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University of Iowa

Iowa Research Online


Theses and Dissertations

2012

Federico Mompou: a style analysis of thirty-five


songs
Lynell Joy Kruckeberg
University of Iowa

Copyright 2012 Lynell Joy Kruckeberg


This dissertation is available at Iowa Research Online: http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/3486
Recommended Citation
Kruckeberg, Lynell Joy. "Federico Mompou: a style analysis of thirty-five songs." DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) thesis, University of
Iowa, 2012.
http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/3486.

Follow this and additional works at: http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd


Part of the Music Commons

FEDERICO MOMPOU:
A STYLE ANALYSIS OF THIRTY-FIVE SONGS

by
Lynell Joy Kruckeberg

An essay submitted in partial fulfillment


of the requirements for the
Doctor of Musical Arts degree
in the Graduate College of
The University of Iowa

December 2012

Essay Supervisor: Associate Professor Rachel Joselson

Copyright by
LYNELL JOY KRUCKEBERG
2012
All Rights Reserved

Graduate College
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa

CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL
____________________________
D.M.A. ESSAY
______________

This is to certify that the D.M.A. essay of

Lynell Joy Kruckeberg

has been approved by the Examining Committee


for the essay requirement for the Doctor of
Musical Arts degree at the December 2012 graduation.

Essay Committee:

____________________________
Rachel Joselson, Essay Supervisor
____________________________
Christine Getz
____________________________
Jennifer Iverson
____________________________
John Muriello
____________________________
Stephen Swanson

To Chris

ii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group has granted permission to present
the translations of the poetry featured in The Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline
Cockburn and Richard Stokes. The Spanish Song Companion is published by Scarecrow
Press in Baltimore, MD.
Sociedad Espaola De Ediciones Musicales, S.A (SEEMSA) of Madrid has
granted permission to use musical examples from the Caniones Becquerianas.
MGB Hal Leonard of Milan has granted permission to use musical examples from
Federico Mompou: Mlodies et Chansons and Cinq Mlodies sur des textes de Paul
Valery.
First of all, I would like to thank my husband, Chris, for his unwavering support
and encouragement throughout this final project and for the entire duration of the DMA
program. Im grateful for your help as an editor and writer. Most importantly, I thank you
for being my best friend and confidant.
I would also like to thank my parents, Laren and Joan, and my parents-in-law,
Tom and Johanna, for all of your support during all the years I have been in school. You
have all been a source of encouragement and strength when I needed it most.
Special thanks to Ruthann McTyre for helping in securing permission of musical
examples in this essay. Thank you to Dr. Jane Gressang for assistance in translating a
permission letter to SEEMSA in Madrid. Finally, thank you to Dr. Rachel Joselson, Dr.
Christine Getz, Dr. Jennifer Iverson, Dr. John Muriello, and Professor Stephen Swanson
for serving on my essay committee. I am grateful all for your assistance, expertise and
experience.

iii

TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF EXAMPLES

vi

INTRODUCTION

Literature Review
Purpose and Methodology

3
7

CHAPTER 1 BIOGRAPHY

12

CHAPTER 2 SIX SONGS OF THE COMPTINES

21

Dait dun cotxe


Margot la pie
He vist dins la lluna tres
Asserin, Asseran
Petite fille de Paris
Pito, pito, colorito
Summary

22
24
26
28
31
34
36

CHAPTER 3 SEVENTEEN SONGS

38

Lora grisa
Quatre Mlodies
Rosa del cami
Cortina de fullatge
Incertitude
Neu
Canoneta incerta
Combat del somni
Damunt de tu noms les flors
Aquesta nit un mateix vent
Jo et pressentia com la mar
Fes me la vida transparent
Can de la fira
Deux Mlodies
Pastoral
Llueve sobre el rio
Cantar del alma
Aureana do Sil
Sant Mart
Primeros pasos

39
42
42
44
46
48
50
54
54
58
61
64
67
71
72
75
78
82
85
90

CHAPTER 4 TWELVE SONGS

93

iv

Le nuage
Canions Bquerianas
Hoy la tierra de son rien
Los invisibles tomos del aires
Yo soy ardiente
Yo s cul el objeto
Volveran las oscuras
Olas gigantes
Cinq Mlodies
La fausse morte
Linsinuant
Le vin perdu
Le sylphe
Les pas

94
96
97
100
102
105
107
111
114
115
118
120
123
125

CONCLUSION

128

APPENDIX A CATALAN PRONUNCIATION AND DICTION GUIDE

132

Syllabification
Vowels
Stressed Vowels
Unstressed Vowels
Dipthongs
Glides
Consonants
Digraphs
Liason

133
133
134
135
136
137
138
143
144

APPENDIX B SELECT DISCOGRAPHY FROM 1992-2012


Recorded Songs on Compilations
Recorded Songs by Recording Artist

146
146
147

BIBLIOGRAPHY

152

LIST OF EXAMPLES
Example 1. Mompou, Dait dun cotxe, Measures 23.

24

Example 2. Mompou, Margot la pie, Measures 2635.

26

Example 3. Mompou, He vist dins la lluna tres, Measures 913.

28

Example 4. Mompou, Asserin, Asseran, Measures 112.

30

Example 5. Mompou, Aserrin, Aserran, Measures 1317.

31

Example 6. Mompou, Petite fille de Paris, Measures 116.

33

Example 7. Mompou, Pito, pito, colorito, Measures 47.

35

Example 8. Mompou, Pito, pito colorito, Measures 816.

36

Example 9. Mompou, Lora grisa, Measures 18.

41

Example 10. Mompou, Lhora grisa, Measures 1926.

41

Example 11. Mompou, Rosa del cami, Measures 19.

44

Example 12. Mompou, Cortina de fullatge, Measures 19.

45

Example 13. Mompou, Incertitude, Measures 18.

47

Example 14. Mompou, Neu, Measures 113.

49

Example 15. Mompou, Canoneta incerta, Measures 15.

52

Example 16. Mompou, Canoneta incerta, Measures 1725.

53

Example 17. Mompou, Damunt de tu noms les flors, Measures 615.

57

Example 18. Mompou, Damunt de tu noms les flors, Measures 2135.

58

Example 19. Mompou, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, Measures 18.

60

Example 20. Mompou, Aquesta nit un mateix vent,Measures 1317.

61

Example 21. Mompou, Jo et pressentia com la mar, Measures 18.

63

Example 22. Mompou, Jo et pressentia com la mar, Measures 1926.

64

vi

Example 23. Mompou, Fes me la vida transparent, Measures 16 .

66

Example 24. Mompou, Fes me la vida transparent, Measures 1620.

67

Example 25. Mompou, Can de la fira, Measures 113.

70

Example 26. Mompou, Can de la fira, Measures 6675.

71

Example 27. Mompou, Pastoral, Measures 110.

74

Example 28. Mompou, Llueve sobre el rio, Measures 59.

76

Example 29. Mompou,Llueve sobre el rio, Measures 2027.

77

Example 30. Mompou, Cantar del Alma, Measures 16.

80

Example 31. Mompou, Cantar del Alma, Measure 11.

81

Example 32. Mompou, Aureana do Sil, Measures 410.

84

Example 33. Mompou, Aureana do Sil, Measures 1517.

85

Example 34. Mompou, Sant Mart, Measures 19.

88

Example 35. Mompou, Sant Mart, Measures 2636.

89

Example 36. Mompou, Primeros pasos, Measures 510.

92

Example 37. Mompou, Le nuage, Measures. 14.

95

Example 38. Mompou, Le nuage, Measures 3035.

96

Example 39. Mompou, Hoy la tierra Measures 516.

99

Example 40. Mompou, Los invisibles tomos del aires, Measures 13.

101

Example 41. Mompou, Los invisibles tomos del aires, Measures 1618.

102

Example 42. Mompou, Yo soy ardiente, Measures 16.

104

Example 43. Mompou, Yo soy ardiente Measures 718.

105

Example 44. Mompou, Yo s cul el objeto, Measures 112.

107

Example 45. Mompou, Volveran las oscuras, Measures 18.

109

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Example 46. Mompou, Volveran las oscuras golondrinas, Measures 8089.

111

Example 47. Mompou, Olas gigantes, Measures 17.

113

Example 48. Mompou, Olas gigantes, Measures 1722.

114

Example 49. Mompou, La fausse morte, Measures 110.

117

Example 50. Mompou, Linsinuant, Measures 1425.

120

Example 51. Mompou, Le vin perdu, Measures 2128.

122

Example 52. Mompou, Le sylphe, Measures 3041.

124

Example 53. Mompou, Les Pas, Measures 18.

126

viii

1
INTRODUCTION
Federico Mompou (1893-1987) was a Catalan composer described by Toms
Marco as one of the greatest, most original, and most independent figures of the
twentieth-century.1 Known primarily for his piano compositions, Mompou also
composed thirty-seven songs for voice and piano, a ballet, a few choral works, and a
guitar suite. The majority of his works are miniature compositions that sought to express
the intimate and transcendental nature of Catalan poetry, and to experience rebirth of a
state of unsullied musical innocence.2
The often quiet, intimate, and introspective character expressed in Mompous
music contrasts sharply with the musical bravura and flamboyance that was found in
popular music in Barcelona at the turn of the twentieth century. While other Catalan
composers were embracing a modern musical movement, Mompous compositions
reflect the noucentisme, the musical style of the previous generation around 18003.
Instead of writing virtuosic and highly entertaining compositions, Mompou wrote
nostalgic pieces that had great personal meaning and were rooted in the rich musical
traditions of Catalunya.
Many musical styles and traditions influenced Mompous compositions, but his
unique style first began developing in childhood with the sounds of bells. He grew up
listening to the sounds of his familys bell factory and was enchanted by the metallic and

Toms Marco, Spanish Music in the Twentieth Century, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 1993), 69.

Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes, The Spanish Song Companion, (Lanham,
MD: The Scarecrow Press, 2006), 146.

Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes, The Spanish Song Companion, 146.

2
ringing sonorities. Bell sounds would become one of the most prominent features of
Mompous compositions. In particular, the notes of the bell overtone series provide
important intervallic relationships in Mompous music. In particular, intervals of major
thirds, minor thirds, perfect fourths, perfect fifths, and octaves are particularly common in
Mompous music. The influence of bells and the corresponding overtone series appear in
the music in a couple of ways. First, there are many appearances of ostinati that vascillate
between individual pitches that are an intervallic distance of a fourth, fifth, or an octave
apart. A second use of bell sounds occurs in the presence of many quartal and quintal
dyads, or chords featuring stacked fourths, or fifths. Yet another occurrence of bells
occurs in relation to the juxtaposition of major-minor harmonies. Each reference to bells
may not be specifically identified in the analysis, but it is helpful to understand that
Mompous harmonic language is deeply rooted in the sounds of bells.
The sounds of bells are extremely important to Mompou, but he also drew
musical inspiration from Catalan folk music. Many of the songs are folk-inspired, but
they do not directly quote any traditional Catalan songs. Instead, his vocal music display
original melodies that are similar in style to other Catalan songs.
French music was another source of inspiration for Mompou and he deeply
admired the works of Gabriel Faur, Erik Satie, and Claude Debussy. Mompou lived,
studied, and performed in Paris for several years and achieved a moderate degree of fame
and success during his tenure in Paris.
Mompous songs and piano pieces were well-received by critics and audiences in
France, Spain, and even the United States during his lifetime, but since the mid-1970s,
the majority of his songs have been overlooked by Western performers and scholars.

