Misteriós is the fourth movement of Cants Màgics. It contrasts with the previous number for its variety of rhythmical figures of the main motif. Consequently, the performer is invited to take a brisker tempo to give movement to the melodic line.  Moreover, its structure and material suggest a primitive improvisational approach: repeated material with small variations, the use of embellishments in the melodic line, simple texture, restricted pitch range. 


Mompou’s recording demonstrates what has previously been said. His rhythm is intentionally free, at times clearly rushing to a certain note (moment of inspiration), at times dragging in a state of dubiousness (waiting for the next idea to come). In a sense Mompou performs it as if he was composing the piece at the moment he plays it. For example, the second half of the opening phrase, when he plays Eb - F three times in a row before closing the phrase the listener gets the feeling of uncertainty. 


Another aspect that defines his recording is his toucher. The declaimed sound that he produces is the result of highly active fingers that hit the deepest layer of the keys. As a result, there is clarity in his phrasing. 


Mompou’s use of the pedal is quite omnipresent in this piece. As in other movements, he tends to create a resonant environment that mixes different harmonies. In other words, he builds a natural wet reverb throughout the movement. 


Section B of the movement is indicated as lively, untidy. It consists of brave waves of sounds that go upwards and downwards until they progressively fade out. While the left hand has an on-going flow of notes, the right-hand stops and retakes its melodic line. These rests are like moments to take a breath to start with more energy. 


Taking a closer look at the recording of Mompou of this section one realizes that both hands are played almost independently. There is little to no synchronization between the hands. Despite its chaotic character, a pattern can be observed: the lowest notes of the left hand are always anticipated in comparison to their corresponding right-hand notes. They are the points of support that give energy to the fragment. 

Once this lively section has vanished there comes a part that uses material from the misterios. Its melody, resembling the voice of a singer interpreting a recitativo of an opera, is now placed in a higher register. If at the beginning of the piece the accompaniment of the melody was only a drone on the C, now it appears a little more elaborate: a drone of Eb minor chord split between the two hands. After this structure has been heard twice, the accompaniment develops into a texture that gives more movement and relief to the melody. That is a broken chord of Eb7 whose bass notes are lower than in its previous phrases. Mompou helps the interpreter to decipher the meaning behind this texture by writing a pianissimo dynamics and a l’aire, meaning in the air. 


Finally, this movement concludes with the same lively and forte section that arose after the opening of the fourth movement. 

Mompou's recording of Misteriós, from  Cants Màgics. Recorded in 1974. 

Blanca's recording of "Misteriós", from Cants Màgics, inspired in Mompou's performance style. Recorded in 2020.