Federico Mompou

Posted by: Dave Douglas on November 19, 2008 @ 5:34 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts)

This great Catalan composer (1893 – 1987) has been interpreted by pianists such as Bill Carrothers, Michael Jefry Stevens, Frank Kimbrough, Richie Beirach, and many others. Catalan pianist Lluis Vidal invited me to play some of his music with saxophonist Perico Sambeat, bassist Masa Kamaguchi, and drummer David Xirgu (my old buddy and bandmate from high school year in Badalona in the late 1970s). This project was also recorded and produced by an organization called Contrabaix, to be released some time next year.

Mompou was a beautiful composer of (mostly) short piano pieces, very lyrical and sometimes reminiscent of Satie, Ravel, Debussy, Janacek, occasionally Scriabin and Chopin, even. There is a four CD set of the composer playing his own complete piano works on Brilliant Classics.

YouTube offers up a few lovely rarities. The first is a video of the composer himself, playing piano with Victoria De Los Angeles in 1971 (apparently in her home). The piece is “Damunt de tu nomes les flors” from a collection of three sonnets called Combat del Somni, with words in Catalan by Josep Janes.

And this one is Stephen Hough playing the Mompou composition Secreto:

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