Federico Mompou was a Catalan composer of lyric songs and piano miniatures whose music is in the impressionist style: A simple and direct melody, and the haunting, deep emotions of folk music.
Mompou studied piano at the Conservatorio del Liceo in Barcelona and gave his first concert at the age of 15. Three years later, with a letter of recommendation from composer Granados, he went to Paris to study piano and harmony. While there, he wrote his first piano pieces, the Impresiones intimas (1911-1914).
We get to hear the following selections on this recording:
- Variations sur un theme de Chopin
- Souvenirs de l’exposition
- Cançó de Bressol
- Preludes (12) for piano
Performed by Adolf Pla (piano)
As a result of his studies in France, Mompou became very taken with Debussy and the modern French composers, especially the unique melodiousness of Erik Satie. Mompou characterized this Satie quality in his music as “recomençament” (starting over at the beginning), a return to a kind of fundamental, basic state of composition.
Pianist Stephen Hough wrote:
“THE MUSIC OF FEDERICO MOMPOU is the music of evaporation. The printed page seems to have faded, as if the bar lines, time signatures, key signatures, and even the notes themselves have disappeared over a timeless number of years. There is no development of material, little counterpoint, no drama nor climaxes to speak of; and this simplicity of expression – elusive, evasive and shy – is strangely disarming. There is nowhere for the sophisticate to hide with Mompou. We are in a glasshouse, and the resulting transparency is unnerving, for it creates a reflection in which our face and soul can be seen.”
Here is Stephen Hough playing Mompou’s “Secreto” :
Next, here is Adolf Pla playing Mompou:
And finally, here is Federico Mompou playing Mompou’s Cançons i danses No. 4-5-6 :
Tags: Federico Mompou, Adolf Pla, piano, Stephen Hough