Mompou’s approach to the first section of Energic is nothing like one could imagine. The repeated groups of two or three upwardly chords are played using a soft but deep attack despite the indication at the top of the page: energic. This sound effect can only be achieved if the hand is placed on the keys before being played.

Pedal use in section A makes up for the character. Mompou creates extremely short breaks between the commented groups of chords that contribute to more articulated pacing. Such a pedaling technique is sometimes referred to as "rhythmic pedaling", in opposition to syncopated pedaling. It consists of pressing the damper pedal at the same time as the desired notes instead of slightly later. This creates the illusion of a short breath in-between sounds. 


Moving to the second line of the first-page one sees that it is marked with a ritardando.

Mompou does not use the abbreviation rit. Instead, it appears an R and a horizontal line. The recording shows how Mompou begins to slow down on the last two chords of the first line, which is before the ritardando even begins. This is not a coincidence as in section A' something similar occurs. This time though it serves as a preparation for the harmonic change. As the listener expects a C# minor on the top note of the left hand just like in the opening of the movement, he hears a C natural. Such change is almost imperceptible due to the density of the chord. For this reason, Mompou reinforces it by slowing it down and writing the indication lluny, which means far away. 


Section B is introduced by a short musical idea, to be more specific the first simple tune of the movement:  E, E, G, G. It is marked with recitat, meaning recitative. Mompou plays it in a way that it stands out from what he had previously played. He makes it sound like a different instrument or voice, very intelligently leaving the previous sounds to resonate in a softer dynamic.

However, the way Mompou performs this passage is what through a modern pianist’s ears would be incorrect for its time values are not proportionate. The first minim is played like a long quaver and the last crochet lasts for almost two beats. The explanation I can give to this “incoherence” is that he wanted to create tension within all the notes before leading to the  lento of the B section. 

B section, lento, is a beautiful chorale whose top voice acts as a melody. The material of the melody derives from the recitativo and the other voices from the harmonies of section A. Strange as it sounds, the melody has such little movement that it is perceived as static.  Its shape can be summarized as G - B - A - G, these being the downbeats of the two-meter bars. It is also interesting to notice how the first note and the last note of this middle section have the same pitch contributing once again to the effect of stillness. As for the rhythm of the melody, it is very simple: only crotchets and quavers. 

Mompou’s recording of section B is characterized by rhythmic flexibility. More specifically,  stepwise motion between two quavers is always strengthened by the elongation of the first one. Another element that defines this rendition is the absence of resonances on the insisting bass chord. Accordingly, the minims on the right hand do not complete their written duration. 

Blanca's recording of "Enèrgic", from Cants Màgics, inspired in Mompou's performance style (2020)

Mompou's recording of Enèrgic, from  Cants Màgics. 1974. 

Legend of score annotations