Federico Mompou

Federico Mompou is a Catalan Spanish composer who was born in 1893. Mompou spent most of his life in Barcelona and Paris. He was a quiet, shy man who studied as a pianist. He turned to composing as he did not enjoy giving public presentations. He married late in life at the age of 64. His wife, pianist Carmen Bravo, was 30 years younger and they spent the next 30 years together until Mompou’s death. Several more pieces of Mompou’s music were discovered after Bravo’s death in 2007.

During his 94 years, he composed many pieces of beautiful piano music. On February 11th, we will hear just one set of those pieces, Paisajes, when it is played by Benjamin Grosvenor. Paisajes translates as Landscapes. The word paisaje encompasses scenery and view in its translation. I found it interesting to know that “paisaje interior” means “state of mind”. Mompou’s Paisajes consists of 3 pieces written at different times. La fuente y la campana (The Fountain and the Bell) was written in 1942; El lago (The Lake) in 1946; and Carros de Galicia (Carts of Galicia) was done in 1960. Each is inspired by views known to Mompou but evoking different states of mind. Looking forward to hearing it played live!

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