In contrast to his friend and fellow composer Manuel de Falla (six years older), Turina was less interested in mainstream European music and continued to write in the rich, colorful Andalusian style which most often is associated with Spanish music. Danzas fantásticas is a brilliant, wholly Spanish piece and Turina's best-known work (there is also a piano version).
It is inspired by the novel La orgía by José Mas. The three movements have the following sentences from the book printed above them: (1) "It seemed as if the figures in that incomparable picture were moving inside the claice of a flower." (2) "The guitar's strings sounded the lament of a soul helpless under the weight of bitterness." (3) "The perfume of the flowers merged with the odor of manzanilla, and from the bottom of raised glasses, full of wine incomparable as incense, joy flowed." Each of the dances is in a different style from a different Spanish tradition. The first is a jota from Aragón, the second is a Basque zortziko, and the third is an Andalusian farruca.