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  • blog 1 (werk 1989-1994)
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  • Aankondiging: pianooncert Marcel Worms met werk van Federico Mompou
  • From Canal Oficial Fundacio Frederic Mompou
  • Frederic Mompou at the piano
  • Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
  • Documentary about Federico Mompou
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  • 4 cd Frederic Mompou, Adolf Pla piano
  • 4 CD Complete Works for Piano, Adolf Pla
  • Marcel Worms speelt Mompou in Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht
  • Mompou early recording
  • Marcel Worms plays Mompou (part2)
  • Marcel Worms plays Mompou
  • Mompou
  • Mompou en schilderijen
  • Pianoconcert Mompou op 11 April in Culemborg
  • Pianomuziek van Mompou in Culemborg
  • Video La Fundacion Frederic Mompou
  • Carol Ruiz plays Mompou
  • Video op Youtube van het 'nieuwe' werk van Mompou (1 van 3)
  • CD Mompou - Unpublished works for piano, Marcel Worms, piano
  • Marcel Worms speelt ongepubliceerd werk van Mompou
  • Nieuwe cd van Mompou is uit !
  • Premiereconcert ongepubliceerd werk Mompou
  • Ana Perez Ventura plays Mompou
  • Grote hoeveelheid onbekend pianowerk gevonden van Federico Mompou
  • Federico Mompou - Pour endormir la souffrance
  • Federico Mompou plays Gitano
  • Documentary about Federico Mompou (1970)
  • Muziek van Federico Mompou in tv-programma 'Vrije geluiden' zondag 18 maart 2007 (Ned. 1)
  • Andreiovitch Wudnitski plays Mompou and Blancafort
  • Edward Cohen plays Cant Magics 1 - 3
  • Edward Cohen plays Cant Magics 4 - 5
  • Federico Mompou and Carmen Bravo
  • Federico Mompou
  • Lorna G. Pollock about Mompou
  • Nog onbekend vroeg werk van Mompou gevonden!
  • DVD over Mompou?
  • Rein Bloem m.b.t. de muziek van Federico Mompou
  • Op het spoor van Mompou
  • Francesco plays - Charmes - pour le querisons
  • Francesco plays Mompou - Young girls in the garden
  • Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
  • Federico Mompou
  • Mompou - Cancion Y Danza 6
  • Judit Bardolet plays Toldra
  • Christian Ferras plays Faure
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    Federico Mompou en
    Francis Poulenc
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    Mompou en Clara Janes
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    Carmen Bravo
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    Federico Mompou (1893-1987)

    13-09-2009
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Federico Mompou - Pour endormir la souffrance
    Mompou

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Federico Mompou plays Gitano
    Mompou

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    10-09-2009
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Documentary about Federico Mompou (1970)
    Mompou

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    27-01-2009
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Muziek van Federico Mompou in tv-programma 'Vrije geluiden' zondag 18 maart 2007 (Ned. 1)
    Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen Toen ik de muziek van Federico Mompou in het tv-programma 'Vrije geluiden' op de zondagaochten zag, was ik zeer verrast dat er iets over m'n favoriete componist op tv werd uitgezonden. De mooie pianomuziek van Mompou hoorde ik voor het eerst in 1987 toen het op de radio werd uitgezonden n.a.v. het overlijden van Mompou.
    In 'Vrije geluiden' speelde Marcel Worms het mooie pianostukje 'Secreto' uit Impressiones Intimas van Mompou, dat meteen duidelijk maakt wat voor een geheimzinnige sfeer deel uit kan maken van Mompou's muziek.
    De overige muziek die van Mompou werd gespeeld bestond uit werken die nog volslagen onbekend voor me waren, nl. twee liederen gezongen door Irene Maessen begeleid door Marcel Worms op piano (uit: Combat del somni, 1948) en delen uit Evocation voor viool, cello en piano uit 1973 gespeeld door Marijke van Kooten, viool, Daniél Esser, cello en Marcel worms, piano.
    Ik had al iets over Mompou op dit weblog staan maar deze uitzending op tv heeft er toe geleid zo veel mogelijk over de muziek van Federico Mompou op dit weblog te verzamelen, puur uit enthousiasme voor de muziek van Mompou.
    Dit weblog wordt dus nog steeds bijgewerkt en aangevuld en inmiddels komen er ook andere componisten bij zoals bijv. Manuel Blancafort, vriend en tijdgenoot van Mompou.
    Marcel Worms speelde o.a. Secreto uit Impressiones Intimas, zie filmpje hieronder:


