Notes and Editorial Reviews
Federico Mompou's Musica Callada (Music of Silence) consists of 28 pieces grouped into four books, ranging in length from less than a minute to slightly more than four. The works are not, obviously, all that silent, nor do they tax the listener's patience with endless repetition or static colors and harmonies. In fact, there's quite a bit of variety here, but it takes place within the framework of a certain exquisite simplicity of utterance that's very special, and very beautiful. The most noteworthy aspect of the music is its harmonic range, running from the highly dissonant to the most folk-like, even primitive.
Recordings of the complete set are rare: the composer himself (now on Brilliant Classics) set the
standard, and he was followed by Herbert Henck on ECM. Pianophiles may well know of other, more obscure titles, but the bottom line is that the catalog never has contained so many recordings that a good newcomer such as this would not be most welcome.
Playing this music well requires three basic qualities: a beautiful tone, sensitivity to dynamics, and the ability to phrase expressively but without the slightest trace of affectation. That's just what Javier Perianes does, and the result is very persuasive. To hear just how much emotional range Perianes packs into these brief pieces, listen to the contrast between the tiny No. 7 and the following track. Perianes' tone, limpid and warm, suits the music ideally, while his sense of timing and phrasing remain utterly natural, but always flexible. He takes almost exactly the same amount of time overall to get through the set as did Mompou himself (about 69 minutes); Henck is about seven minutes faster and correspondingly more "nervy". Perianes also includes a bonus, in the lovely Trois Variations, and he's excellently recorded. In short, this is a very worthwhile release, featuring a pianist worth getting to know.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Música callada by Federico Mompou
Javier Perianes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1959-1967; Spain
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