Mompou: Piano Music

Mompou: Piano Music

Stephen Hough (piano)


Without a spirit of childhood in the listener, the music of the Catalan Federico Mompou can seem almost infantile. The style the composer himself calls 'primitivista' involves no bar lines, key signatures or other such paraphernalia of 'organized' composition, and at first sight owes much to Satie. However the latter's cynicism here finds expression in genuine innocence and wonder.

The titles of the four complete sets recorded here give some impression of what is to be expected: Cants MágicsCharmes … but these titles can also be unhelpful, implying order when none is meant; the Cancións y Danzas are not part of a set as such, and the six examples here span some three decades.

All of these miniatures (the longest is under six minutes) capture a world that is at once very real (Mompou describes his 'favourite place' as being the 'solitude of all large towns') and yet somehow set at a distance from the mundane through piano writing of plain and unpretentious vision.

Newsletter Sign Up