Manuel de Falla  (1876 - 1946)

Ravel and Falla met in the summer of 1907, introduced by the pianist Ricardo Viñes. Falla spent several years in Paris before the First World War, during which they established a long and warm friendship.

Falla was especially impressed by the authentically Spanish flavour of works like Rapsodie espagnole and L'Heure espagnole, even though Ravel did not get to know the country until many years later when he was 52.

They were divided by their views on religion. Falla, an ardent Catholic, was ever trying to find evidence of religious feeling in his friend and his music (e.g. Le jardin féerique in Ma mère l'oye); and it was he who went to fetch a priest when Ravel's father was dying (Falla, [1979]).

But their letters reveal their closeness of feeling in musical and personal matters. Ravel wrote with particular sympathy when he heard of the death of Falla's mother in 1919, two years after the death of his own (Orenstein, [1989] Letter 160).

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