrangement was originally written for a sizeable outfit but will sound just as effective with a band of any size.
For the cor anglais cadenza after the horn solo at the beginning, parts are supplied in all transpositions so that if there is no cor anglais, anyone else can have a go. (It’s attached to the end of the example score above - feel free to print it off.) When it was first rehearsed, the bassoonist won the audition, so that’s what’s on the recording.
The Miller’s Dance is a farruca, a type of flamenco dance. In the introduction Falla firmly establishes the tonality of G (Phrygian mode) - and then starts the dance proper in E! (imitating the voicing of a guitar).
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 need not have worried.
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.
SPECIAL OFFER - 3 for £100
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.
(No para la venta en España)