3
Mompous songs, composed between 1915 and 1971, are settings of Catalan, Spanish,
and French texts. They are characterized by their simplicity, expressiveness, and
evocative style. The poetry represents a variety of subjects that range from expressions of
simple, childlike pleasure, to those of a highly reflective and emotional mind. Federico
Mompous songs represent an important contribution to Catalan art song of the twentieth
century. The songs are deserving of performance and study in any voice studio because
they contain a variety of technical, linguistic, and interpretive challenges for a wide
variety of singers.
Literature Review
Most of the scholarly research currently available about Federico Mompou
concentrates on his biography and his piano compositions. There are several sources in
Catalan and Castilian Spanish as well as in English, but few contain specific information
about Mompous songs. This literature review highlights the most valuable sources
currently available about Federico Mompou. The discussion begins with the two major
biographies of Mompou, then follows with general sources about Catalan and other
Spanish music, then discusses works that specifically discuss Mompous compositions.
The biographies by Santiago Kastner and Clara Jans provide thorough
information about Mompous life. Kastners Federico Mompou (1947) was the first
major biography of Mompou. Kastner was an important twentieth-century British
musicologist dedicated to the study, promotion, and dissemination of music of the Iberian
Peninsula. His biography of Mompou is divided into two parts: La Vida del Hombre
(The Life of the Man) and La Vida del Obra (The Life of Work). The Spanish text not

4
only provides both biographical information, but also characteristics and features
commonly found in Mompous works before 1947.
Clara Jans La vida callada de Federico Mompou, (1975) is written in Catalan
and draws on her personal memories of the composer. Claras father, Josep Jans, and
Mompou were close friends. The two families enjoyed many Sunday afternoons filled
with music, the reading of poetry, and conversing about literature, art, and architecture.
La vida callada remains one of the most complete biographies of Mompou to date.
Wilfred Mellers Le Jardin Retrouve examines Mompous life and compositions
through various religious and cultural influences of Catalunya. Mellers describes
Mompous music as being at once unique and also universal4 because he believes that
all people are searching for days of youth, innocence, and renewal. He views Mompous
music as mystical and even hermetic. Meller discusses the important people and
influences in Mompous life, but also strongly asserts that in spite of the many influences
Mompous style remained unique, in part, because he remained true to his own personal
aesthetics. He did not always accept the advice of his composition teachers. Mellers
groups Mompous music into categories of pre-historic spells, chants, and
incantations.5 The majority of the analysis concentrates on Mompous piano music,
although there are brief discussions of the Quatre Mlodies and the Combat del Somni.
The texts by Gilbert Chase and Toms Marco address general characteristics of
Catalan and other Spanish music. Gilbert Chase is largely credited with being one of the
first musicologists to promote Spanish music in Western musical culture. His The Music
4 Wilfred Mellers, Le Jardin retrouve: the Music of Frederic Mompou 1893-1987.
(York, England: The Fairfax Press, 1985), 2.
5 Wilfred Mellers, Le Jardin Retrouve, 1.

5
of Spain, first written in 1941 and revised in 1959, presents an overview of Spanish
musical history and details specific regional musical characteristics. Although Chase does
not specifically address Mompous music, the text is useful in providing background
information about Catalan musical characteristics and music from other Spanish regions.
Toms Marcos Spanish Music in the Twentieth Century (1993) provides
information about Iberian composers, including Mompou. The text is divided into two
parts: Before the Civil War and After the Civil War. Marco discusses the progression
and growth of Spanish music in the twentieth-century starting with musical life in Spain
at the turn-of-the-century. Within each major section of the book, he discusses important
individual composers and specific compositions that preceeded and followed the Spanish
Civil War (1936-1939). Marco devotes only two and a half pages to information about
Mompou. Marco regards Mompou as a transitional figure and independent,
intergenerational maestro, who defies classification or category because his works were
completely original and unlike his other Catalan and Spanish contemporaries.6 Marcos
brief discussion of Mompou lists general biographical facts, some general characteristics
about his music, and some important compositions with brief descriptions.
Richard Peter Paine published Hispanic Traditions in Twentieth-Century Catalan
Music: With Particular Reference to Gerhard, Mompou, and Montsalvatge (1989). The
introduction of the book includes background information about the Catalan renaixena,
or renaissance, and the rise of a national music tradition. The first chapter describes
characteristics of Andalusian and Catalan folk music and dance as a foundation for
discussing individual works by Gerhard, Mompou, and Montsalvatge. In doing so, he

Toms Marco, Spanish Music in the Twentieth Century, 69.

6
focuses Paine on general characteristics of Mompous musical aesthetics and provides a
little biographical information. Paine primarily discusses Mompous piano pieces,
although he addresses the song set Combat del somni. Paines text is especially useful for
identifying common musical traits that are used in both piano and vocal compositions.
Adam Kents dissertation, The Use of Catalan Folk Materials in the Works of
Federico Mompou and Joaquin Nin-Culmell, (1999) provides a survey of Catalunyas
musical history over many centuries. Kent devotes a chapter to the folk music of
Catalunya describes the canoners, narrative songs and dances of the region. He also
discusses the modal and tonal characteristics of Catalan folk music, as well as the types
of texts and themes used in the music. The dissertation includes a chapter on Mompou
that shows specific examples of folk song quotations used in Mompous piano works.
Mompou did not quote folk songs in his own vocal compositions, and so no song analysis
is presented in this dissertation.
Several texts concentrate specifically on analysis of Mompous piano works.
Christine Bendells dissertation (1983) analyzes Mompous Canciones y Danzas for
piano. Bendell highlights important compositional features, many of which are also found
in the songs, in Mompous piano pieces. A more recent book by Ann Zalkind (2002),
concentrates specifically to the Musica Callada for piano. Zalkind highlights important
composers and musical styles that influenced Mompous music, primarily in relation to
the twenty-eight pieces in the Musica Callada. In addition to the dissertation by Bendell
and the book by Zalkind about Mompous piano music, there is one dissertation that is
about Mompous songs.

7
In 1987 Frieda Elaine Hollands dissertation was the first document specifically
focused on Mompous songs. Holland provides a one to two-page prose analysis of most
of the songs in addition to specific information about considerations for pianists. In
regard to the individual songs, there are few musical examples accompanying the prose
of each song and she does not provide any specific pedagogical conclusions about the
songs. Hollands dissertation is particularly useful because it provides a Catalan
pronunciation guide. This guide is a useful to anyone wishing to perform these songs as
there are no known Catalan IPA guides available for singers at the current time.
The Spanish Song Companion (1993) by Jacqueline Cockburn and Graham
Johnson contains information about many important Spanish and Catalan composers. The
text provides a one or two page biography and followed by poetry and translations for
many songs, providing a valuable resource for performers and scholars.
Purpose and Methodology
The purpose of this doctoral essay for limited distribution is to provide a style
analysis of thirty-five songs of Federico Mompou. A secondary purpose of the essay is to
provide a basic pedagogical guide for teaching and performing these songs. The analysis
divides the songs into three groups based on technical difficulty, progressing from the
least difficult to the most difficult. Information about each song will include date of
publication, language, poet, poem and translation. Prose analysis of each individual song
follows the format as described in Guidelines for Style Analysis by Jan LaRue.
LaRues comprehensive approach to style analysis involves examining basic
components of music, including sound, harmony, melody, rhythm and growth. These
elements have been condensed into a mnemonic device known as SHMRG (prounounced

8
shmerg). Using the SHMRG (Sound, Harmony, Melody, Rhythm, and Growth) format
provides a consistent framework for analyzing each song. In addition, this clear and
consise method of analysis highlights important aspects of Mompous style as a
composer. The following information provides background information about the
SHMRG mnemonic in LaRues guide.
Sound (S) includes all aspects of sound considered in itself rather than as raw
material for melody, rhythm, or harmony.7 Characteristics in the category of sound
include considerations timbre, dynamics, texture, dynamics, range, and tessitura. Sound is
listed as LaRues first category for analysis because it includes a listeners general
impression of a composition. LaRue believes it is important to begin with general
features of a work before discussing small-scale details. Observing general qualities of
the music first gives way to analyzing specific and individual elements of harmony,
melody, rhythm, and growth.
LaRues second category for analysis is harmony (H). His definition of harmony
(H) addresses many cultural musical traditions and styles of analysis. His definition of
harmony includes traditional chordal relationships, counterpoint, and polyphony, but his
definition of harmony also accounts for other dissonant procedures that does not make
use of familiar chord structures or relationships. 8 Further considerations of harmony
include color, tension, linear tonality, modal tonality, unified tonality, expanded tonality,
atonality, or serialism identified in compositions. Harmony is based on chord vocabulary,

Jan LaRue, Guidelines for Style Analysis, 2nd ed. (Sterling Heights, MI: Harmonie Park
Press, 2011), 23.

Jan LaRue, Guidelines for Style Analysis, 39.

9
including consonant or dissonant chords, chromaticism, motifs, sequences and
progressions. Harmony further includes considerations of part exchange, imitation,
stretto, augmentation, and diminution.
Melody (M) refers to the profile formed by any collection of pitches9 and is one
of the most easily recognizable features of any song and may be one of the first
categories to be analyzed. Individual components of melody include range, mode,
tessitura, indication of instrument or voice, motion of the melody, any patterns found in
the melody, and whether the melody consists of new or thematic material.
Rhythm (R) consists of various elements including surface rhythm, frequency of
patterns, duration of patterns, meter, tempo, and phrasing. Patterns of change, durations
of stress, lull, and transition are other important aspects of rhythm. Still other elements of
rhythm are homorhythm, polyrhythm, and text rhythm.
Growth (G) is the final basic principle in LaRues guide, and is one of the most
complicated categories of analysis. Growth includes large-dimension considerations of
balance, tempos, tonalities, textures, meters, dynamics, and ranges of intensity. It allows
an examination of the evolution of a composition through heterogeneity, homogeneity,
differentiation, or specialization. Dimensions of musical shape and considerations of
anticipations, elisions, and truncations also affect growth. The direction of the phrases
and the levels of intensity and activity all contribute to the category of growth.
Notably absent from the SHMRG mnemonic is a category for text but LaRue
does address the issue of text and text influence as a separate but equally important
category. Individual elements relating to text influence include choices of vocal and

Jan LaRue, Guidelines for Style Analysis, 69.

10
instrumental timbre, text painting, mood painting, limitations of music because of
awkward voicing, word and textual meters, degree of adherence to text form, fluctuations
of intensity, location of climax, and degree of movement. The texts Mompou chose for
certainly are at the heart of the meaning, emotion, and mood of each song. The text is one
of the most important elements for any song, and especially for Mompous songs that are
introspective and contemplative in nature.
Analysis is a useful tool that provides specific information about how musical
elements are combined to create a finished product. However, no amount of analysis is
fully able to express the emotion and sentiments of a song. Jan LaRue reminds readers of
both the shortcomings and the advantage of analysis by saying:
Yet, although analysis can never replace nor rival feeling, it can enhance our
perception of a composers richness of imagination, his complexity (or utter
simplicity)10 of material, his skill in organization and presentation. The performer
and listener must incorporate these insights into the full context of their personal
response.11
In addition to the prose analysis and examples of the songs, a biography of
Mompous life preceeds the song analysis and provides an .introduction to this relatively
unknown composer. Although it is not necessary to know a composers biography in
order to analyze the songs, Mompous life experiences deeply affected his musical
growth and, ultimately, his compositions. The biography shows how the events
surrounding Mompous life, homeland, and culture specifically influenced his songs,
allowing for a greater context in understanding them. In addition, knowing some of

10

The use of parentheses in this quote is taken directly from Jan LaRue, not added by the
author.
11

Jan LaRue, Guidelines for Style Analysis, 2.

11
Mompous biographical information helps inform the analysis of the songs. Mompous
biography also highlights how his personality and life events affected his compositions.
The essay concludes with two appendices including a discography and a Catalan
diction guide. Appendix A provides a select discography of Mompou songs that have
been recorded and released between 1992 and 2012. The discography provides a list of
fairly recent recordings in CD or digital format. The recordings can be a useful tool to
help performers who wish to listen to the pronunciation of the Catalan language.
Appendix B will provide a brief guide to Catalan IPA and pronunciation. The diction
guide is meant as an introduction to the sounds of the Catalan language and is in no way a
comprehensive language guide. At the current time, there is no published Catalan IPA
guide and this appendix is intended to assist singers wishing to perform the songs in their
original language.