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    26-01-2009
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Andreiovitch Wudnitski plays Mompou and Blancafort
    Andreiovitch Wudnitski plays Mompou and Blancafort.
    See his video's at YouTube:
    http://nl.youtube.com/user/harvardkarbodie

    For example Cancion Y Danza # 1
    >

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    07-01-2009
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Edward Cohen plays Cant Magics 1 - 3
    Mompou

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Edward Cohen plays Cant Magics 4 - 5
    Mompou

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    24-12-2008
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Federico Mompou and Carmen Bravo
    Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen Mompou

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    22-11-2008
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Federico Mompou

    The music of Catalonian-Spanish composer Frederic Mompou (18931987) is radically simple, spare, mystical, and utterly unclassifiable as to styleall this in a century that favored intellectual feats on the part of composers who classified themselves into schools and "isms." The work he regarded as a summation of his life's efforts was given the quizzical title Música callada (music that has fallen silent).

    Family Background Included Bell Maker

    Mompou's full name was Frederic Mompou i Dencausse. He was born on April 16, 1893, in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona is in Spain's Catalonia region, a culturally distinctive area with its own language, Catalan (a blend of Spanish and an old southern French dialect), and a range of indigenous folk music traditions that differ from those heard elsewhere in Spain. Music critic Wilfrid Mellers suggested that Mompou was influenced by these regional traditions. He wrote in the study Le Jardin retrouvé: The Music of Frederic Mompou, "Even today, when we listen to or play one of the piano pieces he calls Cançó i dansa [Song and Dance] we should remember that they are not mere parlor pieces but recollections of activity that is also ritual." Mompou used both the Catalan (Frederic) and Spanish (Federico) forms of his first name. His last name is generally pronounced as in French (mom-POOH), but Mompou told an interviewer that in Catalonia it would properly be pronounced mom-POH-oo, with all the vowels sounding.

    Another major influence on Mompou's creation of his magically simple sound was bells. His maternal grandfather was a member of a French bell-making family that had been in the profession since the 1400s; he had come to Barcelona to set up a bell factory. Mompou himself spent time at the factory, worked there briefly, and learned to tune his ear to the subtle sounds of bells. A unique harmony in his music, known as the metallic chord, was derived from the sound of ringing bells.

    Mompou was close to his parents, and they encouraged his interest in music. Friends and extended family often came to the Mompou home to sing and dance, and Mompou was given lessons after he showed talent on the piano. He attended the Conservatorio del Liceo music school in Barcelona and made rapid progress, giving his first concert at age 15. But the severely shy Mompou never really enjoyed performing. He quickly changed direction after hearing pianist Marguerite Long, with the great French composer Gabriel Fauré in attendance, play a concert of Fauré's music the following year. The concert was, he told Dorle J. Soria of Musical America, his first encounter "with contemporary music of my time and it gave me a great desire to compose." His first published work was a set of piano pieces called Impresiones intimas (Intimate Impressions), written between 1911 and 1914. "It already had his personality," Mompou's wife, Carmen, told Soria, and music historians have agreed, finding the characteristic simple, almost naive quality of Mompou's adult music already present in the early Impresiones intimas.

    Like most of the other young Spanish composers of his day, Mompou decided to study music in Paris, where French composers had written nationalistic Spanish music before Spanish composers themselves began to do so. He arrived at the Paris Conservatory in 1911 with a letter of recommendation written by the leading Spanish composer Enrique Granados, but, typically, was too shy to show it to the admissions committee. Nevertheless, his music stood on its own merits, and he studied piano and harmony at the Conservatory for two years. Remaining in Paris until 1914, he returned home when World War I broke out and became involved in a Catalonian arts movement called Noucentisme, which rejected the confrontational spirit of the avant-garde and emphasized a return to classical values of balance.

