Javier Perianes

Frédéric Mompou: Música Callada

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Catalan composer Federico Mompou wrote four volumes of brief, aphoristic piano pieces called Música callada, or Music of silence, between 1959 and 1967. He seemed to inhabit a musical world of his own, indifferent or hostile to many of the conventions of western music, particularly Germanic music, which he described as "phonorrhea," with an excess of padding, ponderous development, and numbing redundancies. His aesthetic is similar in some ways to Satie's, and their works have some similarities, particularly the use of a simple, but unconventional tonal language that is not shy of dissonance. Mompou's music is notable for the simplicity and clarity of its content and its expression -- there are no wasted or unnecessary notes. It is almost all very quiet music and has a rhythmic fluidity that often obscures a sense of pulse. As a child, the composer grew up near his grandfather's bell factory, and he traced his musical aesthetic to the experience of hearing the bells. Many of the sonorities in Música callada can indeed best be described as bell-like. Spanish pianist Javier Perianes plays with an unmannered delicacy and a self-effacing directness that honor the ephemeral character of these pieces and allows their poetry to blossom. The sound is absolutely clear and captures the intimacy of the music.

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