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Mompou: Oeuvres Choisies / Ester Pineda

Ester Pineda, Piano
Release Date: 04/08/2014 
Label:  Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog #: 1368   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



MOMPOU Suburbis. Preludes Nos. 1, 2, 8, 9. Variations sur un theme de Chopin. Scènes d’enfants. Chansons et Danses. Charmes Ester Pineda (pn) GALLO 1368 (78:35)


Catalonian composer Frederic Mompou may not be a household name, but in his native Spain he is considered the dean on Spanish composers. He utilized Catalonian folk themes in an interesting way, going back as far (sometimes) as the 15th century, to which he added modern Read more harmonies. He also considered his music as “primitivist,” saying that he felt the need “to drink again and again from an unpolluted spring, which made me abandon very early the bar line and the key stave.” Born in the cabaret district of Barcelona, Mompou always rejected being called a composer in the traditional sense, since he did not obey prescribed rules but only converted the music he liked into sounds that he enjoyed playing himself on the piano.


Pianist Ester Pineda has the perfect touch and temperament for this music. She is evocative, Impressionistic, and occasionally elemental as the music demands of her. Although most of this music does fit the profile of French Impressionism, despite its Catalonian roots, there are also allusions to Chopin, whom Mompou adored (and not just in the set of variations on his Seventh Étude), and some of Mompou’s pieces have lively rhythms. This unusual mixture of styles, then, helps to define the music as melodic, warm, and appealing, but most definitely well written. That being said, the majority of Mompou’s pieces on this CD are in the vein of encore pieces. Only the Chopin Variations are really substantial enough to program as a featured work in recital, and therein lies the problem of this disc. Listening to all 78 minutes’ worth of this music in one sitting produces a feeling of sameness, even though that is not really true. Perhaps this is conditioned by the childlike simplicity of Mompou’s inspiration and personal means of expression; certainly, I do not blame the messenger. Pineda does everything in her power to present this music in its best light, and generally she succeeds. I would, rather, recommend that you listen to this disc in stages: first the Suburbis and preludes, then after a break the Chopin Variations , then at a later time the Scènes d’enfants, Chansons et Danses, and Charmes. That way, you can absorb the full measure of Mompou’s unusual and slightly exotic sound world without feeling overcome by its similarity of themes and expression.


An interesting disc, then, presenting the music of an original maverick in a good light.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Suburbis: Gitanes no 2 by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Spain 
2.
Suburbis: Gitanes no 1 by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Spain 
3.
Suburbis: El Carrer, el guitarrista i el vell cavall by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Spain 
4.
Scènes d'enfants: Cris dans le rue by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915-1918; Spain 
5.
Variations on a theme by Chopin by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938-1957; Spain 
6.
Scènes d'enfants by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915-1918; Spain 
7.
Prelude for Piano no 9 by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943-1951; Spain 
8.
Prelude for Piano no 8 by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943-1951; Spain 
9.
Prelude for Piano no 2 by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1930; Paris, France 
10.
Prelude for Piano no 1 by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1930; Paris, France 
11.
Charmes (6) by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920-1921; Spain 
12.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 8, El testament d'Amèlia/Un pobre pagès by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Spain 
13.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 7, Muntanyes regalades/L'hereu riera by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; Spain 
14.
Cançons i dansas (14): no 3, El noi de la mare/Sardana by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Ester Pineda (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Paris, France 

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