12
CHAPTER 1
BIOGRAPHY
Federico Mompou was born on April 16, 1897 in Barcelona, Spain in the
autonomous province of Catalunya. The son of Federico Mompou-Montmany and
Josephina Dencausse, his heritage is a blend of French and Catalan cultures. Mompou felt
fortunate to grow up in a family that valued music, dance, literature, and poetry.
Mompous maternal family boasted a long lineage as bell makers and the family
trade played an important part in his musical development. Established in the fifteenthcentury, the first site of the Dencausse bell factory was originally based in Tarbes,
France. The bell business was so successful that Mompous great-grandfather, Ceferino
Dencausse, expanded the company by opening a factory in Spain. In the second half of
the nineteenth-century, brothers Jean and Pierre Dencausse moved to Barcelona to open
and manage the new factory. Jean Dencausse married Ignacio Modesta and the couple
had three children, including Josefina. Josefina and her family remained in Barcelona and
enjoyed the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the growing city.
Mompous father, Federico Mompou-Montmany, was from a village called
Ginista in the Tarragona Valley of Catalunya. Mompou-Montmanys family was
exceptionally demanding and controlling, insisting that he become a doctor. But the elder
Mompou wished for a military career and disobeyed his familys wishes. As a young
adult, he became estranged from his family. He moved to Barcelona to pursue his
military career.
Josefina Dencausse and Federico Mompou-Montmany met in Barcelona and were
married in 1864. The couple established their residence in San Pablo Square in

13
Barcelona. The couple had three children, Federico being the youngest. The Mompou and
Dencausse extended families lived in the same Barcelona neighborhood and spent a great
amount of time together. Both the Catalan and French cultures played an important part
in their family traditions. The family spent many weekends singing and dancing along
with traditional Catalan and Provincial folk songs sung both in French and Catalan. They
also spent many hours reading poetry and telling nostalgic family stories.
In addition to the many hours spent enjoying music, Mompou also used his free
time to listen to the sounds of the bells ringing from the factory. Dorle J. Soria recalls a
1978 interview with Mompou in which he describes a typical weekend afternoon in the
Mompou family playing music and further explains the young Mompous fascination
with bells. Soria retells Mompous story in this way:
on Sundays friends would come and there would be music and singing and
dancing. The boy loved Chopin and Schumann but most of all the sound of the
bells. He would go to the factory and listen to the metallic sounds and he learned
to reproduce the sound of a bell sent to be repaired. In his music there were to be
bell sounds and a characteristic metallic chord.12
Federico and his siblings enjoyed a happy childhood and were free to explore as
many activities and hobbies as they desired. Mompou was encouraged to follow whatever
career path he wished as long as he excelled at his pursuits. Mompous father was
supportive of the young musician, but expected excellence from him. His fathers
insistence for excellence was, in part, because his father was denied the opportunity to
pursue his own career aspirations of becoming a military officer. Mompou explains his
personal career aspirations and his fathers demand for excellence in any career to Jos
Bruyr:
12

Dorle J. Soria, Artists Life: Mompou the Magician, High Fidelity and Musical
America, (Nov. 1978), 6.

14
From the time I was very young, I had dreamt of becoming a musician. My
fathers vocation had been counteracted. He had wanted to be an officer, general
why not? and he was a doctor. Thus he never [counteracted my vocation] or
should I say ours, for you know I have a brother, Joseph Mompou, a painter. I was
already a musician, and according to this excellent man I was to become a
virtuoso. That is all. 13
Mompou was an average student academically and although he achieved
moderate success in school, it was in music lessons that he began to excel. Mompou was
a quiet child who spent much time listening and was an astute observer of the world
around him. Mompou attended grade school at Ecole Franaises and furthered his studies
at the Hermanos de la Doctrina Cristiana, a religious secondary school that taught
reading, writing, and arithmetic in conjunction with the catechisms of the Catholic
Church.14 In 1907, Mompou began studying piano with Pedro Serra at the Conservatorio
de Liceo. His first public piano performance was a joint recital with Francisco Figueras
on May 4, 1908 at La Sala del Orfen. Mompou was fifteen at the time of his first recital.
He continued his piano studies with Serra until 1911. Although he did not share these
thoughts with anyone at that time, he claims that his musical interest was then shifting
from piano performance to composition.
Mompous interest in composition was piqued in 1910 when he had the
opportunity to hear Gabriel Faur play in concert in Barcelona. Mompou arrived late to
the concert and was not allowed into the venue, so he stood outside the door and listened
to the entire program. Fascinated by the music he heard through the door of the hall,

13

Jose Bruyr, Lecran des Musiciens, with a preface by Andre Coeury (Paris: Jose Corti,
1933), 107.

14

Toms Marco, Spanish Music in the Twentieth-Century, 69.

15
Mompou was inspired to write his own music. Mompou shared his recollection of that
concert with Santiago Kastner by saying:
The music of Faur, even through closed doors, moved me deeply. I decided then
and there to devote time to composition and go to Paris to pursue the exquisite
harmonic novelties that sparkled in the aristocratic art of the French master.15
Mompou decided to pursue a career as a pianist and he wanted to further his
musical studies in Paris where Faur was the director of the famed conservatory.
Mompou asked fellow Catalan composer, Enrique Granados, for a recommendation letter
for the conservatory and for a chance to meet Faur himself. Mompous request for an
introduction letter marked the only time that Granados and Mompou ever met in person,
despite the fact that both musicians were living in Barcelona.16
Despite the recommendation from Granados, Mompou was ultimately too shy and
timid to introduce himself to Faur upon his arrival in Paris. Mompou studied at the Paris
Conservatory from 1911 to 1913 but never met Faur in person. At the conservatory,
Mompou initially studied piano with Louis Diemer, and studied harmony and
counterpoint with Emile Pessard. Mompou was timid but inisistent about his desire to
compose. Pessard recognized Mompous innate talent, but was irritated and frustrated by
Mompous shy and introverted nature. Pessard allegedly dismissed Mompous interest in
composition by saying Alors composez, composez!17

15

Santiago Kastner, Federico Mompou. (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones


Cientificas, 1946), 23.

16

Frieda Elaine Holland, Federico Mompou: A Performers Guide to the Songs for
Voice and Piano. DMA diss, (University of Texas, 1987), 4.

17

Christine Bendell, Federico Mompou: An Analytical and Stylistic Study of the


Canciones y Danzas for Piano, DMA diss, (University of Northern Colorado,
1983), 9.

16
Mompou began composing the very next day and the emphasis of his studies
changed from piano performance to composition. Although Mompou had a strong desire
to compose, but he was frustrated by the traditional rules of theory. His love of bells and
the sounds of octaves, perfect fifths, and perfect fourths were discouraged by the faculty
at the conservatory. Mompous composition studies with Pessard and Rousseau were also
frustrating and slow because each of the men had differing opinions about composition.
Eventually, Mompou found his own compositional style and the sounds of his childhood
played an important part in it. Mompous decided to use his own instinct, imagination,
and intelligence as his guides as a composer18 rather than relying on the opinions of his
professors at the conservatory.
While Mompou was beginning to compose more frequently in his free time, he
simultaneously continued his piano studies with famous piano pedagogue Isadore
Philipp. Philipps studio was full and he recommended that Mompou study with one of
his favorite and most respected students, Ferdinand Motte-Lacroix. 19 Motte-Lacroix
quickly became Mompous most important mentor, piano teacher, friend, and was an
avid champion of his music. Motte-Lacroix recognized the importance and beauty in
Mompous compositions and encouraged his unique personal musical aesthetic. MotteLacroix became the first performer and interpreter of Mompous piano pieces.
After deciding to become a composer, Mompou was required to move back to
Barcelona in 1913 for mandatory military service. The start of World War I in 1914
actually prevented a return to Paris until 1920. The six intervening years spent in

18

Christine Bendell, Federico Mompou: An Analytical and Stylistic Study, 11.

19

Christine Bendell, Federico Mompou: An Analytical and Stylistic Study, 10.

17
Barcelona were very important for Mompou. Rather than embracing the modern
movement in music that idealized the rapidly growing cosmopolitan city of Barcelona,
Mompou sought to compose music that looked to the past rather than the present. He
wished to return to primitive musical forms and to find pure music. He believed the
soul should react to the music rather than an intellectual or rational approach to the
music. Mompou therefore described his musical style as recomenament (to start over).
Although Mompou looked to the past for inspiration, he also greatly admired the
music of contemporaries Maurice Ravel, Erik Satie and the members of Les Six. He
found the writings and musical of Erik Satie to be particularly close to his own musical
philosophy. Satie championed simplicity and clarity in his own music and encouraged
fellow French composers to do the same. Shared musical characteristics between Satie
and Mompou include the use of single numbers indicating meter, lack of barlines,
uncomplicated rhythms, and two or three- voice textures.
Lionel Salter writes that Mompous expressiveness is achieved through lyricism,
simplicity, by adapting popular melodies, by abandoning development and consciously
neglecting bar lines and key signatures.20 His primitivism was contemporary in nature,
and his creativeness is seen in his melody, harmony, rhythm and form. Above all, he
wanted his music to be meaningful to himself and to the listener.
Mompou returned to Paris in 1920 in conjunction with his first published piece
for piano, Cants magics. Cants magics was dedicated to Ferdinand Motte-Lacroix.
Lacroixs introduced Mompous music to noted French music critic and musicologist,

20

Lionel Salter, Mompou, Federico in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and
Musicians, 20 vols, 6th ed., ed. Stanley Sadie (London: Macmillan Publishers,
Ltd, 1980), 12:476.

18
Emile Vuillermoz. Impressed by the music, Vuillermoz wrote very positive reviews of it
for Le Temps. Ferdinand Motte-Lacroix was furthering Mompous success by performing
much of his music in concerts throughout Paris. The publicity created by Vuillermoz and
Motte-Lacroix helped Mompou achieve moderate success and fame in Paris.
In 1921, Mompou traveled to London on tour but he did not perform many
concerts. He returned to Barcelona in 1922 and then moved back to Paris in 1923. He
stayed in Paris for the next eighteen years. Upon his return to Paris, Mompou suddenly
found himself at the center of attention. He performed regularly in the salons of Baroness
Roberta de Rothschild and Princess Bassiano. During these years in Paris, he also met
fellow compatriot Ricardo Vies, who frequently performed Mompous works in recital.
The first years of the 1920s in Paris were busy for Mompou. He was welcomed
in some of the most aristocratic social circles in Paris. His social life was never dull and
he continued developing his compositional style. During these early years in Paris, he
composed the piano pieces Dialogues, Souvenirs de lexposition, Seis preludios,
Variaciones sobre un tema de chopin, Canciones y Danzas numbers 3 and 4, and the
songs of Quatre melodies, Canoneta incerta, and Trois Comptines.
In spite of his success, Mompou became increasingly unhappy and withdrawn. He
was overwhelmed by the continuous social events and spectacles in Paris. He decreased
the frequency of his performances and when he presented concerts, it was for small,
private audiences consisting mostly of sculptors, painters, and writers.21 In many ways
life in Paris did not suit his introverted, reflective and meditative nature. Mompou desired
more solitude and his schedule in Paris did not leave him much personal time.

21

Christine Bendell, Federico Mompou: An Analytical and Stylistic Study, 13.