    Influenced by French Composers

    Mompou had the knack of absorbing influences from various composers while writing music that was quite dissimilar to theirs. Despite his shyness he interacted with other musicians and became acquainted with the leading edge of French music of the early twentieth century. He admired the iconic composers of Paris during the years of World War I, and took something from each of them. Like Claude Debussy, he eschewed any strong sense of directional motion in music, preferring to paint musical colors on an almost static background. Like Maurice Ravel, he was fascinated by the world of childhood and the musical creativity that seemed to reside near its surface; he had a gift for melodies that seemed unassuming, but haunted listeners, who responded to his unique language. From the unconventional, ironic Erik Satie he inherited a belief that radical simplicity had its place, and he showed the same tendency to go his own way rather than follow the prevailing musical fashion. The harmonic stasis of Mompou's music was matched by an absence of strong rhythmic drive; he frequently wrote his music without bar lines separating one rhythmic unit from another.

    Stimulated by the Parisian scene, Mompou returned to Paris in 1921 and remained there for 20 years. The period from World War I through about 1930 was Mompou's most productive, and he published such piano works as Suburbis (Suburbs, 1917), Scènes d'enfants (Scenes of Children,1918), the Cants mágics (Magic Songs, 1919), and the first four of his Cançós i dansas (Songs and Dances, 1928), along with the beginnings of a small but influential group of French-language songs. His Comptines of 1931 were songs based on children's number rhymes. Mompou's lifetime output was slender, amounting to about 200 mostly short pieces collected into a few dozen sets. In the highly competitive and polemical Paris atmosphere, Mompou rarely gave concerts, although he liked to perform for small groups of artists and writers. He lived alone and stayed out of the headlines. Yet a select group of observers were captivated by his music. Critic Emile Vuillermoz wrote of Mompou, in a famous newspaper article quoted by Soria, that "in the Middle Ages the people would have condemned to the stake an artist gifted with such powers." The argument was an apt one, for Mompou aimed not just at simplicity but at what he called a recommencement, a new beginning that would put music back in touch with its aboriginal power. Mompou was a friend to the French composers Francis Poulenc and Georges Auric, but declined to join the composers' collective Les Six (The Six), of which they were members.

    The 1930s were a melancholic period for Mompou and he stopped composing almost completely between about 1931 and 1937. He reemerged in 1937 with a piano work called Souvenirs d'exposition (Souvenirs of the Fair) and began working on another piece, Variations on a theme of Chopin, that would occupy him for many years. In 1941 Mompou fled the war in France and returned to Barcelona. While judging a piano competition there he was impressed by the performance of a young woman named Carmen Bravo, 30 years his junior. Several years later they married, each for the first time. Mompou joined with a group called the Independent Catalan Composers Movement and reconnected with his musical roots, while still maintaining contact with friends in France.

    With these stimuli working in his favor, Mompou began to compose again, continuing to work until he was slowed by a stroke at age 87. In the post-World War II era, dominated by the complex serialist or 12-tone system and its harsh dissonances, Mompou was completely out of fashionand completely unconcerned. "I am in revolt against the excessive cerebration of our age," he was quoted as saying by Soria. "Music must cease to be a laboratory product and acquire the lyrical and evocative qualities which spring from personal experience and meditation."

    Wrote Vocal Works

    Mompou branched out beyond piano music after World War II, writing a number of Catalonian-language songs and pairing them with texts by poet Josep Janées i Olive. These included the widely recorded Suite compostelana (Compostela Suite) for guitar (1962), and various works for chorus, including the Cantar del alma (Song of the Soul) to a text by the Spanish mystic and ascetic, St. John of the Cross (15421591). Mompou was fascinated by St. John of the Cross and borrowed a phrase from one of his writings for the title of the major work of his later years, Música callada.

