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"New" (posthumous) pieces by Mompou

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by rainer, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    I'm not sure if this should be in "Repertoire" or "General", so I apologise if this is in the wrong place.

    A cursory search seems to indicate this subject has not been discussed here before, so again I apologise if I'm going over old ground.

    Some of you Mompou fans will be aware that his widow, Carmen Bravo, who was 30 years his junior, and could thus statistically have been expected to survive him by a considerable number of years despite him attaining the remarkable age of 94, in fact survived him by nearly 20 years, and died in 2007.

    After her death, as is noted in Wikipedia's Mompou entry, about 80 unpublished and hitherto unknown works were discovered in their home and in the National Library of Catalonia. Some were given performances by Jordi Masó and Mac McClure in 2008 and by Marcel Worms (http://www.marcelworms.com/pressrelease20090911.html) in 2009.

    After I recently ordered some sheet music mail order from Barcelona (by the mystery composer of my quiz question), I seem to have ended up on the distributor's emailing list, and the first message I received, just a week ago, draws attention to the announcement they (Editorial Boileau) made last February to the effect that they have published the piano pieces involved, in 3 volumes. I am quite tempted to treat myself, although they are quite expensive at over 60 Euros for the set.

    A copy of the announcement is at (http://www.boileau-music.com/vernoticia ... 0&idioma=6) and if you go to the bottom of the big black-framed area, just above the list of "more news", there are individual links to each of the three volumes, each of which helpfully has a "look inside" preview of selected pages.

    Recall that Wikipedia mentions that "his music is rooted in the chord Gb-C-Eb-Ab-D, which he called the Barri de Platja, or Beach Quarter". Well, it is particularly interesting that in volume 1 there is to be found a pair of pieces called "Dues Impressions" (Two Impressions), one of which is actually called "Barri de Platja"! Luckily its first page is one of the ones in the preview and we can see that it does indeed feature exactly that chord (except that it involves an F#, technically not quite the same thing as a Gb).

    There is also, in volume 3, a "new" Cançó i Dansa.
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the information. I've just ordered all three books - a little Christmas present to myself... :D :lol: (over $80 for me in the USA).
     
  3. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sometimes I feel unease when works are published posthumously, especially those found in a composer's home. I cannot disagree that some posthumous pieces have been wonderful additions to the piano literature. What would we do without Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu"? When a composer has an established relationship with one or more publishers, generally it seems that if the composer truly wanted music to be published, then he would see to that task unless he was famous for being totally unorganized, remiss, or absent minded. I can think of numerous reasons for a composer willfully withholding manuscripts:

    The music was just a student piece composed at the conservatory and of no real merit.

    He considers a mature work not to be up to his usual standard.

    He put the piece away in a drawer expecting to return to rework it someday but never got to it.

    A piece seemed too derivative.

    He played the piece for a few musical friends who were not very enthusiastic.

    The composer explicitly did not want the piece to be published ever.

    The score was left unfinished.

    Etc.

    Had Mompou known that he was a mortal, he would likely have given his wife some guidance on the disposition of his scores after his death, and she would have likely followed his wishes. If that did not happen right up to her own death, then it would give anyone pause. If he had wanted that body of music published, surely his widow could have given them to his primary publisher for evaluation. Apparently it never happened. Maybe there is a story behind it all.

    I think of the "Serenade grotesque" of Ravel from 1893. He was adamant that the piece never be published, but a publisher in 1973 took it upon themselves to publish it anyway. It just doesn't feel right to me, as it seems to be a blatant disrespect to the memory of the composer.

    Sometimes these new finds are published for all the right reasons and pianists everywhere benefit. I just hope that is the case here.

    David
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, Rainer already posted that link. I watched the video in the other link which briefly covers the music in these new books. The music sounds so nice, I can't wait to receive my books!
    (I hope it doesn't take three months like the last time I ordered books from Spain.... :x )
     
  6. StephenC

    StephenC New Member

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    Honestly this is my first time hearing Mompou's works and the music is very soothing. Very good.
     

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