CD Spotlight. A Very Joyous Disc - Brahms arranged by Kenneth Woods impresses Alice McVeigh. '... this is an excellent performance representing a useful, joyful and even inspired addition to the orchestral repertoire.'
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The enigmatic Catalan composer Federico Mompou was born in Barcelona on 16 April 1893. He studied piano at the Conservatori Superior de Musica del Liceu, first performing in public at the age of fifteen, and then in Paris from 1911 with Ferdinand Motte-Lacroix.
Shying away from a career as a pianist, he turned to composition, and the results include Scènes d'enfants (1915-18) and the four books of Música Callada ('The voice of silence') based on the mystic poetry of St John of the Cross. He was 'a man of few words, and a musician of few notes'.
Wilfrid Mellers thought that Mompou's folk-like melodies and unpretentious style indicated a nostalgia for childlike simplicity. His miniaturist output consists of mostly piano music and songs, plus a few choral works and pieces for guitar. Mompou died in Barcelona, aged 94, on 30 June 1987.
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