Gautier’s Spain and Falla’s France: Voice and Modes of Performance in ‘Séguidille’

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'Séguidille' is one of three settings of poems by Théophile Gautier that the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla composed during his momentous seven-year residency in Paris before the First World War. Gautier's poem presents a stereotyped image of a Manola (a young working-class woman from Madrid) in a manner that references music and performance both explicitly (in its content) and implicitly (in its structure and realization). Falla's setting accentuates these qualities, its allusions to authentic Spanish idioms resulting in a song that self-consciously evokes a specific performance event (albeit an imaginary one). This essay explores the language, structure and content of Gautier’s poem, and investigates Falla’s response to it through musical analysis, consideration of cultural and biographical contexts, and comparison with the other two songs in the set.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-23
Number of pages25
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • performance
  • mélodie
  • voice
  • identity
  • nationality
  • exoticism
  • authenticity
  • irony
  • Falla
  • Gautier
  • Séguidille


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