Homenaje, Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy by Manuel de Falla

Homenaje, Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy by Manuel de Falla (1876-1946). Played by Sanel Redžić on a 1961 Hermann Hauser II via Siccas Guitars and their great YouTube channel. This is one of the gems of modern works for the guitar filled with a wider vision of the music of the era and works well on the guitar. Written in 1920 it was later arranged for piano by the composer (see more info on the piece below).

Recommended Sheet Music, or Tab

Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy by Manuel de Falla (piano version). Subsequently transcribed by de Falla for piano and containing reminiscences of Debussy’s La sérénade interrompue,Ibéria and, at the end, of La soirée dans Grenade.

Here’s a introduction by Mark Delpriora via this Naxos album.

The Homenaje, pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy of Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) stands unequivocally among the masterpieces of the twentieth century. Written in 1920, it also stands squarely among Falla’s neo-classical works, evoking the dedicatory tombeau genre as practiced by Baroque lutenists and guitarists. A concise work of just about three minutes duration, the work was written for an issue of the Paris Revue dedicated to the memory of the recently deceased Claude Debussy (1863-1918). In this work Falla combines a habanera dance rhythm with a sighing, plaintive F-E pitch motif demonstrating the duality of the corporal and the spiritual. Falla quotes Debussy’s piano piece Soirée dans Grenade near the end, the pitches of which transubstantiate into Debussy’s final breaths.

Also see this intro by Keith Anderson on this Naxos album

Manuel de Falla can need little introduction, among the first Spanish composers to win international recognition. He spent time in Paris, where he lived from 1907, after studying in his native Cádiz and in Madrid, but returned to Spain in 1914. His years in France, however, brought acquaintance with Dukas, Debussy and Ravel, and a new understanding of how Spanish music might develop, urged by Isaac Albéniz. Influenced increasingly in Spain by the traditional Andalusian Cante jondo, he settled in Granada, where his friends included the poet Federico García Lorca. In the Civil War his sympathies were inevitably divided, but he pledged loyalty to Franco in 1938. In 1939 he moved to Buenos Aires, where he worked on his ambitious and finally unfinished stage composition Atlántida. He died in 1946. Falla’s Homenaje, pièce pour guitare écrite pour ‘Le Tombeau de Debussy’, was written in 1920. Debussy had died in 1918, and La Revue Musicale published in 1920 a tribute, which included a musical tribute, Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy, with contributions from Bartók, Dukas, Goossens, Malipiero, Ravel, Rousseau, Satie, Schmitt and Stravinsky. The supplement also included Falla’s Homenaje, which he had sent to the guitarist Llobet, who performed it in Barcelona. The Paris première was given by Marie-Louise Casadesus on the harp-lute. The work alludes to Debussy’s La soirée en Grenade (Evening in Granada) and Ibéria. It is Falla’s only work for guitar and was subsequently arranged by the composer for the piano and orchestrated.

 

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