Para versión en español oprima aquí
Born in Ponce on May 16, 1857, he
is without any doubt, the maximum exponent of the puertorrican danza. He was
the most prolific danza composer and the one who took that form to its
highest level. "Felices Días", "Vano Empeño",
"No me toques", "Mis penas", "Tormento", "Alma
Sublime" and many others are only a small sample of his vast repertoire,
which is calculated in more than 550 compositions of which more than 300 are
He began his musical studies at the tender age of eight under Prof.
Antonio Egipciaco. During his youth he learned how to play almost all brass
instruments and for some time he conducted the Municipal Band of Ponce and
was the church's organist.
He later became the most advanced student of Manuel
G. Tavarez, considered The Father of the Danza, whose influence can be
perceived in some of his first compositions. But Morel was a genius on his
own and he continued composing and creating new danzas in which he
incorporated all the rythms and styles of his time, plus many of his own,
developing the form to what it is today.
Many of Morel's danzas were not originally written for the piano. In its
origins danzas were for dancing, as its name implies. Morel had his own
dance orchestra, "La Lira Ponceña" for which he wrote most of his
compositions. Later he transcribed them for the piano, so they could be
played by everyone at home and not be forgotten. Remember that on that time
(end of the 19th century) there were no record, compact disk or cassette
players and the only means of listening to music was by going to the
concerts or dances, or playing it by yourself in your home's piano, if
Morel's inspiration came from many sources, but most of his danzas are
inspired on women and love. It is said that he was in love with a lady,
Mercedes Arias, but her family didn't approve of her relationship with the
musician. That frustration gave birth to many of his most beautiful danzas
of which "Alma Sublime" is said to be one.
On April 26, 1896, during a concert in Ponce, he suffered a stroke which
led to his death on May 12, just four days before his 39th. birthday.