FEDERICO MOMPOU (1893 - 1987)
Catalan by birth, Federico Mompou studied in his native Barcelona before moving to Paris, where, before and after the war, he spent over 20 years. His music, much of it for piano, is economical in means with something of the sparse texture familiar from Satie, another perceptible influence.
Mompou’s piano music, including delicately conceived miniatures, is intimately expressive, generally avoiding ostentatious gestures. His early Impresiones íntimas (‘Intimate Impressions’) and Scènes d’enfants (‘Children’s Scenes’) lead to the later Música callada (‘Secret Music’), of which there are four volumes written between 1959 and 1967.
Mompou’s single contribution to guitar repertoire is the idiomatic Suite compostelana, written in 1962.
Songs by Mompou, which although perceptibly Catalan in inspiration generally avoid the extremes of nationalism, range from L’hora gris (‘Grey Hour’) of 1915 to the later settings of St. John of the Cross.