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 Post subject: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:33 pm 
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This is book 2 of Musica Callada. It includes seven pieces. Here is the information from the CD:

The second volume, with seven pieces, appeared in 1962. The first, Lento-cantabile, is written in a style akin to that of the last piece of the first volume. The second, the eleventh of the series, Allegretto, adopts Mompou's popular manner in its succession of rapid dances and reflective melodies. The twelfth piece, Lento, delights in rich dissonances of the kind that characterize the more 'abstract' pieces of the collection. The next piece starts with a melody in popular style, leading to a short central section of almost Bartókian violence. The following piece, the fourteenth, is of great tonal complexity, centred on the key of C minor, but almost atonal in harmony. The Lento-plaintif of the fifteenth piece achieves a very ingenious rhythmic swing with a motif repeatedly superimposed over the simple syncopations of the accompaniment. The piece that ends the second volume, Calme, begins and ends with an impressionist ostinato, with a more clearly defined, central contrasting melody.

The ones I like best from this book are nos. 11, 14, and 16. No. 13 is the one that scared me to death when I was listening to it in bed. And no. 14 is a little scary too, but it's pretty neat.

Here are the individual pieces, followed by the complete book edited together in case someone wants to listen without stopping.

Mompou - Musica Callada no. 10 "Lento-cantabile"
Mompou - Musica Callada no. 11 "Allegretto"
Mompou - Musica Callada no. 12 "Lento"
Mompou - Musica Callada no. 13 "Tranquilo-tres calme, Energico"
Mompou - Musica Callada no. 14 "Severo-serieux"
Mompou - Musica Callada no. 15 "Lento-plaintif"
Mompou - Musica Callada no. 16 "Calme"

Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:22 am 
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I listened to some of these. These pieces seem more interesting and daring than the ones from Book I. These must be great to practice and record as they are mostly slow and easy (though probably also easy to underestimate). When I was following with score for a while I noted that you seem to miss out on some nice dissonance in bars 14 and 15 of no.14 (playing f in LH instead of g ?).
Excellently played once again. A bit stricter and less indulgent than Mompou himself, but none the worse for that.

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:31 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I listened to some of these. These pieces seem more interesting and daring than the ones from Book I. These must be great to practice and record as they are mostly slow and easy (though probably also easy to underestimate). When I was following with score for a while I noted that you seem to miss out on some nice dissonance in bars 14 and 15 of no.14 (playing f in LH instead of g ?).
Excellently played once again. A bit stricter and less indulgent than Mompou himself, but none the worse for that.

Thank you. They are easy to play after you've checked every chord. All those strange harmonies - you have to check each one to make sure you're playing correct notes. But recording is not so easy because of how hard it is to come down with little weight on certain spots. I wanted things to sound perfect, but I am usually tense when I'm recording, so it's hard to do.

I don't know what you are referring to in bars 14 and 15. I just checked and I'm playing all correct notes.... :?

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:27 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I don't know what you are referring to in bars 14 and 15. I just checked and I'm playing all correct notes.... :?
See image. The G's in the LH should cause a nice dissonance. I don't hear that much, so I thought you play F instead of G (I could be wrong about it).
Attachment:
bar14.jpg
bar14.jpg [ 17.54 KiB | Viewed 3921 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:45 pm 
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Hi Monica,

Your Mompou was very beautiful and expressive. Like others, it makes me want to know
a lot more about his work. Thank you for sharing.

I just want to mention to you, that today I listened to your interpretation of The Barber Excursions.
Having studied that piece years ago, I was truly impressed by your ability to shade and create nuances
throughout all four excursions. The tempos were perfect.

You had such a grasp of the mood, style and character of each Excursion. It made for very intense
listening and there were many unique surprises in the subtle presentation of ideas. It was so
artistic.

I just do not know how to go back to the page where the Excursions were discussed
and so I am bringing this up now. Excuse me for the diversion. Thank you for such a stylistically
on track rendition.

Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:22 pm 
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Hi Monica,

Had a listen to these recordings. Nice playing, I think simple phrasing creates the best effect and I sounds like that was your method? I like number 10 the best. And I must say, I enjoyed this book better than the first! They all seem to share a fanciful mystique that few composers can do well. Should I say... Congrats Mompou :P I don't think he heard me... :roll:

The Charmes set that you have played I have in my collection and now takes on a new meaning, with these pieces also being written by the same composer.

Can't think of anything to criticize, these sound nice and I have never heard them before.

I look forward to the next two books. But I'm hoping the pieces will get more and more positive, not more and more negative :)

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:22 pm 
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techneut wrote:
pianolady wrote:
I don't know what you are referring to in bars 14 and 15. I just checked and I'm playing all correct notes.... :?
See image. The G's in the LH should cause a nice dissonance. I don't hear that much, so I thought you play F instead of G (I could be wrong about it).
Attachment:
bar14.jpg


Oh...that's bar 11 in my score. I do play the G. It goes by quickly though. But nice try! :P :)

musicrecovery wrote:
Hi Monica,
Your Mompou was very beautiful and expressive. Like others, it makes me want to know
a lot more about his work. Thank you for sharing.
Kaila

Thank you, Kaila. If you really want to get to know Mompou, then listen to his Cancions y Danzas. Pretty much all his 'sounds', which are highly unique, are in them.
And thank you for the kind words about the Barber Excursions. I know, isn't that a great set?! I love it. I took it out last summer when I was trying to decide on pieces to play for an amateur competition. Plus there are a few spots in my recording that I think can be improved so I probably should get it up on my piano again soon.

pianoman342 wrote:
Hi Monica,
Had a listen to these recordings. Nice playing, I think simple phrasing creates the best effect and I sounds like that was your method? I like number 10 the best. And I must say, I enjoyed this book better than the first! They all seem to share a fanciful mystique that few composers can do well. Should I say... Congrats Mompou :P I don't think he heard me... :roll:

The Charmes set that you have played I have in my collection and now takes on a new meaning, with these pieces also being written by the same composer.

Can't think of anything to criticize, these sound nice and I have never heard them before.

I look forward to the next two books. But I'm hoping the pieces will get more and more positive, not more and more negative :)

Thank you, Riley. I hate to disappoint, but the next two books are not more positive. There are a couple that have some major harmonies scattered about. There's also one that ends sweetly and then the last one is like a hymn and ends on a positive note.

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:01 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Oh...that's bar 11 in my score. I do play the G. It goes by quickly though. But nice try! :P :)

True, I suck at bar counting. Ok, all played correctly then. I still think you did not make the most of this delectable dissonance though.

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:33 pm 
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techneut wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Oh...that's bar 11 in my score. I do play the G. It goes by quickly though. But nice try! :P :)

True, I suck at bar counting. Ok, all played correctly then. I still think you did not make the most of this delectable dissonance though.


There's really nothing of which to make more...it's a soft part and then that G repeats on the next beat. Plus I'm pretty sure I held the pedal down too.

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:55 pm 
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techneut wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Oh...that's bar 11 in my score. I do play the G. It goes by quickly though.
True, I suck at bar counting. Ok, all played correctly then. I still think you did not make the most of this delectable dissonance though.
He's right, you know, the G-Ab semitone clash is understated to the extent that I can't hear it either. Are you playing the (lower) Ab? :)

Since we're looking at this piece, here are another couple of things I've noticed. One of them is that you've essentially changed the rhythm into 6/8 (2+1 groups not 3+1 as printed), but I guess this is deliberate, inspired by some recording by the man himself.

The other thing is the two identical arpeggiated chords in bars 7 and 8 (if I can count right). The way you play the first of these makes the lower G# (in the upper staff but indicated to be played with the left hand) sound after the top of the chord. I don't think this is what he intended, and it may well not even be what you intended (although the effect is delightful and enhances the mood of the piece). It seems to me that this G# is printed a little to the right of the rest of the chord only to make sure it has a distinct stem, to make clear that the m.g. instruction applies only to it; the note is otherwise to be treated as part of a nine-note chord, arpeggiated as normal all the way from bottom to top, it is not a separate note to come after an eight-note chord. I notice you play the next one differently, but I can't tell whether this is because you got it right or the G# failed to sound.

