Author Topic: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)  (Read 6408 times)

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admiralackbar74

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Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« on: August 22, 2009, 04:03:23 PM »
Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mompou

I only know "Canciones y Danzas" No. 6. Has anyone here explored further?

Rubinstein performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szk5_mi0vyQ

(And a recording recommendation of the above would be appreciated!)

Offline Herman

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 11:04:37 PM »
Mompou has extensively recorded his own stuff. It has been available on Brilliant Classics.

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2009, 03:43:09 AM »
Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mompou

I only know "Canciones y Danzas" No. 6. Has anyone here explored further?

Rubinstein performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szk5_mi0vyQ

(And a recording recommendation of the above would be appreciated!)
I don't believe Mompou's piano works are not all that well known.  His music tends to be (literally) underplayed.  There is much color and nuance, and there are several recordings available.  I generally tend to play directly from the sheet music. "Dialogue" and "Musica Callada" are wonderful. There is an admixture of Spanish and French influences.

karlhenning

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 06:36:22 AM »
Although by now I've enjoyed several relatively superficial listens, this weekend I have (finally) been digging more deeply into the Música callada.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 01:17:41 PM »
This composer wrote absolutely gorgeous piano music. No question about it. For quite some time, I haven't been into solo piano music, but I've been opening up slowly with the Villa-Lobos solo piano music box set on Naxos and now I bought all the Naxos recordings of Mompou.

This is one of the works that won me over:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/k5__QQVmV1o&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/k5__QQVmV1o&amp;feature=related</a>

Here's another one that won me over:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/pkepygUSAwA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/pkepygUSAwA</a>
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Luke

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2011, 01:33:23 PM »
The Musica Callada is where it's at. One of the great piano works of the 20th century. Mompou's own recordings of his music on Brilliant are mandatory, but for the Musica Callada Herbert Henck on ECM is actually more refined and poetic. A gorgeous disc. If you like them, do check out Luke Ottevanger's 20 Improvisations.  ;D

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2011, 01:39:46 PM »
The Musica Callada is where it's at. One of the great piano works of the 20th century. Mompou's own recordings of his music on Brilliant are mandatory, but for the Musica Callada Herbert Henck on ECM is actually more refined and poetic. A gorgeous disc. If you like them, do check out Luke Ottevanger's 20 Improvisations.  ;D

There's so much music to check out, Luke that I'm afraid I can't promise I'll get around to anything. :) I know Musica Callada is in the Naxos series, so I'll hear it when that specific disc comes around in rotation. :D I also bought the three solo piano recordings of Koechlin on Hanssler (which will complete the series for me), so anyway, thanks for the suggestions, but time is the enemy here more than anything.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 01:41:19 PM by Mirror Image »
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 01:47:23 PM »
By the way, Luke, you don't like those pieces I linked above? Are they or are they not representative of Mompou's style?
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Luke

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2011, 08:36:20 PM »
By the way, Luke, you don't like those pieces I linked above? Are they or are they not representative of Mompou's style?

Oh, I do, yes - I don't dislike anything of Mompou's. But I definitely prefer the Musica Callada to anything else. They are the heart of Mompou's music, IMO, sophisticated and subtle, but incredibly pure and intense.

karlhenning

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2011, 11:56:28 PM »
Oh, I do, yes - I don't dislike anything of Mompou's. But I definitely prefer the Musica Callada to anything else. They are the heart of Mompou's music, IMO, sophisticated and subtle, but incredibly pure and intense.

The Musica Callada is where it's at. One of the great piano works of the 20th century. Mompou's own recordings of his music on Brilliant are mandatory, but for the Musica Callada Herbert Henck on ECM is actually more refined and poetic. A gorgeous disc. If you like them, do check out Luke Ottevanger's 20 Improvisations.  ;D

Both these : )

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2011, 06:41:36 AM »
Oh, I do, yes - I don't dislike anything of Mompou's. But I definitely prefer the Musica Callada to anything else. They are the heart of Mompou's music, IMO, sophisticated and subtle, but incredibly pure and intense.

I'll definitely give these a listen, Luke.
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Pessoa

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2013, 02:10:10 PM »

Offline North Star

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2013, 02:51:57 PM »
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Offline The new erato

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2013, 03:06:30 AM »
Another one for the wish list. Thanks you (with somewhat divided feelings).  ;)

Offline Rons_talking

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2016, 01:55:13 PM »
I've gotta bump Mompou. I understand that his output is lacking in variety being mostly for piano, but his songs are gorgeous and his Suite Compostelana for Segovia is among the guitar classics of his time. Music Callada, Canciones and Danses as well as his preludes are strong from top to bottom. Not much drama or bombast, but masterworks nonetheless. I know he has recorded his own works; what are the definitive recordings?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2016, 09:41:22 AM by Rons_talking »

Spineur

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2016, 05:02:04 AM »

In addition to this great disk Arkady Volodos also recorded these pieces with such a broad palette of coulours.  The piece is fantastic and Volodos an amazing pianist.

