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Mompou: Spanish Songs & Dances / Alicia De Larrocha


Release Date: 01/31/2012 
Label:  Newton Classics   Catalog #: 8802096  
Composer:  Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Delicious little free-flowing confections often quite haunting and played to perfection.

Mompou actually composed some of this music for Alicia de Larrocha, so there’s no gainsaying her authority as an interpreter. Even had this not been the case, the music making on offer here would make for a fully satisfying release. Those who find Mompou’s music to be too wispy and insubstantial would do well to sample his Songs and Dances, music of evocative lyrical substance as well as a healthy dose of rhythmic vigor. Larrocha’s RCA recordings did not survive long in the catalog; they came at the height of the industry’s self-destructive recording glut, so it’s very nice to see them reappearing on Newton Classics where we can
Read more savor them at greater leisure.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

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This CD is a reissue of de Larrocha’s celebrated album first issued on RCA Victor 09026 62554 as detailed in the heading above. 

Mompou was born in Barcelona where the music hall and the sounds of his grandfather’s bell foundry were formative influences. He spent two years studying at the Paris Conservatoire (from 1911) and then returned to Paris in 1921, where he was to live until the Nazi occupation two decades later.
 
Mompou’s music is ethereal and enigmatic. One can only take the descriptions in their titles as very rough guides. These evocations are very personal and often dream-like. As Stephen Hough says in his eloquently written booklet notes for his rival recording [Hyperion CDA66963 that includes Cançiones y danzas 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8 and Preludes 1, 5, 6, 7 and 9], "There is no development of material, little counterpoint, no drama, nor climaxes to speak of; and this simplicity of expression - elusive evasive and shy - is strangely disarming." Mompou’s music is unique - although occasionally one detects influences of, say, Debussy, Satie, Scriabin, but these are minimal. The music has an appealing childlike innocence and purity; in fact No. 3 has an artful child-like skipping tune. Again quoting Hough, "When asked once how to play his music the composer replied, ‘It’s all so free.’" Indeed it is but not just free of rhythmic constraints and structural rules; it is free from affectation, posing, fashion and fads. Just two other examples, the Cançons i danses No. 1 : Petiteta l’han casada - La dansa de Castelltersol begins quite like some Scottish drone with jazz blues in counterpoint moving towards a lighter folksong element. The melancholy bell-like tones of No. 2 give way to a wistful little tune.
 
Mompou’s stylistic freedom allows for a wide variety of interpretations. Therefore the critic can only go on personal preference. This wonderful Alicia de Larrocha recording should be considered alongside Hough’s recital. There is also a recording by Mompou himself, made in 1950, of his Jeunes filles au jardin; El carrer, el guitarrista i e vell cavall; La fuente y la campana and Cancions y danzas Nos 5, 6 and 8 on a very interesting EMI Composers in Person" CD (EMI 7 54836 2) which also includes Granados, Falla and Nin piano compositions played by these composers. There is also an ambitious Mompou concert on the Naxos label. Brilliant Classics offer a 4CD set of the composer playing his own music.
 
Looking at these rival recordings: Hough’s interpretations have more sophisticated grace and refinement suggesting the boulevards of Paris; de Larrocha, not surprisingly, prefers to accent Spanish rhythms more strongly, and Mompou adds his own inimitable style, slightly tougher and with a further dimension of almost primitive mystery.
 
Delicious little free-flowing confections often quite haunting and played to perfection.  

-- Ian Lace, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 1, Petiteta l'han casada/La dansa de Castelltersol by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/1992 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 39 Secs. 
2.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 2, Dotze cavallers/Galop de cortesia by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918-1924; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/1992 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York, NY 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
3.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 3, El noi de la mare/Sardana by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/1992 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
4.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 4, A la vora de la mar/Ball del ciri by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/1992 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
5.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 5, Original by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1992 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 
6.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 6, Original by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1992 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 
7.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 7, Muntanyes regalades/L'hereu riera by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; Spain 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  American Acadamy of Arts and Letters, NY 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
8.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 8, El testament d'Amèlia/Un pobre pagès by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Spain 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  American Acadamy of Arts and Letters, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
9.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 9, Rossinyol que vas a França/Original by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; Spain 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  American Acadamy of Arts and Letters, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
10.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 10, Cántigas de Alfonso X by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; Spain 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  American Acadamy of Arts and Letters, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
11.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 11, Tema de la "Patum" de Berga by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; Spain 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  American Acadamy of Arts and Letters, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 50 Secs. 
12.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 12, La dama d'Aragó/La mala nova by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; Spain 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  American Acadamy of Arts and Letters, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
13.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 14, Quan jo era petitet/Original by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; Spain 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  American Acadamy of Arts and Letters, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
14.
Prelude for Piano no 5 by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1930; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  American Acadamy of Arts and Letters, NY 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
15.
Prelude for Piano no 6 "Left hand" by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1930; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  American Acadamy of Arts and Letters, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 44 Secs. 
16.
Prelude for Piano no 7 "Deciso" by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943-1951; Spain 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  American Acadamy of Arts and Letters, NY 
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
17.
Prelude for Piano no 11 by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; Spain 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  American Acadamy of Arts and Letters, NY 
Length: 1 Minutes 56 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Great Music November 11, 2014 By Naida S. (Los Osos, CA) See All My Reviews "Alicia de Larocha has again captured the should of Spanish music Mompus's lovely pieces are played with great scull and feeling." Report Abuse
 Love at First Note! January 17, 2014 By bess holloway (Boulder, CO) See All My Reviews "The spirit of this music is incomparable. It is so directly appealing. The name Mompou was unfamiliar until this CD came to my attention. I hope many other listeners find it and experience the musical fun." Report Abuse
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