I presume you agree that the unbroken wavy line across both staves means that all nine notes should be attacked at slightly different times, the first note of the RH after the last note of the LH; that these are not two chords (one of 5 notes, the other of 4) which can be played concurrently and arpeggiated independently of each other.

Don't read too much into these petty criticisms. You certainly do these pieces justice, and I reckon "haunting" is a pretty suitable word with which to describe them.


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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:49 am 
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rainer wrote:
techneut wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Oh...that's bar 11 in my score. I do play the G. It goes by quickly though.
True, I suck at bar counting. Ok, all played correctly then. I still think you did not make the most of this delectable dissonance though.
He's right, you know, the G-Ab semitone clash is understated to the extent that I can't hear it either. Are you playing the (lower) Ab? :)

Since we're looking at this piece, here are another couple of things I've noticed. One of them is that you've essentially changed the rhythm into 6/8 (2+1 groups not 3+1 as printed), but I guess this is deliberate, inspired by some recording by the man himself.
.

I don't get what you guys are talking about here. But you are right about my over-all rhythm; accidentally changing it to 6/8. I've had this same problem before....for some reason I tend to screw up dotted 16ths. I'm glad you caught this - I just re-recorded this one particular piece tonight. Maybe it's better...?

Mompou - Musica Callada no. 14 "Severo-serieux"

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:18 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I don't get what you guys are talking about here.
It's just that we (well, Chris more than me) kind of expected the dissonance of G-Ab sounding together to jump out at us more than it does, that's all. It's not such a big deal in the context of most of the harmonies being pretty bitter-sweet anyway, so perhaps there's no need for this one to stand out.
Quote:
But you are right about my over-all rhythm; accidentally changing it to 6/8. I've had this same problem before....for some reason I tend to screw up dotted 16ths. I'm glad you caught this - I just re-recorded this one particular piece tonight. Maybe it's better...?
You've over-corrected to the extent that what was triplets has become not quite double-dotting but sextuplets, especially at the very beginning, though it does settle down by bar 5 to nearly the quadruplets it should be. But it doesn't last, in bar 9 it's sounding more like quintuplets. On the whole I prefer your original version; the triplets may not be what's written, but at least they're stable. They also exude a calmness in keeping with the piece, and you can get away with calling it an interpretation. :wink:

Your impatience is getting the better of you in bar 17.

I guess the real reason you re-recorded was to reinstate that missing middle G# in bar 8. I must say I find myself coming around to favouring your way of playing these funny chords in bars 7/8/15/16 over the way I described previously. So the detached-stem notation means the middle G# (or corresponding C# in the later bars) is not to be treated as part of the arpeggiation, but is an independent part of the same chord, to be played on the beat, while all of the arpeggiation (except its last note) comes before the beat. That's more or less how you play it.


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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:12 pm 
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rainer wrote:
It's just that we (well, Chris more than me) kind of expected the dissonance of G-Ab sounding together to jump out at us more than it does, that's all.
It does not need to jump out, but it wants to be heard. In the original recording I definitely could not hear it, but now it's given its full due as are all dissonances elsewhere. Yummy, I love dissonances. Never miss an opportunity to toss one off :)

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:27 am 
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Hi Monica,

All of these Mompou pieces have a fresh sound, not only because of the dissonances but also the altered chords and often unexpected passage work sometimes creating bi-tonalities. It's all very colorful indeed. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be No. 15, Lento-plaintif. Very nice playing throughout!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:53 am 
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rainer wrote:
pianolady wrote:
I don't get what you guys are talking about here.
It's just that we (well, Chris more than me) kind of expected the dissonance of G-Ab sounding together to jump out at us more than it does, that's all. It's not such a big deal in the context of most of the harmonies being pretty bitter-sweet anyway, so perhaps there's no need for this one to stand out.
Quote:
But you are right about my over-all rhythm; accidentally changing it to 6/8. I've had this same problem before....for some reason I tend to screw up dotted 16ths. I'm glad you caught this - I just re-recorded this one particular piece tonight. Maybe it's better...?
You've over-corrected to the extent that what was triplets has become not quite double-dotting but sextuplets, especially at the very beginning, though it does settle down by bar 5 to nearly the quadruplets it should be. But it doesn't last, in bar 9 it's sounding more like quintuplets. On the whole I prefer your original version; the triplets may not be what's written, but at least they're stable. They also exude a calmness in keeping with the piece, and you can get away with calling it an interpretation. :wink:

Your impatience is getting the better of you in bar 17.

