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Volodos Plays Mompou

Volodos,Arcadi
Release Date: 05/28/2013 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 1123629   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MOMPOU Música Callada: Nos. 1, 2, 6, 11, 15, 16, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27. Preludes: Nos. 7, 12. Scenes d’enfants. El lago. Charmes: “... pour appeler la joie.” Dialogues: Nos. 1 and 2. Damunt de tu namés les flors (arr. Volodos). Hoy la tierra y los cielos re sonríen (arr. Volodos) Arcadi Volodos (pn) SONY Read more 88765433262 (63: 16)


Federico Mompou (1893–1987) was a solitary and very individual Catalan composer. He wrote a number of songs, but almost his entire output consists of short sets of pieces for piano, written in a distinctinctive style that features acerbic but basically tonal harmonies, pared back textures with very little in the way of pianistic decoration or rhythmic momentum, and a general atmosphere of introspection. I read once that Mompou, an insomniac, only composed between midnight and dawn––and the dreamlike quality of his music bears this out. There is a feeling associated with it of time stretching into infinite realms both past and future.


Mompou was himself a pianist and, mostly towards the end of his long life, recordeda swathe of his own works. He was also championed by the great Catalan pianist Alicia de Larrocha, but other than that he has primarily been taken up by specialists in out-of-the-way repertoire such as Herbert Henck and Martin Jones. The latter has recorded a good deal of Mompou’s output: several CDs worth, in highly sympathetic performances for Nimbus. There is also an excellent disc from Stephen Hough on Hyperion. (Hough’s program overlaps with that of the current disc in only a few short selections: the Prelude No. 7, the two very brief Dialogues and one of the Charmes: “... pour appeler la joie.”)


The haunting, introverted nature of Mompou’s muse would hardly seem a good fit for Arcadi Volodos, a pianist who made his initial impact with virtuoso transcriptions designed to show off an astonishing technique––yet here he is, immersed in the shadowy, nocturnal world of Mompou and recreating it with extraordinary polish and sensitivity. The pianist’s phenomenal technical ability is here put to the test of creating subtle shadings and textural half-lights, and the fact that he succeeds so triumphantly bespeaks his complete empathy with the composer. His disc opens with an uncharacteristically note-heavy piece, Palmier d’etioles , which depicts fireworks reflected in the water at a Barcelona festival. Soon, however, we come to the familiar minimal textures of the composer’s late period: specifically Música Callada (or Silent Music ), a set of 28 pieces in four volumes written between 1959 and 1967. Volodos takes 11 from the collection, playing them in an effective order of his own choosing. The last one, which is also the final track (No. 21) seems to depict a distant bell tolling in the night hours: Volodos’s exquisitely weighted diminuendo sets the sound receding gradually into a foggy or perhaps sleep-induced distance.


A much earlier set of pieces, the five Scenes d’enfants, written in Paris between 1915 and 1918, were the first of Mompou’s works to be performed in public. A French influence, primarily Debussy, is strongly evident. The music contains moments of raw energy––as one would expect from the subject matter––but every now and again it slips into a gentle reverie, as though the composer was contemplating these childhood scenes at his leisure from a later perspective. Volodos is scrupulous in separating the moments of immediacy with those of nostalgic recall. His beautiful recreation of gently rippling waters in “El lago” (“The Lake,” No. 2 of the Paisajes ) also raises in this listener a hope that one day this pianist will turn his attention to the music of Fauré (another early influence on Mompou). Adding to the disc’s distinction are transcriptions of two songs: in both cases, the pianistic decoration Volodos introduces is subtle, idiomatic, and never over-elaborate. In fact, subtle is the term for his artistry throughout this whole recital.


Those for whom Mompou has struck a chord will probably own a recording of the complete Música Callada (I recommend Henck’s set on ECM over Jones), but whether you already know this music or not, I strongly suggest you snap up the new disc. Sony has done this remarkable musician proud by providing not only perfect sound but also a lovingly produced 50-page booklet with notes by pianist and Mompou expert Adolf Pla. This release is definitely a Want List contender.


FANFARE: Phillip Scott
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Works on This Recording

1.
Prelude for Piano no 7 "Deciso" by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943-1951; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
2.
Damunt de tu, només les flors by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
3.
Scènes d'enfants by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915-1918; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 1 Secs. 
4.
Becquerianas: Hoy la tierra y los cielos me sonríen by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1971 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
5.
Paisajes: 2. El lago (Le lac) by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1942-1960 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 26 Secs. 
6.
Charme: 6. Pour appeler la joie by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1920-1921 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 13 Secs. 
7.
Prelude for Piano no 12 by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
8.
Dialogues, 2 pieces for piano by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1923 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 19 Secs. 
9.
Musica callada: 1. Angelico by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1959-1967; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
10.
Musica callada: 2. Lent by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1959-1967; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
11.
Musica callada: 27. Lento molto by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1959-1967; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
12.
Musica callada: 24. Moderato by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1959-1967; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
13.
Musica callada: 25. by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1959-1967; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
14.
Musica callada: 11. Allegretto by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1959-1967; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
15.
Musica callada: 15. Lento - plaintif by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1959-1967; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
16.
Musica callada: 22. Molto lento e tranquilo by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1959-1967; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
17.
Musica callada: 16. Calme by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1959-1967; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
18.
Musica callada: 6. Lento by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1959-1967; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 46 Secs. 
19.
Musica callada: 21. Lento by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Arcadi Volodos (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1959-1967; Spain 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 

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