    The 28 pieces in Música callada (four albums, 195967), never move faster than a moderate tempo; in free rhythms, they are unassuming yet strangely powerful. This music, Mompou was quoted as saying by Isabelle Leymarie in the UNESCO Courier, "is heard internally. Its emotion is secret, and becomes sound only by reverberating in the coldness of our solitude." The work, completed in 1967, was premiered in 1972 by Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha, to whom it was dedicated. A host of recordings of the work appeared in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    Mompou wrote an oratorioan unstaged dramatic workcalled Los improperios (The Ungrateful Ones) in 1963; although it was his only work to feature a full symphony orchestra, it showed no lack of skill in handling that medium. The text of the work dealt with the Good Friday speech of the crucified Christ rebuking the crowd for its ingratitude, and Mompou set it in a spare style comparable to that of his piano music. Well into his ninth decade Mompou wrote more choral music and a work for cello and piano, El pont. Admirers of Mompou expanded the collection of his works by arranging some of his piano music into two ballets, The House of Birds and Don Perlimpin. Mompou died at age 94 on June 30, 1987, and his popularity only increased following his death.


    Find more facts and information related to the .
    Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.


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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Lorna G. Pollock about Mompou
    When my Father was dying, I played Mompou exclusively during the drives to be with him. The music allowed me to be with my grief and to restore balance with my rather jagged emotions. I find that Mompou's music has great emotional healing influence on my life in general. I play it frequently and hear subtle nuances each time. It is very inward music, and you must be involved with it. That is why I play it and why I wish to become more proficient in interpreting it. I also play Satie. His music asks invites a person to reflect, but there is a difference. Mompou's music is more abstract, personal and solicitous.
    Lorna G. pollock, Mariposa, CA

    On Youtube she plays Prelude No. 4 of Mompou and pieces from Satie.
    She will try to play and upload a better version of Prelude No 4 in the future.
    For more information about Lorna G. Pollock see:
    http://nl.youtube.com/user/musicamusement

    Thank you Lorna for this contribution.



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    01-11-2008
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.
    Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen

    think this CD is a kind of jewell. Beautiful pieces.
    Maybe another piano player could interpret this music with more virtuosity but they dont need that. Mompou, old when he recorded those Cants màgics filled that music with kind of poetry and, obviously, sincerity.
    Its like listening him in a small room, drinking a cup of tea in absolute silence. By James D. Fanuzzi


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    29-10-2008
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Nog onbekend vroeg werk van Mompou gevonden!
    Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen Pianist Mac McClure deelde me o.a. het volgende mede:

    there is so much work to be done and so little time
    I am swamped with work
    they found a bunch of early works of Mompou that seems he never played in public and that is taking up alot of my time at present

    I will be playing a group of them in a concert i about 10 days

    they dvd is sort of stuck in the translating part of the process and that is out of my hands!!!
    thanks for the positive coments
    be well
    MAC



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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.DVD over Mompou?
    Er wordt al geruime tijd gewerkt aan een DVD over Federico Mompou met daarop uitvoeringen van zijn muziek door Mac McClure en Marisa Martins, waarschijnlijk ook het interview met Carmen Bravo, de weduwe van Mompou door Mac McClure.
    Hij liet me weten dat de Spaanstalige DVD Engelse ondertitels zal krijgen. Het vertalen laat kennelijk erg lang op zich wachten want bijna een jaar later is er nog niets bekend over of en wanneer de DVD zal worden uitgebracht.
    Hopelijk staan op de DVD ook de Franse documentaire over Mompou er op, met de meester zelf aan het woord en achter de piano en opnamen van Mompou van de de Spaanse tv.

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    28-10-2008
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Rein Bloem m.b.t. de muziek van Federico Mompou
    Over de poezie van Rein Bloem m.b.t. de muziek van Federico Mompou schreef Arie van den Berg in het NRC (1 mei 1998) het volgende:

    "Liever dan de titelcyclus is mij de andere reeks in De troost van de pelgrim: 'Federico Mompou / 1893-1987 / leven en werken.' Ook deze reeks heeft weliswaar een notenapparaat, maar de inleiding daarvan is nuttig voor wie de Catalaanse componist niet kent. De cyclus zelf becommentarieert in achtentwintig gedichten van elk drie terzinen de Música Callada (Zwijgende muziek) van Mompou. Terloops verwerkt Bloem hierbij zijn biografische en musicale kennis. Een belangrijke rol is weggelegd voor de klank van klokken - van de campanas uit de klokkengieterij van Mompous grootvader tot:

    De meesterproef: zonder omwegen

    op geen doel af, het onhoorbare.

