Volodos plays Mompou

Volodos plays Mompou

Arcadi Volodos

  • Image for album

Editor's Choice

Born into a musical family in Saint Petersburg, Arcadi Volodos flirted with conducting and singing before committing to the piano at the age of 15. Following studies in Moscow, Paris, and Madrid, he began quickly commenced his performing career, appearing as a soloist with the world's best orchestras and giving recitals at the most celebrated venues. His discography spans live and studio recordings, and surveys a diverse collection of styles. Volodos’ championship of Spanish composer Frederic Mompou is one such example of his fresh and exciting approach. Described by a French critic as "the only disciple and successor to Claude Debussy," Mompou left a small but significant body of work. Born in Barcelona in 1893, he studied first at the local Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu before taking up a place at the Paris Conservatoire. Having been influenced by a childhood experience of hearing Gabriel Fauré perform, he hoped to study with him in the French capital. Despite arriving in Paris armed with a letter of introduction from his countryman Enrique Granados, it wasn't to be. Mompou entered the piano department and studied with Isidor Philipp, before realising he wasn’t suited to a career on the concert platform. His piano and guitar works form the more significant part of Mompou’s legacy, although he also composed some choral music and a single ballet. Arcadi Volodos' commitment to highlighting these charming and regrettably little-known piano works is laudable, and this album won critical acclaim and a Gramophone Award in the wake of its 2013 release.

Tracklist

  • Prélude VII (Palmier d'étoiles)

    Arcadi Volodos

    3:01

  • Damunt de tu Només les flors

    Arcadi Volodos

    4:12

  • I. Cris dans la rue

    Arcadi Volodos

    1:38

  • II. Jeux sur la plage

    Arcadi Volodos

    1:47

  • III. Jeu 2

    Arcadi Volodos

    1:27

  • IV. Jeu 3

    Arcadi Volodos

    2:04

  • V. Jeunes filles au jardin

    Arcadi Volodos

    2:45

  • Hoy la tierra y los cielos me sonrien

    Arcadi Volodos

    2:15

  • El lago (Le lac - from Paisajes, Nr. 2)

    Arcadi Volodos

    5:26

  • ...pour appeler la joie (Charme VI)

    Arcadi Volodos

    1:13

  • Preludi XII

    Arcadi Volodos

    4:09

  • Dialogues 2

    Arcadi Volodos

    2:19

  • Dialogues 1

    Arcadi Volodos

    3:09

  • Musica callada I Angelico

    Arcadi Volodos

    2:00

  • Musica callada II Lent

    Arcadi Volodos

    2:11

  • Musica callada XXVII Lento molto

    Arcadi Volodos

    3:23

  • Musica calladaXXIV Moderato

    Arcadi Volodos

    2:21

  • Musica callada XXV

    Arcadi Volodos

    3:22

  • Musica callada XI Allegretto

    Arcadi Volodos

    1:27

  • Musica callada XV Lento - plaintif

    Arcadi Volodos

    2:16

  • Musica callada XXII Molto lento e tranquilo

    Arcadi Volodos

    2:39

  • Musica callada XVI Calme

    Arcadi Volodos

    2:24

  • Musica callada VI Lento

    Arcadi Volodos

    1:46

  • Musica callada XXI Lento

    Arcadi Volodos

    3:46

  • Total playing time

    1:03:14

Album review

“Fans of Catalonian miniaturist Frederic Mompou are used to looking in out-of-the-way places for his music: small labels, encores of recitals. Yet here he is, presented in full major-label splendor by Sony Classical, with a substantial hard-bound booklet, performed by Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos. It may be that confusing times are good for the reputation of this most inward of composers, but whatever the reason, this recording will introduce a lot of people to Mompou's fascinating world. His music is essentially a compressed version of the Impressionist language, with dashes of Satie's elliptical mode and perhaps the mysticism of Scriabin. Mompou goes further in the directions of both dissonance and diatonic harmony than did the Impressionists, and his use of simple harmony as a kind of color effect is unique in the entire concert music repertory. Some people are completely puzzled by Mompou, most of whose music proceeds at the same basic slow-to-moderate tempo. Try Volodos out! He has the knack of getting strong profiles of individual phrases while still keeping the whole thing at a sort of glimmering level. You can get a foothold with the Musica callada XV (track 20), which seems to take Chopin's Prelude in E minor, Op. 28/4, as a point of departure. From its opening figure the listener is drawn into Mompou's murky yet gentle world, which some filmmaker ought to exploit. The difficult-to-translate Musica callada (¡callate!, be quiet, mothers say to their children; "Music that Has Become Quiet" is close) is Mompou's greatest work; in it, his extremely concise language, almost completely eschewing motivic development, is brought to a fascinating extreme. Volodos has the control to get something like the last bars of Schubert's Winterreise out of the music here: it really does seem to exist on the lip of nothingness. Strongly recommended for all, and really something of a milestone.”

Album review provided by TiVo. This content is not produced by Primephonic, and any views expressed are the review author’s own.

Record label

Credits

    Released

    17 May 2013

    Producer

    Friedemann Engelbrecht

    Executive Producer

    Michael Brüggemann

    Engineer

    Tobias Lehmann

Done