Federico Mompou (1893-1987)

Started by admiralackbar74, August 22, 2009, 05:03:23 PM

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k a rl h e nn i ng

Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

pjme

For the premiere of Los Improperios ((Religious music weeks Cuenca 1964), Mompou wrote a text, which is partially cited in the Philips cd (the one I have) booklet:

"The act of having accepted and realised the commission of a work so remote from my spirit of synthesis does not destroy my authentic personality. I would not have wished anyone to mistake this idea, believing that I have written this work with the intention of surpassing my earlier productions. I am very satisfied as to the musical content and realisation regarding its composition, but I do not consider it, because of its greater dimensions, superior to my "Charmes" or "Musica calada", where one finds that which is more authentically my music."

The version recorded by Markevitch (and propably by Pons) was revised by Markevitch "for details in orchestration", naturally with the consent of the composer.

The world premiere of this short oratorio consisted of 7 sections. In 1966-1968 Mompou added an eight section ( Ego te potavi).

P.

Mirror Image

Cross-posted from the 'Purchases' thread:

Quote from: Mirror Image on February 13, 2018, 06:50:32 AM
Just bought:



I figured it was time I updated my Mompou collection since my appreciation for solo piano music has increased drastically over the past few weeks. Anyone here know any of these recordings?

Josquin13

#23
Mirror Images asks, "I figured it was time I updated my Mompou collection since my appreciation for solo piano music has increased drastically over the past few weeks. Anyone here know any of these recordings?"

That's good to hear.  Yes, I mentioned both recordings in my previous post on page 1. In that post, I offered a valuable selection of some of the better Mompou recordings in the catalogue (& I avoided mentioning of a number of recordings that I've found to be inferior).  I suspect people here don't have a ton of experience with recordings of Mompou's solo piano music, since how can I be the only one to mention the beautiful Mompou recordings of pianist Alicia de Larrocha?  Mompou dedicated works to her, and she gave important premieres of his music.  So, De Larrocha is essential listening in the music of this composer.

But yes, Josep Colom is a good pianist, and after Mompou's own recordings (from the late 1960s or early 1970s), and those of Alicia de Larrocha, Colom's fine survey is worthwhile.  I prefer his Musica Callada to the recording by his student, Javier Perianes, for example.

The musically eclectic pianist Marcel Worms is likewise especially dedicated to Mompou's music, having recorded both the "Musica Callada", & a valuable CD of rare "Unpublished works" (first recordings, which received the highest rating--5 notes--from the Spanish magazine, Melómania), & the chamber music CD that you mentioned above.  While I probably wouldn't claim that Mompou's chamber music (which includes some of his beautiful songs) is more essential than his solo piano music, Worms and his fellow musicians do well here.  If you need a reference point, Worms & the Dutch group Ensemble Polytonaal recorded one of my all-time favorite discs of the chamber music of Darius Milhaud for Channel Classics, and on that CD the musicianship is first class:

[asin]B00005MAUD[/asin]

While Worms' Mompou chamber CD offers a different set of Dutch musicians from the Milhaud disc, the Milhaud disc nevertheless shows that he keeps good company; so I don't expect you'll be disappointed with the musicianship on the Mompou CD. However, as mentioned, these works probably aren't Mompou's most essential music, & therefore, unless you're content with your present recordings of the solo piano music, I'd urge you to purchase Alicia de Larrocha's Mompou recordings instead, if you don't know them: especially one of her two recordings of "Impresionas intimas" & Book IV of "Musica Callada", which Mompou dedicated to her (see my previous post for links, as De Larrocha's Mompou recordings can be difficult to find these days); if not the composer's complete set of his solo piano music on Brilliant (see link below).  You can listen to both pianists play this music on You Tube first.