    Eenzaamheid doen klinken als de klok.

    Dat is een rake typering van Mompous muziek, en zo staan er wel meer in deze cyclus.


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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Op het spoor van Mompou
    Een persoonlijk verhaal over de muziek van Mompou is altijd welkom op dit weblog.
    Dit kan bijv. via het gastenboek.
    De schrijfster van onderstaand verhaaltje wenst anoniem te blijven.

    "Mijn grootvader heeft me op het spoor van Mompou gezet. Hij bestierde de DMD, afkorting voor Dordtse Muziek Dienst, een fictief eenmans-radiostation. Opnames van Radio 4 zette hij op cassettebandjes, die hij voorzag van zijn eigen droogkomische af- en aankondigingen. Als de opnames ruis bevatten was het bijvoorbeeld: 'Op de achtergrond horen wij duidelijk het ruisen van de Maas, hier in de studio's aan de Wolwevershaven', en als hij het opname-apparaat te laat had aangezet: 'Horowitz speelde prachtig, begon alleen wat onverwacht, zodat onze technici moeite hadden op hem in te springen'.

    De DMD-bandjes kregen binnen kleine kring in Dordrecht een legendarische status; grootvader bracht ze rond op de fiets en verspreidde ze ook onder zijn (klein-)kinderen, waarvan ik de gretigste afneemster was. Sommige bandjes waren dan ook opgedragen aan 'een 16-jarige luisteraarster die zelf beweert niet onverdienstelijk het klavier te beroeren.'

    Naast Mompou hield hij van Chopin, Mahler en Rachmaninov. Met deze laatste componisten maakte ik ook kennis via mijn pianolerares, maar Mompou heb ik in die tijd nooit gespeeld. Onlangs heb ik een vleugel aangeschaft en mijn pianospel na jaren weer opgepikt, en nu dacht ik ook eens aan Mompou te beginnen; zijn werk intrigeert me en ik denk dat ik er nu, op 33-jarige leeftijd, meer van begrijp dan op mijn 18e. Zijn composities vergen, denk ik, een zekere emotionele rijpheid."






    >> Reageer (0)
    27-10-2008
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Francesco plays - Charmes - pour le querisons
    Mompou

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Francesco plays Mompou - Young girls in the garden
    Mompou - Jeunes Filles au Jardin

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
    Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen De pianowerken van de Spaanse componist Federico Mompou vind ik van een
    ongekende schoonheid. De uitvoering door hem zelf op de piano gespeeld zijn op cd vastgelegd.
    Voor meer informatie over de componist ga naar:
    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-156361347.html
    Kilian Mineur uit België heeft in 2005 een scriptie geschreven over  Federico Mompou waarin meer informatie over de componist te vinden is. Zie: 
    http://users.telenet.be/kilianmineur/Scriptie.doc

    Mompou website:
    Tot mijn grote verbazing zijn enkele fragmenten te zien van Federico Mompou achter de piano en o.a. ook een zeer uitgebreid foto-archief.
    De site is helaas alleen in een Catalaans maar alleen al voor de unieke audio-visuele clips met de componist zelf, is het beslist de moeite deze site eens te bekijken. (Met dank voor de tip van Frits van der Waa)
    Ga naar:
    http://www.fredericmompou.info/

    In Madrid kocht ik de eerste cd met zijn vroege en m.i. mooiste werken.
    Later had ik al meteen spijt dat ik niet ook die andere cd's had gekocht.
    Weer later bleek dat ze voor een spotprijsje te koop waren bij het Kruidvat!
    Zie volgend verhaal:
    http://bieslog.vpro.nl/programma/bieslog/news.jsp?news=21199830

    Voor info Mompou en luisteren van enkele stukken ga naar:
    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=124949157

