Amsterdam, September 11, 2009
MANY UNPUBLISHED, UNKNOWN WORKS BY FEDERICO MOMPOU DISCOVERED IN BARCELONA
In 1987 the Spanish composer Federico Mompou passed away in Barcelona. His widow, pianist Carmen Bravo, has been living in the couple’s house until her death in 2007.
While clearing up the house in 2008 three files have been found containing dozens of unknown, unpublished scores by Mompou. In the same period a number of compositions turned up at the National Library of Catalunya, which had been given to this Library by Carmen Bravo in 1997.
In December 2008 a selection from these findings have been played in Barcelona by pianists Jordi Maso and Mac McClure. In July 2009 the Fundación Mompou - guardian of Mompou’s musical heritage - put all these scores at the disposal of Amsterdam-based pianist Marcel Worms, who is focussing on Mompou’s music already for a long time.
On November 14, 2009 Marcel Worms will perform almost all of these works in the Bethaniënklooster in Amsterdam. In the beginning of November 2009 november Worms will release a cd for the Zefir Records label with the unpublished works for piano by Mompou.
There are about eighty new works, including a number of unfinsished ones. Of some works there are two or even more versions, some other compositions have been published later, sometimes slightly revised and with a different title. In most cases, however, we’re talking about completely independent works. The great majority of the newly discovered music is for piano solo. In addition to this the collection contains six songs for voice and piano (three of them finished), a movement from a string quartet and a short piece for flute and string orchestra.
The pianoworks date mainly from Mompou’s earliest period as a composer, between 1910 and 1920. They show that Mompou found his style in an amazingly early stage. Even the earliest works bear already a very personal stamp. A small number of pieces go back to the fourties of the last century, two of them - in a separate file - dedicated to Carmen Bravo.
Mompou’s muziek is mainly contemplative and bears a mystic, religious and timeless element and this applies as well to the works that came to the surface recently. A number of early works, a Tango, a Fox-Trot and a ‘Tempo de Blues’, show the more worldly side of the composer, who as a young man clearly has been sensitive to the popular music of his time as well.
We know that Mompou used to destroy all of his music about which he was not satisfied. This means that he will not have disapproved of the works mentioned above. We rather should consider these compositions as a collection of ideas, which were meant to work out further at a later stage.
Mompou’s relatively small oeuvre has been expanded considerably by this discovery. The ‘new’ works shed an interesting light on the early development of the composer and can be considered as an enriching addition to the body of work of Federico Mompou.