Musica Calada is a must hear piece.  At the same level as the best Debussy.

Offline Todd

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2017, 06:36:36 PM »
I'm thinking it might be about time to do a deep-dive into the piano music of Federico Mompou.  The main focus would be Musica Callada.  I've identified twenty-four versions of the work for solo piano (plus some for guitar), a fair chunk of which are included in complete sets.  The definition of "complete" varies based on when the set was recorded; older sets typically include four CDs or five LPs, but after the composer died, multiple unpublished works for solo piano were found, and they have only recently been recorded.  So far, only Jordi Maso and Martin Jones have recorded everything, but I'd still count the older sets as "complete" for their time.

If anyone else has explored the solo piano works, any info on missing renditions of Musica Callada would be appreciated, as would any comments on especially noteworthy recordings.


Have
Federico Mompou (complete cycle)
Javier Perianes
Jenny Lin
Arcadi Volodos (selections only, of course; sublime)


Other available sets of Musica Callada
Adolf Pla (complete cycle)
Albert Attenelle
Alessandro Deljavan (twofer with other works)
Alice Ader
Anita Pontremoli (complete cycle underway)
Antoni Besses/Miquel Farré (complete cycle)
Emili Brugalla
Haskell Small
Herbert Henck
Jean-Francois Heisser (along with a second disc of other works)
Jordi Maso (super-complete cycle)
Josep Colom (complete cycle)
Marcel Worms
Mari Kumamoto
Martin Jones (super-complete cycle)
Pierre Huybregts (complete cycle on LP, never on CD; one digital recording of other works)
Remei Cortes Ayats (complete cycle)
Ronald Ogden
Sira Hernàndez
Steffen Schleiermacher (complete cycle underway?)
Yuji Takahashi


Other works/excerpts
Gonzalo Soriano - could be something; Soriano's recorded output deserves to be reissued in its entirety
Artur Pizarro - could be good, but he didn't seem to get beyond volume one of his proposed set
Luis Fernando Pérez
Clélia Iruzun (complete cycle underway?)
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 02:11:54 PM by Todd »
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Offline Josquin13

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2017, 02:45:09 PM »
I agree, Mompou's songs are very beautiful (especially when sung by Victoria de los Angeles).

To add to Todd's list: pianist Stephen Hough has recorded a CD of Mompou's solo piano music.  I've not heard it, as I don't think Hough's piano style is quite right for Mompou, but the recording has won awards (so what do I know).

Surprisingly, one pianist that hasn't been mentioned so far on this thread is Alicia de Larrocha, who was a friend of Mompou's, & had a Prelude & the 4th volume of Musica Callada dedicated to her.  Other than the composer himself, de Larrocha is my favorite pianist for Mompou's solo piano works.

Unfortunately, de Larrocha never recorded the entire "Musica Callada" (only Book IV).  I don't know why she didn't, as she premiered the work in 1974 (the same year that the composer made his Ensayo recordings), and it was music particularly well suited to her.  Maybe she thought she couldn't equal Mompou's own recording, which is certainly among the best, if not the finest.  I wish she had. However, de Larrocha did, fortunately, record Mompou's "Impresiones intimas", twice, and I've grown to like that work as much as "Musica Callada" (& may even prefer it).  Some collectors prefer her early 1st recording of "Impresiones intimas" from the 1950s (newly reissued by the Eloquence label & included in DG's "Liszt's Legacy" box set), but her later digital recording also goes with me to my desert island & has superior sound:

OR



OR



Here's another excellent Mompou recording from de Larrocha:

https://www.amazon.com/Spanish-Songs-Dances-Frederico-Mompou/dp/B006CAXQ1W/ref=sr_1_7?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1511815205&sr=1-7&keywords=mompou+alicia+de+larrocha

As mentioned, Mompou's own survey of his solo piano works is essential listening too, for anyone wishing to better understand his music (most of it can be heard on You Tube, along with de Larrocha's "Impresiones intimas"):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjy5TjR3D1c

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Piano-Works-F-MOMPOU/dp/B0001GAVNY/ref=sr_1_4?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1511815294&sr=1-4&keywords=mompou+piano+music+import

Otherwise, I wouldn't want to be without pianist Josep Colom's fine Mompou survey, either.  Colom's "Musica Callada" is probably my next favorite version after Mompou's, among complete recordings (Lin's is good too):



Though I've yet to hear Marcel Worms recent recording (nor have I heard Jordi Masó's "Musica Callada" on Naxos, either):

https://www.amazon.com/Mompou-M%C3%BAsica-callada-Vols-1-4/dp/B01BXVBJNQ/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1511818590&sr=1-2-catcorr&keywords=marcel+worms+mompou

Speaking of Worms (who also plays Satie), the Dutch pianist appears to be especially dedicated to Mompou's music, as he's additionally recorded a disc of Mompou's 'unpublished' piano pieces, along with a CD of Mompou's chamber works (with fellow Dutch musicians):

https://www.amazon.com/El-Pont-Chamber-Music-Federico/dp/B001VB95H6/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1511817232&sr=1-1&keywords=marcel+worms+mompou

https://www.amazon.com/Mompou-Unpublished-Works-Marcel-Worms/dp/B01FY6OFH8/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1511817232&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=marcel+worms+mompou