    Voor beluisteren van Cancion Y danza nr. 1 ga naar:
    http://www.claudiocolombo.net/Altremusiche/Mompou/Cyd01.mp3

    Voor beluisteren fragment van: Damunt de tu nomes les flors, ga naar:
    http://www.novoartists.com/audio_samples/herrera/damunt_de_tu_nomes_les_flors.mp3

    Artikel: 'Het unieke oeuvre voor piano van de Catalaan Federico Mompou' door Heinz Wallisch, zie:
    http://rond1900.nl/?p=456

    De verstilling in de pianomuziek van Federico Mompou vind ik overeenkomstig met m'n schilderijen 
    (zie: blog 2) waarbij de mensfiguur meestal in een verstilde pose is weergegeven.
    Een combinatie van een tentoonstelling van m'n schilderijen  en de pianomuziek van Mompou
    bijv. Musica Callada  (muziek van de stilte), lijkt mij erg mooi.
    Hopelijk dat in de toekomst een combinatie mogelijk wordt met  pianist Marcel Worms.
    Voor recensie van Heinz Wallisch over cd  Musica Callada gespeeld door Marcel Worms zie:
    http://www.bloggen.be/cultuursfinx/
    of:
    http://www.nederlands.nl/nedermap/recensies/categorie/muziek.html

    Voor art. 'Marcel Worms en anderen spelen werken van Federico Mompou' door Heinz Wallisch zie:
    http://rond1900.nl/?p=500

    Voor website van pianist Marcel Worms zie:
    http://www.marcelworms.com/

    Voor het beluisteren van interview met Marcel Worms over Mompou in de radioprogramma Kunststof van de NPS
    uitgezonden op 1 Februari 2007 ga naar:
    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://sites.nps.nl/jerome/gfx/content/200701-02marcelworms.jpg&imgrefurl=http://sites.nps.nl/jerome/index.cfm/site/kunststof/pageid/C45CB071-10A4-EDF3-4C576E33CBAC5801/objectid/7841FBAF-1635-041D-06B21BACE7B42B49/index.cfm%3Fc%3DKunstStofArchief2007%26year%3D2007&h=426&w=420&sz=38&hl=nl&start=13&tbnid=ea7mqnErosFN7M:&tbnh=126&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmarcel%2Bworms%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Dnl%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DN

    Voor Marcel Worms bij Vrij Geluiden VPRO tv met muziek van Mompou zie:
    http://www.vpro.nl/programma/vrijegeluiden/afleveringen/32553626/media/33775762/#

    Preludio N.1 van federico Mompou gespeeld door Luca(?) zie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J5TZKlmN0k

    Mompou - Cancion gespeeld door Agustin Carlevara op gitaar zie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRJslkygA-s

    Voor informatie over Federico Mompou zie:
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federico_Mompou




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    25-09-2008
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Federico Mompou
    April 16, 1893–June 30, 1987

    Born into an old Catalan family with rich musical antecedents (for centuries one of the leading makers of church bells in medieval Europe) the composer Federico Mompou Dencausse can be regarded as the leading composer of his native Cataluña. He himself described his musical style as primitivista and critics knew him as a "poet of the pianoforte" an appelation also bestowed on Chopin and Schumann. In truth, if indeed his music does incorporate primitive elements, at the same time it achieves a subtle sophistication and modernity that retains its freshness and originality and in the end reveals an immortal composer.

    Federico Mompou, born on April 16, 1893 in Barcelona, was to receive his first musical contact with the piano imitating his brother José who was taking piano lessons. This same brother was to become a painter; it was he who drew the simple farmhouse sketch which was to grace the title pages of all of Federico's compositions (here reproduced above). Virtually self-taught at the piano, Mompou's compositional gifts grew naturally out of the inherently self-effacing introspection of his personality. By the time he was ready to enter the Paris Conservatory as a piano student he had already begun composing fragments which were later to be developed into some of his most well-known works.