I guess the real reason you re-recorded was to reinstate that missing middle G# in bar 8. I must say I find myself coming around to favouring your way of playing these funny chords in bars 7/8/15/16 over the way I described previously. So the detached-stem notation means the middle G# (or corresponding C# in the later bars) is not to be treated as part of the arpeggiation, but is an independent part of the same chord, to be played on the beat, while all of the arpeggiation (except its last note) comes before the beat. That's more or less how you play it.


I don't agree with you regarding my 'new and improved' rhythm. First of all, there are no triplets...it's straight dotted 16ths followed by an 8th. I just listened to Mompou play this again and I'm playing it the same way he does, so I'm sticking with this version. EXCEPT - you're right about my bar 17. I heard that last night, but I was too tired. I'll do another recording sometime this weekend to correct that spot. And regarding my rolled chords - I'm also playing them the way Mompou does. :)

techneut wrote:
rainer wrote:
It's just that we (well, Chris more than me) kind of expected the dissonance of G-Ab sounding together to jump out at us more than it does, that's all.
It does not need to jump out, but it wants to be heard. In the original recording I definitely could not hear it, but now it's given its full due as are all dissonances elsewhere. Yummy, I love dissonances. Never miss an opportunity to toss one off :)


Yummy in the tummy? :lol:

Rachfan wrote:
Hi Monica,

All of these Mompou pieces have a fresh sound, not only because of the dissonances but also the altered chords and often unexpected passage work sometimes creating bi-tonalities. It's all very colorful indeed. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be No. 15, Lento-plaintif. Very nice playing throughout!

David

Thank you, David. Interesting that you like no. 15. And yes, there are tons of unexpected passages. I have to do a lot of checking to see if I've got the right notes.

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:47 pm 
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Another good recording. Monica, in addition to your performance, your mike work is good - the fadeout at the end of #16 was 'there' - and I listen to it through the speakers (not headphones).
I'll be sure to listen to the 'new' #14 before leaving the audition room.

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:51 pm 
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Ha! The new #14 is better. Maybe I just have the volume turned up higher today, but I can hear the resonance of the strings this time, which adds the eerie quality. I'll let chris and rainer decide if the other matters were settled.

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:16 pm 
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StuKautsch wrote:
Another good recording. Monica, in addition to your performance, your mike work is good - the fadeout at the end of #16 was 'there' - and I listen to it through the speakers (not headphones).
I'll be sure to listen to the 'new' #14 before leaving the audition room.


Thank you, Stu! There's no mic work involved really. I just always hang on to chords/notes at the end for a long time. And these pieces in particular call for a nice long ending...

StuKautsch wrote:
Ha! The new #14 is better. Maybe I just have the volume turned up higher today, but I can hear the resonance of the strings this time, which adds the eerie quality. I'll let chris and rainer decide if the other matters were settled.

Both links play the same file, my newer no. 14. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:53 am 
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pianolady wrote:
First of all, there are no triplets...it's straight dotted 16ths followed by an 8th.
Or even dotted 8ths followed by a 16th :)
I know there are no triplets in the actual score, I was referring to the way you played the dotted patterns in your previous version, i.e. 6/8-style.

If you add the durations of the dotted 8th and the 16th together, and call the sum 100%, then strictly speaking the 16ths should last 25%. Right?
In your version 1 they lasted way more than that: about 33% or "triplets".
In version 2 you can't deny that most of them last significantly less than 25%, that's what I meant by over-correcting.

