Donald Macleod continues an exploration of Falla's life and work.
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. In later life Manuel de Falla made considerable efforts to distance himself from politics, but while World War One was raging, he put his name to a manifesto which had been prepared by the philosopher, Jose Ortega y Gasset. This document decried Spain's neutrality in the light of what it called Germany's "fermenting of egotism, of domination and of shameless violence." Spain's neutral position led a number of prominent artists to visit the country, including Diaghilev and his famous Ballet Russes company. Ever the shrewd businessman, Diaghilev realised that they could really ingratiate themselves with audiences in Spain if they gave them a Spanish ballet. Manuel de Falla was prompted to turn his pantomime The Magistrate and the Miller's Wife into the ballet The Three-Cornered Hat, staged with sets by Pablo Picasso.