19
Mompous growing unhappiness resulted in fewer new compositions. He did not
write or publish any music between 1931 and 1937. In 1941, he moved back to Barcelona
and resumed composing. Mompou thereafter led a quiet life with occasional
performances and compositions, including his most famous song set, Combat del Somni.
Occasionally, Mompou would travel Europe on tour performing his own compositions.
Mompou took a European tour in 1955 with pianist Carmen Bravo, his former
student from the Barcelona Conservatory. Mompou and Bravo fell in love and were
married late in 1955. They resided in Barcelona and both taught at the conservatory.
Mompou rarely traveled outside Barcelona thereafter, except for three trips to New York.
In 1970, he performed at the inauguration of the Spanish Institutes Lucrezia Bori
Auditorium.22 He visited the United States again in 1973 for the American premiere of
his oratorio, Los Improperios, sponsored by the Oratorio Society of New York.23 In
March 1978, Mompou returned to the United States for a third time, this time to play a
concert at Alice Tully Hall featuring his Canciones y Danzas, Cants Magics, two
preludes, Suburbis, and three pieces from Scenes denfants. Donal Henahan of The New
York Times reviewed Mompous performance at his birthday celebration very positively
saying,
[Mompou] championed more than a dozen of his pieces in the delicate and yet
austere keyboard manner that is virtually synonymous with his name among
pianists. Mr. Mompou, a tall and aristocratic-looking man is a master. His music,
though cast in a bygone salon style, precisely reflects the man, which is rare in a
time of impersonal virtuosity among composers. His pieces had a gentleness and
poignancy that disarmed and were played freely, fluently, and gracefully. Before
each piece, he thought for a moment, and then embarked on music that he might
22

Soria, Artist Life, MA-6.

23

Raymond Ericson, Compatriots Offer Homage to Mompou, The New York Times, 24
March 1978, sec. 3, C6.

20
have written anything up to sixty years ago as if he were improvising it on the
spot for his and a few friends pleasure. 24
During the same concert, Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha premiered Mompous
Cancion y Danza No. 14 and tenor Jos Carreras joined de Larrocha for a performance of
the song set Combat del Somni.
Shortly after the 1978 trip to New York, Mompou suffered a severe stroke that
limited his activities. He remained in Barcelona for the rest of his life and continued
teaching, performing only occasionally. Mompou received several important accolades
during his lifetime. He was awarded the National Music Prize of Spain in 1946 and was
elected to Spains Royal Academy of San Jorge in 1952. Also in 1952 he received the
French titles of Officer dAcademie and Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.25 In 1959
Mompou was named a Correspondent of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San
Fernando, and served for many years on the Executive Committee of the Spanish division
of the International Society of Contemporary Music. He received the Premio Nacional de
Musica in 1979 for the universal significance of his work.26 Mompou also received
gold medals from the Gobierno de la Generalitat de Barcelona and the Academia de
Bellas Artes de Madrid in 1980, the Universidad Menndez Pelayo in 1982, the Sociedad
General de Autores in 1984, and the Ciudad de Barcelona in 1986.27 Mompou died at the
age of ninety-four on June 30, 1987 in Barcelona.

24

Donal Henahan, Countrymen Pay Homage to Mompou, The New York Times, 27
March 1978, sec. 3, p. C16.

25

Antonio Iglesias, Federico Mompou (Su obra para piano), (Madrid: Editorial Alpuerto,
1976), 15.

26

Toms Marco, Spanish Music in the Twentieth Century, 70.

21
CHAPTER 2
SIX SONGS OF THE COMPTINES
These six songs and poems by Mompou are drawn largely from childhood games,
dances, and songs. They were composed in two groups of three songs each. The first set
including Dalt dun cotxe, Margot la pie, and He vist dins la lluna was composed
in 1931, followed by the second set including Aserrin, Aserran, Petite fille de Paris,
and Pito, pito, colorito in 1955.
The brief poems include counting games and morality stories with additions of
nonsensical Catalan and French words. The first and last song of each set is in Catalan
and the second song of each set is in French. The six Comptines are characterized by
ostinati, limited vocal ranges, and diatonic and modal harmonies. A prominent melodic
feature is a descending minor third with an embellishing upper neighbor, a melodic
characteristic that Adam Kent has identified in many Catalan folk songs. Furthermore,
this descending minor third motive is heard and seen in many childrens songs from
around the world.28
The six Comptines are the least difficult of Mompous songs and are especially
appropriate for beginning students learning about basic vocal technique, and breath
support, as well as beginning to develop foreign linguistic skills. The vocal ranges are
about an octave and the tessituras are largely in middle voice, providing opportunities to
practice transitions to consistent head register. The melodies of these songs are stepwise,
conjunct, and tuneful. The harmonies are largely diatonic and though the songs
27

Kent, Adam. The Use of Catalan Folk Materials in the Works of Federico Mompou
and Joaquin Nin-Culmell. DMA diss, (Julliard School, 1999), 86.

28

Adam Kent, The Use of Catalan Folk Materials, 58.

22
sometimes feature chromaticism, the harmonic language is generally comprehensible in
one or two hearings. The possibility of learning melodies and harmonies quickly allows
young singers to focus on specific on vocal skills including consistent breath
management, sustaining legato melodic lines, and concentrating on interpretation.
When dynamics are marked in the score, they range from forte to mezzo-forte,
with a few piano markings. The moderate dynamic level allows singers to sustain a solid,
supported, and resonant sound while offering opportunities for dynamic contrast. The
texts contain imaginative, vibrant, and concrete images, making them immediately
accessible for performers and especially for young singers.
Dalt dun cotxe
Date: 1931
Language: Catalan
Range: B3 E5
Tessitura: A4 B-flat4
Meter: None indicated
Tempo: Gai. Quarter-note equals 120.
Form: Through composed
Poet: Federico Mompou
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

23
Dalt dun cotxe

On a buggy

Dalt dun cotxe nhi ha una nina


que en repica els cascabells.
Trenta, quaranta,
lametlla amarganta,
el pinyol madur:
ves-ten tu.

On a buggy theres a girl


ringing little bells.
Thirty, forty,
the almond is bitter,
the kernel ripe.
Be off with you!

The light and playful sentiment of the song is introduced by the piano. One
immediately hears the forte melodic and rhythmic ostinato that is the foundation of the
song. The ostinato is repeated a total of five times throughout the song by both voice and
piano. C major diatonic harmonies prevail throughout and the interesting color notes of
the harmonies include chromatic alterations of the pitches A-flat and B-flat (scale degrees
6 and 7). The sound of clanging bells in an ostinato that vascillates between D5 and A4 in
the right hand of the accompaniment (see Example 1, m.2).

24
Example 1. Mompou, Dait dun cotxe, Measures 23.

The highly repetitive vocal melody features the descending minor third with an
upper neighbor motive used exclusively in the song (see Example1, m.2). Comprised of
just four notes, this melody has the smallest vocal range of all Mompous songs. The
undulating melody moves only a few notes below and above the tonal center of G4. The
rhythm of the vocal line is influenced by the syllabification of the text. The steady eighth
notes provide a steady pulse for the duration of the song. The flow of the song is
interrupted by rhythmic augmentation and a few retenu markings at the ends of phrases.
Margot la pie
Date of publication: 1931
Language: French
Range: E4 E5
Tessitura: A4 B4

25
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Un peu majesteux. Quarter-note equals 60.
Form: Ternary ABA
Poet: Federico Mompou
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Margot la pie

Margot the magpie

Margot la pie a fait son nid


dans la cour David.
David lattrape,
lui couple la patte;
ric-rac, ric-rac,
comme une patate.

Margot the magpie built her nest


in Davids courtyard.
David catches her,
cuts off her leg,
snip-snip, snip-snip,
like a potato.

In contrast to Dalt un cotxe, the second song of this set is stately, reserved, and
somber in character. A brief three-note introduction leads to an immediate vocal entrance,
accccompanied by steady, percussive sounds in the piano. The A melodic minor diatonic
harmonies are used consistently throughout the song. Frequent chromatic alternations
between F to F-sharp and G to G-sharp give the song a distinct sense of changing
sonorities. In spite of the numerous chromatic alterations, the sonority of the piece
remains constant and steady.
Although the melody of this song has a total range of an octave, a large portion of
the vocal melody moves in stepwise motion. The emotional and dramatic climax of the
text is achieved through melodic leaps accompanying the text ric-rac (snip-snip), as
shown in mm. 30 31 of Example 2. The statement of ric-rac is a particularly effective
use of text painting through the crisp [k] of rac and the following rest in both voice and

26
piano. Ric-rac and the following silence helps create the morbid image of the birds
appendages being deliberately and swiftly snipped off. The fate of Margot the Magpie
serves as a warning and provides a consequence to any misbehaving children.

Example 2. Mompou, Margot la pie, Measures 2635.

A steady and almost plodding rhythm marked by a quarter-note pulse permeates


the entire song. The percussive effect of the piano is achieved through the sixteenthdotted eighth-note combination occurring on beats one and three of each measure. The
rhythmic motion is quickened during a piano interlude marked moins lent but returns to
the opening tempo with the return of the voice line in m. 26. Most phrase endings are
accompanied by retenu markings and a slight lull in the motion of the song.
He vist dins la lluna
Date of publication: 1931

27
Language: Catalan
Range: B3 E5
Tessitura: A4 B-flat4
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Vif. Quarter-note equals 132.
Form: Ternary, ABA
Poet: Federico Mompou
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

He vist dins la lluna


He vist dins la lluna
tres petits conills
que menjaven prunes
com tres desvergonyits.
La pipa a la boca
i la copa als dits,
tot dient: Mestressa,
poseu-nos un got
ben ple de vi.

I saw in the moon


I saw in the moon
three little rabbits
eating plums
like three naughty boys.
Pipe in mouth,
cup in hand,
they all say: Mistress,
pour us a glass
brimming with wine.

The playful and energetic melody is reminiscent of the first song in this set. This
song is marked by dance-like rhythms and repetitive motives. G major diatonic
harmonies prevail for the duration of the song although no key signature is indicated in
the score. The bass line of the accompaniment features an ostinato alternating between
perfect fifths, largely between G2 and D3 (see Example 3). The alternation between G-D
and other fifth dyads, plus the metrically accented position of the G-D dyad, functions to
perpetually confirm G as the tonic.

28
Example 3. Mompou, He vist dins la lluna tres, Measures 913.

The melody of this song again features the motive of a descending minor third
embellished by an upper neighbor. The melody features a total vocal range of an octave,
but unlike the earlier songs in the set, it introduces more leaps into the vocal melody.
Specifically, this song emphasizes intervallic leaps of perfect fifths. The tessitura of the
song lies largely in middle voice, with the climax of the melody occurring with the
highest pitches of the song.
The rhythm of the song is marked Vif and the pulse is sustained by steady pulse of
eighth notes. The upbeat tempo provides an opportunity for young singers is to practice
clearly enunciating text while working to sustain a legato melody that contains some
small intervallic leaps and increased rhythmic activity. The Vif marking at the beginning
of the song is interrupted several times with ritardando at phrase endings and followed
by a return to a tempo in the following phrase.
Aserrn, Aserrn
Date of publication: 1943
Language: Catalan
Range: D4 G5

29
Tessitura: G4
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Tempo di Marcia
Form: Ternary ABA
Poet: Federico Mompou
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Aserrn, Aserrn

Sawing Song

Aserrn, Aserrn,
Los maderos de San Juan.
Los de arriba sierra bien
Y los de abajo tambin.
Al mila no, qu le dan?
Bello titas con el pan.
Por la noche pan y pera,
O otra noche pera y pan.
Aserrn, Aserrn,
Los maderos de San Juan.

Saw away, saw away


At the logs of Saint John.
Those on top saw well
And those on bottom too.
What do they feed the kite?
Little acorns with bread.
Bread with pears at night,
And the net night pears with bread.
Saw away, saw away
At the logs of Saint John.

The second set of Comptines begins with Aserrin, Aserran, a song that features
two distinct sections varying in melodic contour and dynamic contrasts. Quartal chords,
which seem to imitate bells, introduce the G natural minor diatonic harmonies with a
forte dynamic and a marching rhythmic motion. Example 4 shows the two motives,
beginning with an undulating two-measure motive that is repeated twice in mm.5-8. In
the next four measures, a rising, stepwise pentachord motive is repeated (see Example 4,
mm. 9-12). The end of the A section concludes with an imperfect authentic cadence with
scale degree five in the melody.