But since the man himself plays them that way, you are forgiven. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:52 am 
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rainer wrote:
pianolady wrote:
First of all, there are no triplets...it's straight dotted 16ths followed by an 8th.
Or even dotted 8ths followed by a 16th :)


Ugh....I thought something didn't look right when I was typing that.... :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:58 pm 
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I'm really enjoying the Mompou. Such creative and moody music. Expertly played too. Thanks for sharing him with us.


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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:24 pm 
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These are very good. The music's not particularly my cup of tea, but I listened to the full set and you have such a lovely sound that I really rather enjoyed it. It IS a Yamaha, isn't it? I've never heard one sound as good as that.


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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:08 pm 
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hreichgott wrote:
I'm really enjoying the Mompou. Such creative and moody music. Expertly played too. Thanks for sharing him with us.

Thank you, Heather. I sort of wish I wasn't introducing Mompou to you with this set. Although this music is well-crafted, it's his Cancions y Danzas and also his preludes, plus a couple other miscellaneous pieces that are more appealing to the general public. It takes a special ear I think to enjoy this set.

andrew wrote:
These are very good. The music's not particularly my cup of tea, but I listened to the full set and you have such a lovely sound that I really rather enjoyed it. It IS a Yamaha, isn't it? I've never heard one sound as good as that.


Thanks. I know....when I first started listening to this music, it wasn't my cup of tea either. It's growing on me now. And yes, it's my same Yamaha piano....haha. But you know what? Something amazing happened....I turned my piano around and the change in sound is incredible! To me, at least. I guess to you too, since you heard the difference. When I first sat down and started playing it after I had turned it around, I couldn't believe my ears. It sounded like a different piano! The basses were fuller and richer and I just loved it and couldn't stop playing for hours. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:34 pm 
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Just listened to this set. Very interesting, reflective and indeed haunting, even bleaker-sounding than the first book, somehow (maybe it is the reduction in the number of popular-melody songs). I liked the continuation from the first book the best (no. 10). Also the sound is really marvellous, as is your playing. My only qualms are that I expected the middle section of piece that gave you the creeps to be more violent, but that could be the album booklet's words (Bartokian) playing tricks on me.

Again great job. I'll be sure to explore more Mompou in the near future as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:34 pm 
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Wow Monica, this is amazingly good! Your control of the sound and keeping a sense of very long phrases is perfect and shows a great concentration and dedication - I can almost feel you living the music and not only playing it. Which gives a very gloomy impression, especially when listening to all in one go. It must be quite taxing emotionally to play through this with the intensity you project. In a way the tonalities remind me of late Scriabin, but without his off-putting fireworks. Congratulations!


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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:25 am 
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Thank you Jonathan and Joachim.

I recently added some information to the Musica Callada page and most of it is Mompou's own words describing the set. I think everyone should read it, as it certainly helps one to understand the music more and also explains why it is not 'violent' music.

"this music has no air or light. It is a weak heart beat, you cannot ask it to reach more than a few inches into space, but it's mission is to reach the profound depths of our soul and the secret regions of our spirit's spirit. This music is quiet (callada) because one listens to it within. Contained and reserved. It's emotion is secret and only becomes sound from resonance under the cold cape of our society. It is my desire that this music, should bring us closer to the warmth of life, and the expression of the human heart, that is always the same and constantly changing."

(is that better, Chris? :wink: )

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:55 am 
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pianolady wrote:
(is that better, Chris? :wink: )

Not really, I think it's a load of drivel. Weak heartbeat, spirit's spirit, secret emotion, oh dear.... But if these are Mompou's own words I suppose one cannot object to them.

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:06 pm 
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techneut wrote:
pianolady wrote:
(is that better, Chris? :wink: )

Not really, I think it's a load of drivel. Weak heartbeat, spirit's spirit, secret emotion, oh dear.... But if these are Mompou's own words I suppose one cannot object to them.


"Everyone hears only what he understands." ~Goethe

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:35 pm 
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I hear you not :P

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 Post subject: Re: Mompou - Musica Callada Book 2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:45 pm 
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I believe you! :P

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