Federico Mompou

Federico Mompou

Music performed by Marisa Martins (mezzo soprano) and Mac McClure (piano)

I first came to appreciate the music of Federico Mompou as a result of listening to pianist Stephen Hough in an excellent recording featuring some creative pairing of varied compositions. I actually used this music at my radio program, as introductions to classical music programs that lasted two and one half hours per night…

We have here a combination of both songs, as well as pieces for piano solo:

The recording start off with Cançó de l´àvia which is Mompou’s first song written in 1915 when he was 22. Then comes El testament d´Amèlia is actually a touch deceptive; it is not an original song but an arrangement made in 1948 and dedicated to Victoria de los Angeles. Then we hear Cant de la Victòria is richly atmospheric while Ets l´infinit and Et sento que véns were both dedicated to his wife. The latter is notable for the sparseness of the piano writing but also for its ultimate romantic resolution.

“Sis variacions harmòniques sobre una cançó popular” and ” El pont Montjuïc” are both written for solo piano. The first selection is tranquil and warm, lightly impressionistic, but mainly features rich romantic sounds. The second is Mompou’s longest single piano piece, dedicated to his wife Carmen once again, and is riper, and more overtly romantic. One’s appreciation is deepened by the knowledge that she used to play it for Mompou in their home, but hadn’t played it, or heard it, until Mac McClure played it for her many years after her husband’s death. Tango is another solo piano work, but is really a habanera, quite enjoyable…

Here is Stephen Hough performing Federico Mompou’s “Jeunes filles au jardin”



And here is Mompou playing Mompou’s “Musica Callada Books 1-9”



Tags: Federico Mompou, Cancion, piano,

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