30

Example 4. Mompou, Asserin, Asseran, Measures 112.

The contrasting B section begins in measure 14, featuring a pi espressivo


marking, a higher vocal tessitura, contrasting piano dynamics, and a harmonic shift. The
introduction of E-flat in both the voice and piano harmony indicate C minor subdominant
harmonies as shown in Example 5, mm.14-17. This harmonic shift between sections of
the song creates a new effect not yet heard or seen in the previous songs in the set of
Comptines. Although G natural minor and C minor are closely related, the tonicization
creates a new and important color simply by departing from the previously established
tonic. The G natural minor mode creates a distinct harmonic color from the first set of
Comptines.

31
Example 5. Mompou, Aserrin, Aserran, Measures 1317.

An undulating melody features ascending leaps of fourths and briefly rises to a


high G5, the highest pitch employed in all of the Comptines. The piano dynamics in the B
section present a potential performance challenge, especially for a young singer, as it can
be more difficult to sustain subdued dynamics while singing in a higher tessitura.
The Tempo di Marcia is steady throughout the A section of the song, but the B
section gives way to pi espressivo and a more relaxed tempo. In terms of phrase
endings, fewer retenu markings appear at individual phrase endings in comparison to the
first set of Comptines. Asserin, Asseran features irregular nine-measure phrases.
However, the sections are equally balanced as both the A and B sections each contain
nine measures. The conclusion of the song includes truncated repetitions from both the A
and B sections and the song closes with a final repetition of Aserrin, aserran los maderos
de San Juan.
Petite fille de Paris
Date of publication: 1943
Language: French
Range: C4 E5

32
Tessitura: A4
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Andante
Form: Ternary ABA
Poet: Federico Mompou
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Petite fille de Paris

Little Parisian Girl

Petite fille de Paris,


prte-moi tes souliers gris.
Prte-noi tes souliers gris
pour aller en Paradis.
Nous irons un un
dans le chemin des Saints,
deux deux
dans le chemin des cieux.

Little Parisian girl,


lend me your grey shoes.
Lend me your grey shoes
to go to Paradise.
Well go one by one
on the pathway of the saints,
and two by two
on the pathway in the sky

The opening six measures of Petite fille de Paris sounds like a continuation of
Asserin, Asseran when the songs are heard in successive order because the bass line
repeats the same notes as presented in the melody of Assern, Asseran. This musical
link between the two songs supports the performance of the songs as a complete set. The
single melody line in the left hand recalls the modal G harmonies of the previous song.
Following the introduction, a steady chordal texture is used continuously in the
accompaniment. Although the harmonies revolve around G, this song employs some
chromatic alterations and mode mixtures. A majority of the song is a combination of G
minor and G natural minor modes. The presence of B-flat, as seen in measure7, indicates
G minor harmonies (see Example 6). However, Example 6 also shows an F-natural found

33
in measure 9 and indicates G natural minor mode. The third scale degree is altered
frequently throughout the song and the chromatic alteration of scale degree three, in this
case, between B-flat and B-natural, is one of the distinguishing harmonic characteristics
of Catalan music as described by musicologist Gilbert Chase. He writes, The third step
of the scale, both in major and minor, is frequently altered, and the tonic is often raised or
lowered.29

Example 6. Mompou, Petite fille de Paris, Measures 116.

The syllabic and stepwise melody of this song has a range of an octave and a
third. The vocal range from C5 to E5 allows a young soprano or tenor to practice making
smooth transitions into passaggio. The melody begins with subdued, piano dynamics that
29

Gilbert Chase, The Music of Spain, (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1959), 236.

34
are well suited for middle voice range. An implied crescendo occurs in the melody as the
pitches ascend to D5 and E5, the high point of the phrase in pitch and dynamics. The
final vocal phrases again feature truncations of opening melodic material. The final six
measures of the song close with an exact repetition of the opening six bars of the piano.
Pito, pito colorito
Date of publication: 1943
Language: Catalan
Range: B3 E5
Tessitura: A4 B-flat4
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Allegretto
Form: Through composed
Poet: Federico Mompou
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Pito, pito colorito

Pito, pito full of colors

Pito, pito colorito,


dnde vas t tan bonito?
Pito, pito colorito,
dnde vas t tan bonito?
A la acera
Verdadera.
Pim, pom, fuera.

Pito, pito full of colors


Where are you going, my pretty one?
Pito, pito full of colors
Where are you going, my pretty one?
To the pavement
I swear I am.
Pim, pom, out!

The conclusion of the Comptines is characterized by youthful energy, bright


colors and good cheer. This through-composed song in A major is repeated twice. A

35
sense of excitement and anticipation is created through the use of grace notes before
almost every beat in the accompaniment, as seen in Example 7. The chordal
accompaniment supports the undulating melody by providing an ostinato with a steady
eighth note pulse. The diatonic harmonies feature some chromatic alterations for color.

Example 7. Mompou, Pito, pito, colorito, Measures 47.

The melody spans an octave and lies largely in a comfortable middle range and is
marked with a mezzo-forte dynamic that is a comfortable level for a young singer. The
tune is characterized by skips of both ascending and descending thirds which move in
steady eighth note rhythms. The melody begins on an upbeat, creating a slight sense of
rhythmic displacement and is a little unexpected as most of the other melodies of the
Comptines have started on downbeats.
The Allegretto tempo is steady and a lull in the motion occurs only in conjunction
with the final phrase of this very brief composition when a meter change from 2/4 to 3/4
occurs in the final vocal phrase. The meter change occurs to accommodate the increased
number of syllables in the phrase. In addition, the last vocal line is the climax of the song
and is highlighted by rhythmic augmentation. The steady eighth notes change to quarter

36
notes with tenuto markings to accentuate the end of the song (see Example 8). A six
measure piano postlude in the second ending concludes the set by fading away to
nothing.

Example 8. Mompou, Pito, pito colorito, Measures 816.

Summary
The Comptines provide a wonderful introduction to Mompous vocal repertoire.
The songs contain many essential musical characteristics that are also seen in his other
vocal compositions. The sets were composed in two groups separated by nearly twenty
years. The sets are grouped together largely because of similar musical and textual
characteristics rather than specific musical motives or key organization. All six songs can

37
be performed together in order as indicated by the composer, or the six songs can be
divided into two individual sets, or individual songs can be performed on their own.
Performing the songs as a set helps gives young singers an opportunity to build stamina
and concentration in performance.

38
CHAPTER 3
SEVENTEEN SONGS
The following seventeen songs are the largest group of songs and contain more
difficult technical and dramatic challenges for singers. The compositions remain tonal,
but the harmonies are increasingly complex. Chromaticism, modal mixture, accidentals,
major-minor chords, and added note chords are a few of the harmonic devices used in
these songs. The harmonies of the songs often appear more complex than they are
because many of the songs lack a key signature. Although tonal centers are established in
each of these songs, the initial sense of tonal center is obscured because of shifting
harmonies and chromaticism. In addition, tonal centers often shift between adjacent
individual phrases or between sections of songs.
The melodies in these songs encompass large vocal ranges and contain some high,
sustained tessituras requiring excellent breath management. The melodies are varied,
ranging in contour from conjunct, stepwise lines to disjunct, leaping and chromatic lines.
These songs employ a wide range of dynamics, with special emphasis on piano. The
piano accompaniments are supportive of the voice, often doubling the melody in octaves,
or echoing the melody in interludes. Whil the the piano largely supports the vocal lines,
there is a greater degree of independence between both parts. Many of these songs feature
piano interludes ranging from a few brief measures to lengthy solos of more than twenty
measures.
A majority of these seventeen songs are lento with the remainder of the songs
employing variety in tempo. Rhythms are not difficult and are predominantly notated in
eighth notes, quarter notes, and half notes. Only rarely are sixteenth notes used in the

39
vocal lines. Occasionally, a flourish of thirty-second notes occurs in the piano
accompaniment. These songs share ritardando at most phrase endings and are followed
by a return to a tempo in the following phrases or sections. The rhythms of the vocal
melody closely follow the syntax of the language. Much of the poetry is highly
contemplative and introspective, reflecting composers own introspective and thoughtful
personality.
Lhora grisa
Date of publication: 1915
Language: Catalan
Range: C4 G5
Tessitura: B4
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Lento
Form: ABCAD
Poet: Manuel Blancafort (1897-1987) was a self-taught composer and poet. A close
friend of Mompou, Blancafort was introduced to the music of the French impressionists
by Mompou.30 Blancafort traveled throughout much of Europe and incorporated many
popular events into his own musical style the sounds of the circus and the street became
an important influence in his compositions. Blancafort received several honors for his
compositions, including the National Prize in 1949 for the Quartet in C and the Orfo

30

A. Menndez Aleyxandre and Antoni Piz. "Blancafort, Manuel." In Grove Music


Online. Oxford Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/
music/03217 (accessed March 19, 2012).

40
Catal prize in 1965 for the cantata Virgo Maria. In 1986 he was awarded Barcelonas
Golden Medal.
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes.

Lhora grisa

The grey hour

Tot dorm a lhora grisa,


Els arbres, les muntanyes,
Els ocells, el vent!
Solament el fum fa son cam lentamente,
Amunt, amunt, com loraci.
Ms tard, quan el cel sapagui,
Sortir una estrelleta dor.
Tot dorm a lhora grisa,
Els arbres, les muntanyes,
Els ocells, el vent!

All is asleep in the grey hour,


The trees, the mountains,
The birds, the wind!
Only the smoke moves slowly
Upwards, upwards like a prayer.
Later, when the sky grows dark,
A tiny golden star will appear.
All is asleep in the grey hour,
The trees, the mountains,
The birds, the wind!

Composed amidst the events of World War I, this song was written in
Barcelona while Mompou was in between his studies in Paris. This sectional song reflects
the ambiguity of uncertain times, expressing wistful and nostalgic sentiments. The
opening chords of the A section provide an unsettled feeling and give way to an initial
vocal line that consists of only three notes. Tritones mark the opening chords in the piano
and the voice, but the traditional striking dissonance of the interval is softened because
the chords function as unresolved dominant-seventh chords (see Example 9). The melody
of the A section consists of only three notes, most prominently featuring the tritone leap
between B4 and F4, also shown in mm.5-8 of Example 9. The undulating melody pivots
around B4 moving only between three notes for the A section.

41
Example 9. Mompou, Lora grisa, Measures 18.

The mood and intensity of the song changes beginning in m. 18 of the B section.
Here a brief section of bitonality is used as the quartal chords of the piano imply F modal
harmonies while the melodic arpeggios indicates C major (see Example 10, mm. 19-20).

Example 10. Mompou, Lhora grisa, Measures 1926.

The rhythmic intensity increases in this section by transitioning from a static half
note texture to a more active quarter note pulse in the accompaniment. The high point of
the song is achieved in the B section through the rising vocal line, a crescendo from
piano to forte, and a ritardando indicated in mm. 24-26, as shown in Example 10.

42
The C section brings the return of static harmonies and a less dramatic vocal
range and dynamic. The A section returns with a text repetition of the opening phrase to
and a return of the opening tritone. The final D section of the song introduces new
melodic material is characteristic of the end of the sardana, a traditional and popular
dance of Catalunya. It is thought the brief musical reference to the sardana reflects
Mompous nostalgia for his homeland.31
Quatre Mlodies
Mompou wrote the poems of these four songs while living in Barcelona, around
the same time he composed Lhora grisa. The songs were composed later in 1931 and
appear in publication in the original Catalan texts and also have been translated into
French. The sentiments of the poetry again are sadly nostalgic, in part because they were
written during the years of World War I.32
Rosa del cam
Date of publication: 1931
Language: Catalan and French
Range: G4 E5
Tessitura: B4
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Trs calme
Form: Through Composed
Poet: Federico Mompou

31

Freida Elaine Holland, Federico Mompou: A Performers Guide, 55.

