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Mompou - Charmes

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, May 7, 2011.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Once I learned what this set was about, I knew I wanted to play it. Plus, I never tire of Mompou and his harmonies which I think are just so magical - hence, the title of this set (not really...I just made that up :wink: ). Anyway, these are six very short pieces which may sound easy to play, but in fact gave me a bit of trouble in places.

    Here is what I found online about the set: Although Mompou originally gave the title Karmas to a group of six pieces composed between 1920 and 1921, on realizing that the Indian word did not exactly mean what he had imagined, he changed it to Charmes, in the sense of enchantment, a trance-like state caused by a spell.

    To numb the pain: Mompou - Charmes No. 1 "Pour endormir la souffrance"

    To penetrate the souls: Mompou - Charmes No. 2 "Pour penetrer les ames"

    To inspire love: Mompou - Charmes No. 3 "Pour inspirer l'amour"

    For cures: Mompou - Charmes No. 4 "Pour les guerisons"

    To evoke the image of the past: Mompou - Charmes No. 5 "Pour evoquer l'image du passe"

    Call for joy: Mompou - Charmes No. 6 "Pour appeler la joie"
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've often looked at this set but somehow never got around to playing it. I can imagine these being not as easy as they sound -in fact the last two don't sound so easy at all. Some uncomfortable stretches there, I guess Mompou had quite large paws. Sounds like a job very well done, as usual.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you. I have a love/hate relationship with Mompou; I love his music, but I hate the fact that I can't reach many of his chords. The no. 5 here was the hardest of them - the first half. Really gave me hard time because my fourth and fifth fingers on my right hand are not the same length. I actually thought about some goofy things when I was working on this one - like finger extensions or something...
     
  4. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I had a listen to the pieces. Good use to rubato and your dynamics give the phrases kind of got me into a deep seated reverie (like you say- "a spell" :) Mompous writing in this set reminds me a lot of some pieces by Ravel and Debussy. I just checked wiki and read he is a Spanish composer. Since Spain borders France I imagine the influence is close, though through the melodies this composer proves he has his own unique voice.

    For some criticism:

    The No.1 perhaps could be played slower. With the tempo played, I did get the sense of an aural anesthetic (as you say- to numb the pain:), but when I heard it the first time I got the feeling of time and space being suspended, or just slowed down a lot, and with the harmonic rhythm (rate of chord changes) being very subtle and drawn out I felt the tempo was too fast, as slow as it was.

    No. 2 Not much to criticize, I like the crescendo at :40

    No. 3
    I am under the impression that the runs in the bass could have more rubato applied to them. Like it you played the lowest notes slow and then increase your speed when you are halfway to the top, might give the piece a deeper bottom. I am kind of confused why this piece is to inspire love. Personally, I say i inspires melancholy :? maybe its a lustful love, as the tritone at the top of the run in the left hand seems to allude to that.

    No. 4 The grace notes could be more detached. Around :08 I though I heard two notes together. This piece reminds me of No.1. I don't think its the right piece for a cure but i'd say it's another piece that could "numb the pain" 8)

    No.5 The runs in the beginning sound a little muddy, but I suspect this is a problem with awkward leaps or needing a larger handspan like you and Chris were saying. I wish I could see the score so I knew what the arps look like.

    No.6 Finally a happy piece :D, though the ending is kind of suspenseful :| . Phrasing is good, and I like the long sustained low note at the end. You can hear the overtones, I imagine there is a fermata there.

    ~Riley
     
  5. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Monica,

    I think that these are lovely. Again, I am seeing an ownership of the music that I had not heard when I first joined this group. Well done.

    Scott
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Riley. Mompou spent many years in Paris and was greatly influenced by Debussy. But even so, there is no mistaking Mompou's sound, which is what I think is neat because I like Debussy a lot too, but Mompou's unique harmonies greatly differentiate the two composers a lot. About the titles - I know...it surprised me a little to learn the titles to some of these. I would think that no 1 would be more like the 'inspire love' piece. No. 4 - there are no grace notes, it's just me having the jump the wide stretches. :oops: The beginning of No. 5 is just impossible for me to play smoothly. Where are those fingers extensions when I need them....?!

    @Scott - thank you. I love to play this kind of music. Wish I had more Mompou music to explore. Although, I still have quite a lot of Granados I want to play yet...
     
  7. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    You're certainly getting quite a collection of Spanish music together! I don't have it, but I suspect you would like Stephen Hough's Mompou cd (it came out about ten years ago).
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, I do have it. Another PS member gave it to me recently. Except I haven't had time to listen to the whole thing yet. But I'm glad you mentioned it, because I've wanted to put it onto my phone (mp3 player), but forgot to do so. Now I'll put that on my 'to do' list for this week.
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    Wonderful playing of these Mompou "Charmes". Each one is like a short tone poem. I think Mompou's concept for these pieces is clever, and each is so different from the next. Yes, I imagine that some of the stretches are very difficult indeed. For impressionists I still like Debussy and Ravel best, but Mompou brings still another perspective and sound. I've thought that someday I should look into Griffes, the American impressionistic composer (I've only played one of his pieces) but never get around to it. Like Mompou, he has some daring and unexpected harmonies. Again, fine playing of very unusual repertoire pieces!

    David
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for listening and commenting, David!
    I don't think I've ever heard any Griffes before. Now I'm intrigued. I haven't played any music by American composers except for my recent Barber recordings, so I really should explore this territory one of these days....
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have Griffes' The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan on my radar. Not made any serious work of it yet though. So much to do :roll:
     
  12. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well, I just like that title so hurry up and get practicing on this one, okay? :p

    Scratch what I said earlier - I have played more American music other than Barber - I've played some MacDowell too.
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, ma'am . . .
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    mmm...I just love obedience! 8) :lol:
     
  15. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    Being Americans, we should relish playing the music of our countrymen. But over the years, I haven't found much that appeals to me. :cry: I played a little bit of MacDowell, Beach, Griffes and Gershwin, but that's it. Because of his era, MacDowell didn't really establish an American sound as such, as in his day composers studied in Europe as did he. In many ways he reminds me of his friend Grieg. Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884-1920) died young, but for his brief time on Earth he left several groups of very worthy pieces. I do think they'd definitely intrigue you. I feel guilty not having revisited him. As for the modern contemporary American composers, they mostly leave me cold including the supposed neo-romanticists. Unless a piece allows me to draw exceptional beauty from it, I most often refuse to touch it.

    David
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    And what about Ives, Liebermann, Corigliano, Rzewski ? So much great stuff out there :idea:
    But we seem to be getting a little OT here :roll:
     
  17. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    We're talking about composers' of similar music to Mompou, so we're still on topic, aren't we?
     
  18. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    None of these composers' music is like Mompou's.
     
  19. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well...okay...good point. Never mind.....
     
  20. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    1. Very nice opening. Perhaps could be a bit softer, but I do not know, never having heard this piece before. Monica, it is amazing how much repertoire you are learning!

    2. Beautiful output of right hand harmonies.

    3. Captivating playing.

    4. Opening sounds just a bit like Chopin's Funeral March to me. Love your bass tone. Sounds great. Not harsh and yet pursuasive in a somewhat subtle way. Beautiful ending.

    5 I think this needs a little more time for the eveness in the left hand. The intent of the music is abley projected throughout. Very beautiful use of dynamics and timing is exquisite.


    6. Very well played. Perhaps with a bit more time, some of the sunburst like phrases in the right hand could be lighter. On the whole, a very enjoyable and interesting presentation.

    Thank you Monica so much for sharing these beautiful pieces. Thank you for your hard work.

    Much appreciation,

    Kaila Rochelle
     

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