> MOMPOU Musica Callada []: Classical CD Reviews- Jun2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Frederic MOMPOU (1893 Ė 1987)
Música Callada (1959 Ė 1967)
El pont (1941)
Muntanya (1915)
Jordi Masó (piano)
Recorded: Auditori Enric Granados, Lleida, February 2000
NAXOS 8.554727 [78:48]




This, the fourth volume of Mompouís piano music released by Naxos, centres around a substantial work, Música Callada written between 1959 and 1967. Many consider that work to be Mompouís musical testament. Música Callada consists of four books of unequal length composed in 1959, 1962, 1965 and 1967 respectively. The title ("Music without sound" or maybe better still "Silenced music") comes from St John of the Cross who bracketed it with Soledad Sonora ("solitude that clamours"), and the music obviously reflects both aspects of the quotation, in being mainly slow-moving and meditative. The twenty-eight short movements that make-up the four books are "a summary of the most personal elements of [Mompouís] musical language" (Victor Estapé). Some of them however retain some echoes of popular music, albeit in a very stylised way. The music has a timeless, almost mystical atmosphere attuned to the composerís solitary meditations. As a whole Música Callada is an ambitious piece. It does not readily yield its secrets and definitely needs repeated hearings. Some may have difficulties in absorbing such slow-moving and emotionally complex music in one sitting, though Masóís dedicated advocacy pays high dividends and serves the composer well.

The early Muntanya dates from 1915 and is thus quite an early work in Mompouís huge piano output. It is a comparatively traditional and much simpler work both in idiom and in emotional content. So too is the somewhat later El pont (1946), a miniature impressionistic tone-poem of great charm which nevertheless remained unheard for many long years.

This is a very fine release: excellent playing, natural piano sound and most interesting notes by Victor Estapé. Nevertheless, if you do not know Mompouís piano music, you might better start with any of the other volumes before investigating the present one. Then the rewards will be plentiful.

Hubert Culot


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