32

Clara Jans, La Vida Callada, 105.

43
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Rosa del cam

Rose of the path

En dol desmai durant la nit


a sobre del bosc ha caigut una estrella.
De bon mat jo trobar una rosa
sobre el meu cam

In a sweet swoon during the night,


upon the forest a star has fallen.
At early morning I shall find a rose
on my path.

Sparse, minimal and highly repetitive textures characterize this very brief song.
The opening chord is repeated in nearly every measure of the entire song. Example 11
shows the opening E-F-sharp-A sonority that is played in sixteen measures of the twentyseven measure song.

Example 11. Mompou, Rosa del cami, Measures 19.

44
Example 11 also shows the highly static melody that features the entire vocal
range of a sixth. The short two-bar phrases have minimal melodic motion reflecting the
trs calme indication and are consistent with the repetitive harmonies. The remainder of
the song is nearly identical to the opening nine measures.
Cortina de fullatge
Date of publication: 1931
Language: Catalan and French
Range: F-sharp4 F5
Tessitura: C5
Meter: 4/4
Tempo: Lentement
Form: Through composed
Poet: Federico Mompou
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Cortina de fullatge

Curtain of leaves

Encara veig al lluny els llums


de ma ciutat.
I el nostre petit niu
amagat entre el ramatge.

Still I see in the distance


the light of my city.
And our little nest
concealed between branches.

S que la lluna
s al darrera daquests arbres.
I en la penombra daquest bosc
jo puc fer entrar
una carcia de llum tendra
sobre else tues ulls
tan sols obrint una cortina de fullatge.

I know that the moon


is behind these trees.
And in the shadow of this forest
I can let in
a tender caress of light
upon your eyes,
purely by parting a curtain of leaves.

45
Contrasting with the unchanging harmonies of Rosa del cami, this song shifts
tonal centers multiple times and obscures a clear sense of key center as demonstrated by
the first two vocal phrases that move up in tonal center by a half-step. The chordal
accompaniment does not double the melody in the top voice of the piano, but the textures
are supportive of the voice. The first four phrases in the song each feature a different
tonal center. The melody of the first phrase is in A-flat minor (mm. 2-5) and the second
phrase is sequenced up a step in B-flat minor (mm. 6-9) as shown in Example 12. The
next two vocal phrases introduce new harmonies as well, this time featuring A minor and
B minor harmonies that correspond with new melodic material.

Example 12. Mompou, Cortina de fullatge, Measures 19.

46
The unifying features of the song are the rhythmic and melodic contours.
Example 12 also shows that the first (mm. 2-5) and second (mm. 6-9) vocal phrases share
almost identical melodic intervals and rhythms. The opening vocal phrases are marked
with tenuto accents and a longue indication. The syllabic text has a slightly greater range
than Rosa del cami and the tessitura is slightly higher as well. The song concludes with
new melodic material and some text painting as sixteenth-note arpeggiations imitate the
rustling of leaves in the forest.
Incertitud
Date of publication: 1931
Language: Catalan and French
Range: F-sharp4 F-sharp5
Tessitura: D5
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Lent
Form: Through Composed
Poet: Federico Mompou
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Incertitud

Uncertainty

Incertitud del meu cam.


Del meu amor tot linfinit,
destrelles nest escrit.
Claror dels camps, claror de nit.
Claror de cel, sobre un desig.

Uncertainty of my path.
The utter infinity of my love
is written in the stars.
Light in the fields, splendor of night.
Splendor of the sky over a wish.

47
At just twenty-two measures in length, this is the shortest song in Mompous
vocal repertoire. As also seen in Rosa del cami, the opening the chords of this song are
repeated frequently in this song. The opening chord of the song indeed gives a sense of
uncertainty, as the dissonant chords contain two sets of tritones with an added note. These
opening chords can also be interpreted as a whole tone scale starting on B-flat ascending
to F-sharp. The whole tone scale (WT0) outlines B-flat, C, D, E, F-sharp, but is lacking
G-sharp (see Example 13, mm. 1-2).

Example 13. Mompou, Incertitude, Measures 18.

The brevity of the song leaves little time for growth and development, so brief
melodic motives are used as unifying features. The melody of the song features
descending minor thirds with embellishing upper neighbor motive, as seen in mm. 3-6 in

48
Example 13. This four measure phrase is repeated again later. The piano texture is again
chordal and features slur markings that imply a ringing and resonant sound. Once again
similar to Cortina de fullatge, the last five measures of the song contain arpeggiated
triplets that are again imitative of rustling leaves.
Neu
Date of publication: 1931
Language: Catalan and French
Range: E-flat4 E-flat5
Tessitura: B-flat4
Meter: 3/4
Tempo: Modre
Form: Through Composed
Poet: Federico Mompou
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Neu

Snow

No s neu, sn flors de cel.


Cor meu com te desfulles.
Sn fulls de ma vida esquinats.
Plugeta de paper blanc.
No s neu, sn flors de cel.
Dolor, com te desfulles.
Ai! Quina tristesa fa.

Not snow but flowers from the sky.


O my heart, how you are unleaving!
Lacerated pages from my life.
Fine rain of white paper.
Not snow but flowers from the sky.
O suffering, how you are unleaving.
Ah, how sad!

This melancholy conclusion to the song set is also the most lyrical and tuneful.
This is the only song of the Quatre Mlodies to have a designated key signature.

49
Although E-flat minor diatonic harmonies are consistent throughout the song, there are
also many chromatic alterations. The chordal textures progress in slow harmonic rhythm
and the accompaniment frequently doubles the voice.
The melody features legato stepwise four bar phrases that are echoed by the
piano, as seen in Example 14. The seeming call and response alternation of the piano and
voice continues until the final three lines of text starting in m. 34. The solo piano
response echoes the sentiments expressed by the voice and provides time for
introspection.

Example 14. Mompou, Neu, Measures 113.

The slow rhythm of the piece remains steady throughout the song. The static
nature of the rhythm is felt through the repeated chords and the pattern of four bar
phrases by voice and the four bar response by the piano. The climax of the song coincides
with the final three phrases of text and increased rhythmic intensity. The grief expressed

50
in the poetry is intensified by a repetition of the text No s neu, sn flors de cel and a
rising melodic line that lies a perfect fourth higher than the first statement of the phrase.
The song fades away and returns back to a subdued dynamic as the piano fades away to
nothing.
Canoneta incerta
Date of publication: 1926
Language: Catalan
Range: F-sharp4 E5
Tessitura: B4
Meter: 2/4
Rhythm: Moderato. Quarter-note equals 46.
Form: Ternary, ABA
Poet: Josep Carner (18841970) was dubbed the Prince of Poets by his Catalan
contemporaries and is best remembered for his poetry, prose, short stories and plays.
Carner, a writer and a lawyer, was a well-known in Barcelona because of his outgoing
personality, his exceptional skills as a linguist, and his enthusiasm for Catalan
nationalism. Carner, among others, believed that Catalan nationalism required a
language that was fit for generalized use and literary cultivation.33 Carner spent much of
his adult life absent from Catalunya because his political views and writings were in
opposition of the Spanish government. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, he fled
Barcelona only to return shortly before his death in 1970.

33

Jaume Subirana, Josep Carner, a Century of Catalan Culture, Lletra A Catalan


Literature Online. Accessed March 19, 2012.
http://www.lletra.net/en/author/josep-carner/detail.

51
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Canoneta incerta

Uncertain song

Aquest cam tan fi, tan fi,


qui sap on mena?
Es a la vila o s al pi
de la carena?

This path so narrow,


who knows where it leads?
To the town or to the pine
on the mountainside?

Un lliri blau color de cel


diu vine, vine;
per, no passis diu un vel
de teranyina.

A sky-blue lily
says Come, come;
but Do not pass,
says a spiders web.

Ser drecera del gosat,


rossola ingrata
o b un cam denamorat
colgat de mata?
Es un recer per a dormer
qui passi pena?
Aquest cam tan fi, tan fi,
qui sap on mena?

Is this a short cut for the daring,


a slippery descent,
or is it a lovers path
covered with brush?
Is it a shelter to sleep
for one in pain?
This path so narrow,
who knows where it leads?

Qui sap si trist o somrient


acull a lhoste?
Qui sap si mor sobtadament
sota la brosta?

Who knows whether sad or smiling


it greets the traveler?
who knows if it dies of a sudden
beneath the thicket?

Qui sabia mai aquest cam,


a qu em convida?
I s cam incert cada mat,
ns cada vida.

Who would ever know this path,


know to what it invites me?
Every morning is an uncertain path,
and every life is too.

This song is another example of a contemplative text that questions the


uncertainties in life. Composed in ternary form, the song is in B phrygian mode with
many chromatic alterations. The slow and plodding motion of the opening quarter notes
is imtatative of traveling at a steady pace. Specifically, this sense of motion is achieved

52
through the wide leaps from C4 down to B2 in the left hand of the accompaniment (see
Example 15).

Example 15. Mompou, Canoneta incerta, Measures 15.

The harmonic structure of the first five measures continues steadily until m. 21
when a distinct harmonic shift occurs between B major and B minor. The juxtaposition of
these major and minor harmonies in the same bar creates an unusual harmonic color. This
particular passage increases the harmonic tension until the most strikingly dissonant
chord appears in measure 25 by way of an incomplete major-major seventh chord
consisting of E-natural, E-sharp, G-sharp, and D-sharp (see Example 16). In measure 26,
the D-sharp of the previous chord cluster is altered to D-natural, further emphasizing the
mode mixture in B from m. 21.

53
Example 16. Mompou, Canoneta incerta, Measures 2129.

The melody of Canoneta Incerta lies primarily in middle voice tessitura. The
syllabic melody is predominantly stepwise in contour with several leaps providing a
sense of forward motion. The harmony provides the most interest in the song and the
voice is able to rely on the accompaniment to create the lush timbres. The vocal melody
is largely doubled by the accompaniment. However, the performer must take care
alterations from to make clear and accurate pitch differentiations, especially in the
chromatic passages with the accidentals switching back and forth between D and Dsharp, as seen in Example 16, mm. 25-26.
The rhythm of the song relies on a steady quarter note pulse but the slow tempo
lends itself to subdividing into eighth notes to provide a sense of motion. This song is
unique because two separate metric values are assigned to separate sections. A slight

54
poco pi mosso indicated in measure 11 and this slight acceleration corresponds with the
beckoning of the blue lily to continue down the path (Un lliri blau color de cel diu vine,
vine). However, a slight ritardando in mm. 17-18 accompanies the spiders warning to
stay away (per, no passis diu un velde teranyina).The third stanza of poetry is set to
new music in the B section of the song, but it functions as transitional material and gives
way to the return of the A section and the final two stanzas of text. These final stanzas
share the same music as the opening section.
Combat del somni
The Combat del somni is one of Mompous best known song sets and features the
most well-known song, Damunt de tu noms les flors. As the first song of the set,
Damunt de tu noms les flors is most frequently performed by itself because of its
popularity and immediate charm. At a total of 107 measures, it is one of Mompous
longest songs. The first song of the Combat del somni is the most frequently recorded of
Mompous vocal compositions. The final song of the set, Fes me la vida transparent, is
also performed independently of the set, perhaps because it is stylistically different from
the other songs. The songs of this set were composed over a nine year span from 1942 to
1951. Although there are several more poems included in Josep Jans collection titled
Combat del somni, Mompou set only these four poems to music.
Damunt de tu noms les flors
Date of publication: 1942
Language: Catalan
Range: D4-G-flat5
Tessitura: C5

55
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Moderato
Form: Modified Strophic AAABA
Poet: Josep Jans (1913-1959) was a fervent partisan of Catalan culture and had
achieved a modest reputation as a poet writing in Catalan.34 Born in LHospitalet near
Barcelona, he remained a lifelong resident of Catalunya. He published three books of
poetry reflecting sentiments of youth, nature, and self introspection. Combat del somni
(Combat of the dream) is one of his most popular sets of poetry. The Jans family and
Mompou were close friends. They spent many hours together reading poetry and playing
music. Tragically, Janss life was cut short in a car accident in 1959.
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Damunt de tu noms les flors

Above you naught but flowers

Damunt de tu noms les flors.