The complete set of piano music from Spanish pianist, Adolf Pla, is also very worthwhile.  Admittedly, Pla isn't quite in the same league with de Larrocha, but his playing is thoroughly idiomatic (if a tad straightforward occasionally--which isn't necessarily a bad thing), & personally, I've really enjoyed his set (especially his "Impresiones intimas"), & he's very well recorded. The set appears to be OOP now, but is worth tracking down, if you can find it (the individual issues may be easier to acquire):

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Works-Piano-Frederic-Mompou/dp/B00BH419JO/ref=sr_1_9?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1511817635&sr=1-9&keywords=adolf+pla

Herbert Henck's "Musica Callada" is excellent too, but Henck's view of this music is distinctly more modern than others.  Granted, Henck's pianism is first class, but personally I see this music as deriving more out of Mompou's early years in Paris & the influence of Satie and Faure, & other early 20th century French composers.  Though I suppose an argument could be made that Henck's starker, more austere modern interpretation offers some insights into the poems (and suffering) of St. John of the Cross, which influenced Mompou, and inspired him to compose "Musica Callada".

Colom's former student, Javier Perianes is excellent too, though I prefer the other Spanish pianists I've mentioned above (esp. Colom & Mompou). 

Finally, Jenny Lin is wonderful in Musica Callada, and she's incredibly well recorded by Steinway--one of the finest sound recordings of a piano I've ever heard!; however, interpretatively, I don't think she's quite as idiomatic as some of the Spanish pianists; which may not necessarily matter to some listeners.

Among older, legendary pianists, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Guiomar Novaes, Magda Tagliaferro, and Artur Rubinstein  played & recorded a handful of Mompou's piano works. 
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 04:35:23 PM by Josquin13 »

Offline Todd

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2017, 09:13:13 AM »
I continued digging, and I found two more sets of Musica Callada.  The Brugalla is new and available download only, while the Besses/Farré is part of yet another complete set.  I'm thinking I'm finally going to have to sign up for a paid streaming service since that's the only way to access some of these recordings. 



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pjme

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Re: Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2017, 02:14:29 AM »
Another aspect of Mompou's work (albeit in old Spanish TV -recordings):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/33pGsUZa7cg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/33pGsUZa7cg</a>
Markevitch conducts Los Improperios  + Berg's violinconcerto (Andre Gertler)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/8YbhiNEsguA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/8YbhiNEsguA</a>
Odon Alonso conducts also Los Improperios + Suburbios and Cantar del alma.

For better sound : https://youtu.be/003wYlzgeFg





https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/mompou-vocal-and-orchestral-works:

The usual image (a true one) of Mompou is of a quiet, retiring composer of exquisite miniatures for piano or for voice. Not until he had reached the age of 70 did he write for the orchestra, and then only in the present Improperia (from the liturgy for Good Friday) and later for a children's cantata and settings of five songs to poems of Paul Valery. He normally placed great store on concision, and recognized that this choral work was not only of unusual dimensions for him but that it also marked a departure in style; yet he insisted that in writing it he was by no means disavowing his earlier ideals. So far, we have had to make do with the very indifferent 1968 recording of it under Markevitch (Philips), with its poor choral tuning and strident tone: the new issue is in every way superior, with a very good solo baritone, a well-trained and fresh-sounding choir and clean orchestral sound. Only in a couple of places is balance questionable: for the baritone's very first entry he sounds far too distant (was his mike not up?) and at ''Quid ultra debui facere'' he is in danger of being swamped by the woodwind. But this is a moving performance of a work of deep commitment, exhibiting more passion and drama than is usually associated with Mompou. Harmonically it is, at times, reminiscent of Poulenc (who was an admirer of his), especially in the curiously jaunty ritornello in ''Ego propter te'' and in the beatific close-harmony female chorus in the final antiphon, which after an exultant climax dies away with repeated calls of ''Domine!''.
The orchestrations by other hands of two of his early piano suites (dating from the First World War) are undeniably effective, but they decidedly change the music's character. Its intimate, modest proportions seem unduly blown up in the outer movements of Suburbis, which put me in mind of those attempts to colour classic black-and-white films that are entirely satisfactory in their original state. Scenes d'enfants lends itself rather better to being scored, and is more vividly recorded here; but in the sensuously sentimental tune of the popular ''Jeunes filles au jardin'' the off-beat chords are too loud for the muted violins who have the melody. With memories of Victoria de los Angeles and Teresa Berganza in the haunting and seemingly simple Combat del somni song-cycle, it is kinder to say nothing of the drab voice on the present recording.'

Ps: Scènes d'enfants (1915–1918) (Scenes of children; later orchestrated by Alexandre Tansman)
Suburbis (1916–1917) (Suburbs; later orchestrated by Manuel Rosenthal)

P.


« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 02:18:28 AM by pjme »