    In the fall of 1911, at the age of 18, Mompou, having readied himself for serious study in Paris, went about gathering contacts and letters of introduction to prominent teachers and musicians in the French capital. Among the more interesting of these was a letter from Enrique Granados, the great Spanish virtuoso pianist and composer who was head of a conservatory in Barcelona, to Gabriel Fauré, then director of the Paris Conservatory. According to Mompou's recollections of his interview with the great Spanish pianist and between the lines of the still-extant letter can be inferred that Granados was under no illusions concerning the virtuosic potentialities of the young pianist. But he did speak highly of his talent, especially with regards to his sensitive touch and already apparent individuality, traits which were soon to manifest themselves in Mompou's compositions. Curiously, the letter was never recieved by Fauré; although admitted to the Paris conservatory (with another Spaniard, José Iturbi) Mompou's natural shyness and reserve coupled with Fauré's absence from Paris at the time ultimately prevented the letter from arriving at its intended destination. In later years, Mompou would relish the irony of this non-contact as almost symbolic in character, quite in accordance with the reticence of his own personality.

    Two years of study in Paris were enough to convince Mompou that, rather than a piano virtuoso, his greatest gifts lay in composition. Since childhood his personality had reflected a powerful introspection and playing even his own compositions in public was a torture that remained unconquered until much later in life. Composition on the other hand, which in his own view consisted more in the discovery of harmonies and melodies than in their invention, allowed his musical imagination free rein. Indeed, many of his most well-loved compositions, the Canciones y Danzas, are free renditions of traditional Catalan folk tunes. Nevertheless, the difficult economic circumstances of the life of a composer were not to be completely surmounted until much later.

    Mompou's first success came in 1921. After two years of study in the French capital he had returned to his beloved Barcelona where he had already written a number of his more important compositions. When his piano teacher, Ferdinand Motte-Lacroix, former student and disciple of the founder of the French school of piano playing, Isidore Philipp, began including compositions by Mompou in his programs in France, the critical response was instantaneous. Mompou found himself the idol of artistic and musical Paris. Although initially surprising even to the artist himself, this success is easier to understand viewed in the context of the times. Debussy had only been dead for three years and the forces reacting against impressionism were already at work. Cubism (1909) and the Dadaists (1918) had made their appearances; Schönberg had written his "Treatise on Harmony" (1911) and Stravinsky had turned the musical world upside down with his "Rite of Spring" (1913). The instinctive values pervading Mompou's music resonated profoundly in this environ. Based in Catalan and Spanish traditional music, the piquant harmonies "discovered" by their composer, delicately pulsating rhythms, introspective themes; Mompou himself would write "I make music like this because art has reached its limits...my art is a return to the primitive...no, not even a return, it is to begin again (recomenzar)." This recomenzar helps us understand one of Mompou's primary objectives; simplicity. As he himself would never tire of saying to students, "the maximum expression with the minimum of means". Like Satie, Mompou searched within himself seeking nothing less than the very origens of music: the clear and pure expression of human instinct faced with absolute solitude, in the process touching within himself the mysterious, the incomprehensible. After all, had not music, in its origens been a principal instrument of magic and religion?

    Always a solitary figure (he did not marry until age 64) Mompou found his artistic life disrupted for the ten years beginning in 1931. During this time no single completed work found its way from his pen. These were chaotic years in Spain: the Republic, civil war and the first dark years of World War II. Non-political, nevertheless Mompou could only have agreed with Spanish poet Miguel de Unamuno: "It is not a matter of ideology, there is none of that; and not even barbarity, boorishness, or evil instincts. Rather only what, at least for me, is worse...stupidity, stupidity, stupidity." In addition to the horrors swirling around him on the world stage, Mompou experienced during this time the death of his father and the serious illness of his brother, with whom he had always been close. His own personal economic situation, exacerbated by the desperate economic conditions following the civil war, led him from art into various business ventures including an attempt to revive the traditional family bell foundry.

