This disc is part of a series on the Naxos label, devoted to the piano music of Frederico Mompou and featuring Barcelona-born pianist Jordi Masó. All are highly recommended to those whose interest has been snared by Mompou's extremely concise rendition of the late Impressionist language. That said, this disc is something of a miscellany, and one of the earlier releases might make a better place to start. Some of the music is transcribed from or is better known in other media; the ballet Don Perlimpín, based on a play by Lorca but not acknowledged as such during the Franco dictatorship, was later orchestrated; the original piano version was published only in 2007. Despite the indication of collaboration with Xavier Montsalvatge in the tracklist, it is mostly by Mompou. The so-called Ballet that comes next on the program is, in fact, not a ballet but a set of short piano pieces intended for inclusion in a book of art and poetry. These, mostly under a minute in length, are the most characteristic Mompou pieces on the album; sample the "Temps de Pavana" movement (track 22) and hear how the composer extracts the most subtle implications from the gestures of the pavane dance. (The "Temps de Blues" movement earlier, by the way, is not true blues, but somewhat resembles one of Gershwin's Preludes for piano.) The program is rounded out by an assortment of small pieces, including Mompou's only chamber works and two reworkings of the French song "Au clair de lune." These will give the enthusiast some interesting insights into Mompou's musical mind, and the same might be said of the entire album. But the Música callada (Music That Has Fallen Silent) remains the place to begin with this composer. Pianist Masó is an exceptional interpreter, with a gift for drawing the listener into Mompou's miniature world. Notes are in English and Spanish.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|3 Comptines for piano four hands|