This is a continuation of "Frederic (Federico) Mompou Part 1: Recomençament, Primitivism, Bell Sounds".
Frederic Monpou wrote three works for guitar — one original work ‘Suite Compostelana’ and two transcriptions ‘Cançó i Dansa Nº 10 — Sobre dos Cantigas del Rei Alfonso X’ and ‘Cançó i Dansa Nº 13 — Cançó: El cant dels ocells - Dansa: El bon caçador (1972)’.
‘Suite Compostelana’ was written in 1962 and dedicated to Andrés Segovia.
The suite consists of six movements:
I. Preludio (Prelude)
II. Coral (Chorale)
III. Cuna (Lullaby)
IV. Recitativo (Recitative)
V. Canción (Song)
VI. Muñeira (Doll's dance).
Each movement evokes the essence of Santiago de Compostela — a historical Galician city in northwest Spain. The suite beautifully contains a variety of music styles and moods: a traditional Spanish feeling, archaic chants, a combination of modal scales and twentiyth century's modern harmony, elements that conjure up images of rainy Galician city or traditional lively dance by imitating the sound of ‘la gaita (bagpipes)’ and Mompou's distinctive bell-like metallic chords.
Mompou taught at the International Universitary Course of Spanish Music in Santiago de Compostela for fourteen consecutive years from 1958.
Cançó i Dansa Nº 10 (Song and Dance No.10)— Sobre dos Cantigas del Rei Alfonso X:
‘Cançons i Danses (Songs and Dances)’ are a collection of 15 sets of small pieces that Mompou wrote individually for piano (except No.13 for guitar and No. 15 for organ) during 55 years (from 1918 to 1972). Each set consists of a slow and lyrical ‘Cançó (Song)’ followed by a more animated 'Dansa (Dance)'. They were mostly based on Catalan folk songs though the Dance of No.3 and both Songs and Dances of No.5, 6, 11 were original works (in Catalan folksong manner).
This No.10 was originally written for piano in 1953 and later transcribed for guitar by the composer himself. Mompou choose two melodies from ‘Canticles of Saint Mary by King Alfonso X of Castile’.
‘Santa Maria, Strela do dia / Saint Mary, Star of the day (CSM 100)’ for Song, and ‘Ben sab' a que pód' e val / The Lame Woman of Molina(CSM 179)’ for Dance.
Munuscript of Song and Dance for guitar
Manuscrito de Santa María, Strela do dia
The Canticles of Saint Mary (Cantigas de Santa María):
The Canticles of Saint Mary (Cantigas de Santa María) are a collection of monodic songs, written in Galician-Portuguese language with mensural notation in honour of the miracles of the Virgin Mary. They were composed or collected from troubadours at the Court of King Alfonso X “The Wise” of Castile and Leon in the second half of the 13th century. The Canticles of Holy Mary are not only a body of literature or a miracle collection but also a cultural project of great importance for medieval literature, music, and art.
Cançó i Dansa Nº 13 — Cançó: El cant dels ocells / The song of the birds - Dansa: El bon caçador / The Good Hunter:
This work was composed in 1972 and dedicated to Narciso Yepes. Both El cant dels ocells (The song of the birds) and El bon caçador (The Good Hunter) are famous Catalan folk songs.
Images: Courtesy of Frederic Mompou Foundation