    Blessed with long life (he lived to the age of 94), Mompou in his later years was showered with honors and recognition. The National Prize for Composition as well as the prize "City of Barcelona", honorary doctorates, gold medals and countless concerts organized in his honor bear witness to the high esteem in which the man and his music came to be regarded. Like Chopin, Mompou the composer never ceased to think in terms of the piano. Even his compositions for voice and piano, guitar and several large works for orchestra, are thoroughly pianistic in concept and inspiration. None more than so than his Variations on a Theme by Chopin. Dedicated to Mompou's "great friend Pedro Masaveu", the banker who generously offered his house in which to compose, the work had been initiated in 1938 together with cellist Gaspar Casadó who wanted to collaborate with Mompou on a work for violoncello and piano. The joint project got no further than the sketching out of the first three variations. But in 1957, when asked to write another ballet to capitalize on the success of his first ballet, La Casa de los Pájaros, which had been premiered at the IV Festival de Música y Danza at Granada, Mompou offered to complete the Variations. Although the ballet was never produced, the music, including an orchestration by the composer, was eventually completed at this time.

    Consisting of twelve variations (and an epilog) based on the Chopin"s Prelude No. 7, the work draws on themes and forms used by that earlier "poet of the piano". Thus, variation No. V is a Mazurka, No. IX a Valse and No. VI a Recitative, while at the heart of the work, the Evocation (Variation No. X) quotes directly from the slow section of the Fantasy Impromptu and Variation No. VIII paraphrases the Prelude No. 4 in e minor. The third variation is for the left hand alone (although the listener might never be aware of it) and the concluding gallop is pure Mompou, sparkling with audacious harmonic disonances (and consonances) and providing the perfect setting for the concluding epilog marked Lento.

    The Quatro Quejas (Four Complaints) which form the first movements of Mompou's Impresiones Intimas (Intimate Impressions) date from 1911 and thus represent one of the composer's earliest completed compositions. The exact nature of each complaint is best left to the listener, although it is known that No. 4 (Agitato) was entitled El miedo (Fear) in an early version. Pájaro Triste, (Sorrowful Bird) written in 1914, can almost be seen as a premonition anticipating his ballet score of 1956, La Casa de los Pájaros (The House of the Birds) based on one of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Four more movements La Barca (The Boat), Cuna (Cradle), Secreto (Secret) and Gitano (Gypsy) date from 1912 and 1914. The work as a whole aptly illustrates his self-denominated style of "primitivism".

    The first two movements of Paisajes (Landscapes) date from 1942 and are dedicated to Carmen Bravo, the young pianist whom Mompou had met in the fall of the previous year and who, 16 years later would become his wife. La Fuente y la Campana (The Fountain and the Bell) and El Lago (The Lake) are descriptive pieces drawn from Mompou's beloved Cataluña. The third piece of the set Carros de Galicia (Oxcarts of Galicia) dates from 1962.

    Mompou's Canciones y Danzas were written at various times throughout his life and represent among the most charactaristic of his compositions. For the most part they are based directly on traditional Catalan melodies and dances, some of which are believed to have been in existence at least three centuries before Christ. Although faithful to the original versions, they are transformed and elevated by Mompou's treatment. Never intended as a single opus, each one stands alone.

    Interestingly, the song which forms the basis for the introduction of Canción y Danza Nº. VIII, (El Testament d'Amèlia) is one which has been found not only in Cataluña, Valencia and Mallorca but in the folkmusic of countries as far away as Sweden. It describes the tragic drama of death from a broken heart of a young woman who sees her husband stolen from her by her own mother. The sadness and pathos of this theme is strongly contrasted by the dance which follows. The lighthearted La Filadora (the knife sharpener) has been sung to countless children by countless mothers. Its protagonist is the nightingale, eternal delight of maidens, lovers and heroes since the middle ages and before.

    For Canción y Danza Nº. VII Mompou uses the song Muntanyes Regalades. It is said that this song is so well-known in Cataluña that there is no single person who has not sung the melody; if in fact he does not also recall the words. The dance which follows, L'hereu Riera is found in various regions of Cataluña. In walz tempo, it is traditionally danced over and around a wooden cross placed on the ground. One of only two original Canciones y Danzas fully-composed by Mompou, Number VI is probably one of his most widely-known compositions. (PH)

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    07-09-2008
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Mompou - Cancion Y Danza 6
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