Eren com una ofrena blanda:
la llum qu daven al teu cos
mai ms seria de la branca;

Above you naught but flowers.


They were like a white offering:
The light they shed on your body
will nevermore belong to the branch.

tota una vida de perfun


amb el seu bes tera donada.
Tu resplendies de la llum
per lesguard clos atresorada.

An entire life of perfume


was given you with their kiss.
You were resplendent in the light,
treasured by your closed eyes.

Si hagus pogut sser sospir de flor!


Donar-me, com un llir, a tu,
perqu la meva vida
sans marcint sobre el teu pit.
I no saber mai ms la nit,
que al teu costat fra esvada.

Could I have been the sigh of a flower!


Given myself as a lily to you,
that my life might
wither over your breast,
nevermore to know the night,
vanished from your side.

34

Janet Prez, Clara Jans, Dictionary of Literary Biography: Twentieth Century


Spanish Poets Second Series, Vol. 134, Ed. by Jerry Phillips Winfield, (Detroit,
MI: Gale Research Inc., 1994), 205.

56
This haunting and melancholy song portrays the deep grief and sorrow over the
loss of a loved one. F minor diatonic harmonies are consistent throughout the song and
the harmonies become increasingly chromatic in the piano interludes. Frequent use
ascending minor seconds, major-minor chords, and tritones combine to create striking
dissonances. Quartal and quintal harmonies occur in the piece and provide the bell-like
sonorities so admired by Mompou.
The undulating melody is immediately introduced in the arpeggiated piano texture
and followed by the voice. The melody is yet another example of the descending minor
third with embellishing upper neighbor commonly used in these songs. The use of this
motive is particularly striking because the upper neighbor tone creates a strong sense of
dissonance because it is a minor second (see Example 17). Many other examples of this
particular motive have featured major seconds as neighbor tones. The melody is the
unifying device in this song, and is shown in Example 17 in mm. 8-15. This melodic
motive is frequently repeated and altered in the successive stanzas of the song.

57
Example 17. Mompou, Damunt de tu noms les flors, Measures 615.

The piano plays an exceptionally important role in this song as it has some of the
longest interludes in all of Mompous songs. Example 18 shows one of the major piano
interludes and demonstrates how the small primary melodic motive of the song is
developed to create a constantly changing and captivating sound. The upper voice of the
piano features dissonant rising minor-seconds between F5 and G-flat5 while the inner
voice moves in contrary motion from D-flat, C-flat, and B-double flat. (see Example 18,
m. 24). The chord in m. 24 also shows an example of juxtaposing major-minor chords.
The initial chord on the downbeat is a B-flat minor seventh chord, spelled B-flat, D-flat,
F, and A-flat. On the second half of the beat, the third of the chord becomes D-natural,
now making a B-flat dominant seven chord. The remainder of the interlude is filled with
these types of harmonic variations. The interludes demonstrate a subtle and flexible
harmonic language as the harmonies slip in and out of harmonic stability by using
neighbor tones, counterpoint, and mode mixture.

58
Example 18. Mompou, Damunt de tu noms les flors, Measures 2135.

Aquesta nit un mateix vent


Date of publication: 1946
Language: Catalan
Range: C-flat4 F5
Tessitura: D-flat5
Meter: 3/4
Tempo: Andante plcido
Form: Strophic

59
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Aquesta nit un mateix vent

Tonight the same wind

Aquesta nit un mateix vent


una mateixa vela encesa
devein dur el tue pensament
el meu per mars on la tendresa

Tonight the same wind


And the same gleaming sail
Are bearing your thoughts
And mine across seas where tenderness

es torna msica I cristall.


El bes sens a feia transparncia
Si tu eres laigua, jo el mirall
Com si abracssim una absncia.

Turns to music and crystal light.


Our kiss became transparent
if you were the the water, I was the mirror
it was as though we embraced a void.

El nostre cel fra, poster,


un somni etern, aix, de besos
fets melodia, I un no ser
de cossos junts I dulls encesos
amb flames blanques, I un sospir
dacariciar sedes de llir?

Is our heaven, perhaps,


an eternal dream of kisses
made melody, an incorporeal union
with burning eyes
and white flames and a sigh
as if caressing silken lilies?

A rhythmic and dissonant two-voice texture is introduced in the piano featuring


the use of the large intervallic leaps in a wave-like contour and with dotted eighthsixteenth note rhythms. The effect of the rhythms and melody successfully imitate the
wind described in the first line of text. In keeping with the idea of wind, the harmonies in
this song are frequently changing and are highly chromatic. The initial four measures
introduce the rhythmic and melodic motive in what seems to be G harmonic minor, but
the harmonies are sequenced down by step to F harmonic minor as the voice makes its
first entrance. The voice echoes the piano by repeating the same intervallic leaps of sixths
and sevenths and dotted rhythms (see Example 19).

60
Example 19. Mompou, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, Measures 18.

One of the most intimate and tender moments of the song occurs in the second
stanza as the melody transitions to legato eighth notes intoned on a single pitch while
being supported by lush dotted half note chords. The harmonies resolve from unsettled,
disjunct sonorities to lush and consonant chords in the transition from m. 14 to m. 15.. In
addition, the rhythmic meter is altered from 3/4 to 4/4 marked with meno mosso (see
Example 20, mm. 14-15). The wind has calmed down and the text shines through at this
moment of repose El bes sens a feia transparncia Si tu eres laigua, jo el mirall
(Our kiss became transparent if you were the water I was the mirror).

61
Example 20. Mompou, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, Measures 1317.

Two rhythmic characteristics are used on this song, varied by stanza and
reflecting the meaning of the text. The opening rhythmic motives maintain the steady
dotted eighth-sixteenth note combination in contrast to the calm static chords of the B
section. The final stanzas of the song contain truncations of both the A and B sections
and conclude on a consonant B-flat major chord.
Jo et pressentia com la mar
Date of publication: 1948
Language: Catalan
Range: D-sharp4 G5
Tessitura: C5
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Andantino. Quarter-note equals 90.

62
Form: Ternary ABA
Poet: Josep Jans
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Jo et pressentia com la mar

I sensed you were like the sea

Jo et pressentia com la mar


i com el vent, immense, lliure,
alta, damunt de tot atzar
i tot dest.

I sensed you were like the sea,


and like the wind, immense free,
towering above all hazard
and all destiny.

I en el meu viure, com el respire.


I ara que et tinc
veig com el somni et limitava.
Tu no ets un nom, ni un gest.
No vinc a tu com a la imatge blava
dun somni hum.

And in my life like breathing.


And now that I have you,
I see how limiting my dream had been.
You are neither name or gesture.
Nor do I come to you as a hazy image of a
human dream.

Tu no ets la mar,
que s presonera dins de platges,
tu no ets el vent, pres en lespai.

You are not the sea,


which is confined between beaches,
you are not the wind, caught in space.

Tu no tens limits;
No hi ha, encar, nots per a dir-te,
Ni paisatges per ser el tu mn
ni hi seran mai.

You are boundless;


there are as yet no words to express you,
nor landscapes to form your world
nor will there ever be.

The Dream Combat continues with another poem filled with images of the vast,
open spaces of the sea, dreams, and boundless landscapes. Divided into two main
sections the introduction begins with two measures of arpeggiated F-sharp minor chords.
The F-sharp minor harmonies are the basis for the entire song, although the B section of
the song explores more chromatic passages.
The melody consists of a three note motive made of notes F-sharp, C-sharp, and
B-natural. This primary wave-like motive emphasizes importance of the tonic and

63
dominant relationships and reflects the images of the water (see Example 21). The A
section of the song is firmly rooted in F-sharp minor, supported by the continuously
moving accompaniment.

Example 21. Mompou, Jo et pressentia com la mar, Measures 18.

The B section appears in sharp contrast to the undulating melody of the A section.
Example 22 shows the melody outlining a descending diminished chord and the
accompaniment changes to a pattern of descending pattern of sixteenth notes. Dissonant
tritones appear through the entire duration of the B section on the downbeats of each
measure starting in m. 19 (see Example 22). Each four measure phrase that follows the
example rises in pitch and increases in intensity until the climax of the song arrives on a
high G5. The climax in Jo et pressentia is one of the most sweeping and dramatic in all
of Mompous songs.

64
Example 22. Mompou, Jo et pressentia com la mar, Measures 1926.

A piano interlude concludes the B section and also re-introduces the A section
with a resolution back to F-minor arpeggiated chords and the primary melodic motive.
The song ends with the voice and piano in a molto ritardando as the dynamics fade to
piano and concludes again with a single note in the piano.
Fes-me la vida transparent
Date of publication: 1951
Language: Catalan
Range: B3 A-flat5
Tessitura: D-flat5
Meter: 4/4
Tempo: Lento. Eighth-note equals 100.
Form: Through composed
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Fes-me la vida transparent

Make my life transparent

Fes-me la vida transparent,


com els teus ulls;
torna ben pura la m meva,

Make my life transparent,


like your eyes;
make my hand wholly pure,

65
i al pensament
duu-mhi la pau.
Altra aventura no vull,
sin la de seguir
lestela blanca que neixia
dels teus camins.
I no llanguir
per ser mirall duns ulls.
Voldria ser com un riu oblidads
que es lliura al mar,
les aiges pures de tota imatge
amb un anhel de blau.
I ser llavors feli
de viure lluny damors obscures
amb lesperana del teu cel.

and to my thoughts
bring peace.
I desire no other adventure
than to follow
the white wake created
by your passage,
nor to languish
for being the mirror of your eyes.
I would wish to be like an oblivious river
that abandons itself to the sea,
the pure waters of every image,
yearning for the blue.
And to be happy then,
Living far from dark loves
with hope for your heaven.

Fes me la vida transparent, the final song of the Combat del somni, is set apart
from the other songs of the set for two noticeable reasons. First, the melody of Fes me la
vida is considerably more disjunct and chromatic than the other three songs. Secondly,
the piano accompaniment in Fes me la vida features static, steady block chords for the
duration of the song rather than the more common use of arpeggiated, diatonic chords.
Although the song begins and ends in B-flat major, numerous transitions to B-flat
minor and C-sharp minor are employed. The harmonies are often ambiguous because the
chords lack a third, in addition to having added notes. The scores appearance is filled
with many accidentals and changes frequently. The elusive and shifting harmonies reflect
the changing and transitory moments of sleep and dreams expressed in the poem.
The melodic motive is presented in the first three-bar vocal phrase. The disjunct
line contains leaps of fifths, fourths, and ninths. The first phrase is in B-flat minor and the
melodic motive changes slightly in m. 5, again by sequence of an enharmonic minor
third, to C-sharp minor (see Example 23). This melodic motive returns again at the end of

66
the piece with the return of familiar melodic material. The melody of Fes me la vida
contains the largest vocal range of the other songs of the Combat del somni.

Example 23. Mompou, Fes me la vida transparent, Measures 16.

The climax of the song occurs with an animando section from mm. 17-20. This
brief passage accelerates the rate of harmonic change through more saturated eighth-note
repetitions. The melody of this passage features ascending minor thirds accompanied by
chromatic hexachords (see Example 24). The animando marking and increased
chromaticism imitates the flow of the river emptying into the sea (Voldria ser com un
riu oblidads que es lliura al mar, les aiges pures de tota imatge).

