Mompou's compositions seem at first sight very simple and easy to play. This is due to the fact that his composing language was defined by essentiality: minimum means to achieve maximum expression - musically speaking this involves brevity, lack of modulations, simple forms, no developments, etc.
Despite this apparent easiness in the scores of Mompou, the demands from his music are actually very high. The interpreter that approaches it is required to immerse himself in the artistic thinking of Mompou in order to give it full meaning. To do so, not only getting to know his life, work, writings and influences is necessary, but also to understand his musicianship.
This research focused mostly on this last aspect, taking advantage of the fact that Mompou was both a brilliant composer and interpreter (pianist). It presents an analysis of Mompou’s recording of Cants Màgics (1919), which serves as a base to define his performance style.
The findings of this study are as follows: Mompou shared performance practices of the nineteenth- and beginning of the twentieth-century, namely tempo modification, rhythmical alteration, asynchronization and unnotated arpeggiation. However, he did not make use of these resources for the sake of them or to keep a tradition alive, rather to serve the musical needs of his creations. For instance, rhythm modification allowed him to give subtle variation in repetitive fragments and avoid predictability; arpeggiation gave him less verticallity in his renditions; rubato enhanced the connection between two sounds, etc.
Additionally, Mompou possessed some unique traits as a pianist. One example is the inclusion of microrests into energic instances or the pedalling of rests.
The practical part of this research consisted on embodying Mompou's performance style. By attempting to emulate his recordings of Cants Màgics I got an overview of the diverse resources he used to employ in his playing. Hence, the artistic outcome of the resulting recordings is little taking into consideration that I was merely reproducing somebody else's rendition. Yet this process forced me to play piano in a different way than usual. Immersing myself into various performance styles widens my expressive techniques and consequently, my musical choices. The section called "Experiments on Música Callada" demonstrates what I just have stated.
This research made me become more aware of the lack of information about nouances of the Western classical music notation. For this reason, after having completed this exposition, I encourage Conservatoires to promote among students the realization of performance analysis as it trains active listening, something crutial to improve musical abilities.