I've also liked Spanish pianist Adolf Pla's set of the complete Mompou solo piano music (also available on individual discs), a set that was approved and sponsored by the "Fundació Federico Mompou".  Pianist Jenny Lin's recording of Musica Callada is another interesting recording, but she's less idiomatic than the Spanish pianists. She has been given stunningly realistic recorded sound by the Steinway label, however.

[asin]B00BH419JO[/asin]
[asin]B004P96X4E[/asin]

But, as I said, I'd personally recommend that collectors new to Mompou's piano music begin with Mompou's own recordings, as well as those of his friend, Alicia de Larrocha, which are the most essential, in my view:

[asin]B0001GAVNY[/asin]

Mirror Image

I really appreciate the feedback, Josquin13. :) Looks like I made some good choices indeed. The Colom was actually mentioned to me by Karlo (North Star) and I bought it off Amazon from an MP seller immediately.

Josquin13

Mirror Image--Yes, I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Colom set.  Though I did listen to Adolf Pla's Musica Callada today, and it re-confirmed my good opinion of his Mompou playing.  But Pla's set is now harder to find than Colom's, even though it's a more recent release.  I'd say that Pla has marginally better sound quality. 

While Musica Callada isn't technically difficult music to play, it's nevertheless extremely difficult music to play well.  I'd recommend having a listen to Mompou's "Impresionas intimas" too, as I've come to like those pieces as much as Musica Callada.

Here's De Larrocha playing Impresionas intimas live, from 1978:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N59LejLJqCM

& here's Adolf Pla playing Musica Callada (his entire set has been posted on You Tube, if anyone's interested in hearing it):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8rDL71S_Ls&index=104&list=PLz0gUb4oqgt1nSqS-nYcsDqxYbpn2ZDxk

Marcel Worms' premiere recordings of Mompou's 'unpublished works" are also on You Tube, and they won't be in either the Colom or Pla sets.  This is interesting music, I wonder why Mompou left it unpublished:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt6nMC9dFlg

Mirror Image

Thanks again for the feedback, Josquin13. I plan on listening to Colom's entire set of Mompou whenever it arrives. I'm going to go into the music much fresher this time since it's been years since I've listened to any of his music. I'm also going to try to limit my listening of his music until after that Colom set arrives.

Todd




A new Musica Callada is slated for release next month.  Don't need another version.  Kinda want another version.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

Propaganda death ensemble - Tom Araya

calyptorhynchus

Quick question, is there a disk or disks of the music that was discovered after Senyora Mompou's death? ie only of that music and containing all or most of it?

Todd

Quote from: calyptorhynchus on February 24, 2019, 11:24:13 AM
Quick question, is there a disk or disks of the music that was discovered after Senyora Mompou's death? ie only of that music and containing all or most of it?


Yes:

The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

Propaganda death ensemble - Tom Araya

Todd



Josep Colom is, to the best of my knowledge, the first pianist to record Musica Callada twice.  His first recording is one of my favorites, along with Albert Attenelle and Haskell Small, so when I belatedly learned that Colom had recorded it again, I had to have it.  The playing is a bit slower across the board, typically a few seconds per piece, though it is not especially slow overall.  The recording is a DSD256 recording, but I went with a redbook download since DSD256 means nothing.  The recorded sound is superior to the earlier recording*.  That allows one to savor the quiet playing, in particular, just a bit more, as Colom will taper a phrase or hold a note until near silence.  Louder playing sounds less congested as well.  But much more important is how the pianist makes each piece sound beautiful, at times completely serene, at times filled with dramatic tension without sounding tense, at times searching, at times static.  It just jells.  I did not do a full A/B with the earlier version, though I probably will.  And with Stephen Hough's version almost out, as well as some new ones since I worked my way through a gob of recordings a half-decade ago, I may just have to listen to some more versions.

The inclusion of Cantar del Alma as an encore is a nice bonus.


* While sonics are better than Colom's earlier recording, the recording does not offer an improvement over Lin or Henck, and probably a couple others.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

Propaganda death ensemble - Tom Araya