Federico Mompou: Suite Compostelana


This essay is a continuation of "Federico Mompou Part 1: Recomençament, Primitivism, Bell Sounds".

Federico Monpou wrote three works for guitar — one original work Suite Compostelana and two transcriptions Song and Dance (about Two Canticles of Alfonso X of Castile) and Song and Dance No. 13 [Song: Birds' song, Dance: The good hunter] (1972).

Suite Compostelana:

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 (Galician 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 church modes and twentieth 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 chords.

Mompou taught at the International University Course of Spanish Music in Santiago de Compostela for fourteen consecutive years from 1958.

Photos de Federico Mompou: Courtesy of Frederic Mompou Foundation