How will analyzing Mompou's recording of Cants Màgics released in 1974 by the Ensayo label help me gain insight into his performance style in relation to his music?


Frederic Mompou i Dencausse (1893 - 1987) was one of the most intriguing Spanish composers of the 20th century. His music, often described as pure for its beauty and apparent simplicity, has captivated the attention of numerous critics and musicians around the world. 

     The majority of the production of Mompou is dedicated to the piano, instrument that he mastered despite his reluctance to perform for large audiences - similarly to F. Chopin. The aim of this research is precisely to investigate the way Mompou performed his pieces, in other words, his performance style.

     My investigation is divided into two clear sections: on the one hand, chapters one and two provide the reader with a theoretical framework (biography, style, and influences): on the other hand chapters three and four constitute the practical and most important part of my research. Concerning this last one, I analyze Cants Màgics (1919), the first piece that presents a defined unique style, and its corresponding recording performed by Mompou himself in 1974. The result of this process is the creation of a new annotated score to visually demonstrate the different expressive resources he uses to enhance the expression of his composition. Examples of these are dislocations, tempo fluctuations, voicings, rubati and pedaling. Lastly, in chapter four I apply part of the above-mentioned Mompou's pianistic techniques into other compositions from Música Callada. These serve me to formulate an experienced-based reflection on the matter.