67
Example 24. Mompou, Fes me la vida transparent, Measures 1620.

As seen in many of Mompous other songs, the return of the A section is ushered
in by a piano solo of the initial melodic material and followed by an abbreviated
statement of the voice as the sonorities conclude on a B-flat major chord.
Can de la fira
Date of publication: 1949
Language: Catalan
Range: D-sharp4 E5
Tessitura: B4 C-sharp5
Meter: 3/8 and 6/8
Tempo: Allegro ritmico and Tranquillo

68
Form: ABCA
Poet: Toms Garcs (1901-1993) was known as the Catalan poet of song35 because of
his frequent use of short regular verses. A native of Barcelona, Garcs earned law,
philosophy, and literature degrees at the University of Barcelona. Like many of his
colleagues, Garcs moved to France during the Spanish Civil War. He taught Spanish
language and literature at the University of Toulouse. He returned to Catalunya in 1947
and remained there until his death in 1993. In addition to being a lawyer, Garcs was an
active journalist, editor, literary critic, and translator.
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Can de la fira

Song of the fair

El seus tresors mostra la fira


perqu els agafis amb la m.
Jo sc cansat de tant mirar
i la meva anima sospira.
Cot de sucre, cavallets,
cntirs de vidre i arracades
lluen i salten fent ballades
entre el brogit dels platerets.
El teu esguard ple davidesa
un immortal design el mou.
Cerques un spectacle nou
ms amunt de la fira encesa?
Els estels punxen tot el cel.
Loreig escampa espurnes. Mira:
cam poc a poc es mor la fira
sota la llum daquell estel.
Glateixes per copsar lestrella?
Ai, que el design testreny el cor!

The fair displays its wonders


for you to grasp in either hand.
I am weary with so much gazing
and my soul sighs.
Candy-floss, merry-go-round,
jugs of glass and earrings
gleam and dance as they quiver
amid the clamour of cymbals.
Your gaze, brimming with eagerness,
craves an immortal wish.
Are you seeking a new spectacle
beyond the glowing fair?
The stars pierce the whole expanse of sky.
The breeze scatters the sparks. Look:
How gradually the fire dies
beneath the light of that star.
Do you yearn to catch the star?
Ah, desire clutches your heart!

35

Josep Mis, Toms Garcs, Associaci DEscriptors en Llengua Catalana


http://www.escriptors.cat/autors/garcest/pagina.php?id_sec=2604 (accessed 20
February 2012).

69
Mai ms voldrs la joia dor
ni la ralla del titella.

Never again will you crave golden jewel


or a clowns laughter.

Can de la fira evokes images of an exciting and action-packed journey to the


fair. The vibrant, lively, and vivid imagery of the text describes the whirling merry-goround, and all of the other spectacles associated with the summertime event. The action
of the poetry spans an entire day and depicts the transition from day to night. As one
might come to expect of Mompous songs, the poem also conveys the loss of childhood
innocence and wonder at an event that used to bring laughter and happiness, even if for a
fleeting moment.
The excitement of the fair is introduced in the piano by seven repetitions of Fsharp with marellato accents giving way to the primary key of B major. The repetitive
music is imitative of the spinning merry-go-round and an ostinato in the bass remains
firmly centered on B major harmonies. A new stanza of poetry shifts the harmonies of the
B section to the parallel minor mode of B minor.
Example 25 shows the songs primary three- note melodic motive (F-sharp, B,
and C-sharp) that is used exclusively in the first phrase. The melody pivots around B4
and moves in a circular motion imitating the whirling merry-go-round. This highly
rhythmic, repetitive motive occurs throughout the song in both major and minor modes
and shares similar characteristics with some of the melodies in the Comptines. Its melodic
emphasis on do-fa-sol is also reminiscent of the opening motives of Jo et pressentia and
Fes me la vida.

70
Example 25. Mompou, Can de la fira, Measures 113.

The greatest contrast in the song occurs as the evening stars fill the sky at the
beginning of the B section in m. 66. The tempo slows to a tranquillo, and the melody
changes from rhythmic and active lines with small skips to long, lyric, and legato phrases
descending by stepwise motion. The legato lines are enhanced with chromatic passing
tones. An example of this highly effective chromatic passing tone is seen in m. 68 and m.
72 as D-sharp slips down to D-natural in the melody of the voice and piano (see Example
26). Semplice and dolce are to be observed by both voice and piano as the text becomes
more introspective.

71
Example 26. Mompou, Can de la fira, Measures 6675.

A mention of a shooting star briefly prompts a return to primo tempo in m. 84


with the question Glateixes per copsar lestrella? (Do you yearn to catch that star?). In
spite of the excitement of the days events at the fair, the music slows with the indication
of meno mosso e pi nostalgico as a reminder that the innocence of childhood is fleeting
and too quickly gone.
Deux Mlodies
Mompou set two poems of Juan Ramon Jimnez (1881-1958), the famous
Andalusian poet. Jimnez wrote more than three hundred poems relating to many
common themes of nature, love, loss, and death. It seems only fitting that Mompou would
have been drawn to the deeply meaningful and thought-provoking themes found in
Jimnezs poetry.

72
Pastoral
Date of publication: 1945
Language: Catalan
Range: E4 F-sharp5
Tessitura: C-sharp5
Meter: 4/4
Tempo: Lento
Form: Through Composed
Poet: Juan Ramn Jimnez (1881-1958) dominated Spanish poetry for the first three
decades of the twentieth-century.36 He led a modern literary movement in his
Andalusian homeland and throughout all of Spain. Known to most of his countrymen as
Juan Ramn, he was inspired by French Parnassian poets, French symbolism, and
German romanticism.
At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Jimnez and his wife, Zenobia, moved
to Puerto Rico. The couple spent considerable time traveling in the United States and
South America. He even spent some time teaching Spanish literature at the University of
Maryland in the 1940s alongside notable American colleagues that included Ezra Pound
and Robert Frost. In 1956, he received the Nobel Prize for literature in recognition of his
poetry. Three days after he received the prestigious award, his wife, Zenobia, died of
cancer. He ceased all writing and died two years after his beloved wife.
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

36

Howard T. Young, Juan Ramn Jimenez, in Dictionary of Literary Biography:


Twentieth-Century Spanish Poets, Second Series, Vol. 134, Ed. by Jerry Phillips
Winfield, (Washington DC, Gale Research Inc, 1994), 215.

73
Pastoral

Pastorale

Los caminos de la tarde


se hace nuno, con la noche.
Por l he de ir a t,
amo que tanto te escondes.

The paths of evening


merge into one at night.
Upon that path I must go to you,
my love, who always hides.

Por l he de ir a t,
como la luz de los montes,
como la brisa del mar,
como el olor de las flores.

Upon that path I must go to you,


like the light of the mountains,
like the breeze of the sea,
like the scent of the flowers.

Pastoral is another example of Mompous preference for lento tempi and


subdued dynamics. The F-sharp minor rolled chords in the one-measure introduction are
imitating a guitars ability to strum and roll chords. The rolled chords are used in the first
nine bars of the song while supporting the voice as the melody moves in legato two-bar
phrases. F-sharp minor is implied by the repetition of F-sharp in the bass clef, but the
accompanying chords lack a third and obscures the F-sharp major tonal center. Neither
voice nor piano contains the third of the key until the downbeat of measure 7 and can be
seen in Example 27. In spite of the appearance of the third, the cadence is imperfect and
does not enforce a strong harmonic center.

74
Example 27. Mompou, Pastoral, Measures 110.

The static and declamatory melody features consistent two-bar phrases throughout
the song. The vocal phrases span ranges of fourths or fifths, and the phrase endings
feature a descending skip of a fourth as seen in the ends of measures 3 and 5 of Example
27. The climax appears in the second half of the song with the text Por l he de ir a t
(Upon that path I must go to you) with forte dynamic markings and a sustained two-bar
phrase moving stepwise around F-sharp5. The solitary forte phrase subsides toward more
subdued piano colors as the song concludes.
Rolled half notes in the accompaniment create a static sense with little rhythmic
motion, especially in the opening phrases. The rhythmic intensity increases slightly in m.
10 as the piano begins a solo featuring a continuous line of eighth notes that embellish the
initial vocal melody, as if in response to the text. Steady eighth notes persist for the

75
remainder of the song helping to create a sense of forward motion. As usual, the phrase
endings are accompanied by ritardando markings.
Llueve sobre el ro
Date of publication: 1945
Language: Catalan
Range: B-flat3 F5
Tessitura: C5
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Lento
Form: Through composed
Poet: Juan Ramn Jimnez
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Llueve sobre el ro

It rains on the river

Llueve sobre el ro

It rains on the river

El agua estremece
Los fragantes juncos
De la orilla verde
Ay, qu ansioso olor a ptalo fro!
Llueve sobre el ro

The water stirs


the fragrant reeds
on the green shore
Ah, what an uneasy scent of cold petals!
It rains on the river

Mi barca parece mi sueo,


En un vago mundo.
Orilla verde!
Ay, barca sin junco!
Ay, corazn fro!

My boat seems to be my dream


in a hazy world.
Green shore!
Ah, boat adrift!
Ah, cold heart!

Llueve sobre el ro

It rains on the river

76
Falling raindrops on the river are created in the unifying musical motive of this
song and are introduced immediately in the three voice piano texture. The piano
maintains the sense of the rain throughout the song by steady moving eighth notes. No
key signature is indicated in the score and the song is highly chromatic. The opening
harmonies revolve around F minor but the introduction moves to the first authentic
cadence in B-flat minor in measure 8 in conjunction with the primary melodic motive and
the text Llueve sobre el ro (It rains on the river). Major-minor seventh chords, fully
diminished seventh chords, and added note chords appear often. The B section of the
song is highly chromatic but a return to the opening material re-establishes B-flat minor
harmonies and concludes with an authentic cadence.
The three note melodic motive begins with a three note motive corresponding
with the text Llueve sobre el ro Again in mm.7-9 is another example of the motive
featuring descending minor third with an embellishing upper neighbor. A dissonant minor
second as the upper neighbor expresses the sorrow of the poetry (see Example 28).

Example 28. Mompou, Llueve sobre el rio, Measures 59.

77
The largely stepwise melody of the opening phrases is contrasted in the emotional
and musical pinnacle of the song in mm. 20-24. Example 29 shows the exclamation of
Ay, qu ansioso olor a ptalo fro! (Ah, what an uneasy scent of cold petals!) set as a
descending diminished seventh chord in the voice. The top voice of the piano line
doubles the descending diminished seventh chord, and also features highly chromatic
minor-major seventh chords with a sharp-5. These striking chords certainly enhance the
drama of the text and clearly define the pinnacle of the song. The piano follows the vocal
exclamation with another series of descending diminished seventh chords in an echo to
the voice in mm. 24-27 bringing the B section to a close.

Example 29. Mompou,Llueve sobre el rio, Measures 2027.

The lento tempo remains consistent throughout as steady pulsing eighth notes
imitate falling raindrops. The intensity of the rhythm and the rain is increased starting in

78
m. 20, when the dominant two-voice texture is replaced by thick, chromatic, and tightly
clustered descending chords. The change in rhythmic intensity reflects the emotional
distress and sorrow of the poetry. The flow of the B section resides and slows back to a
lento pace at the songs finale.
Cantar del alma
Date of publication: 1951
Language: Catalan
Range: A3 E5
Tessitura: A4 B4
Meter: 4/4
Tempo: Lento
Form: Strophic
Poet: San Juan de la Cruz (1542-1591) was an important poet and leader of the Catholic
Church in Spain. His many volumes of lyric poetry reflect his piety and devotion to his
faith. Born as Juan de Yepes in Fontiveros, Avila, Spain he attended Jesuit school at age
17 where he studied humanities and theology. He became an ordained Catholic priest in
1567 and changed his name. De la Cruz believed there was a great need for reform in the
church and together with Teresa of Avila, founded the Discalced Carmelites in 1568. De
la Cruz suffered persecution from the church and spent numerous times in prison because
of his desire for reform. He composed many mystical poems during his time in prison. In
his lifetime, the mystic experience was thought to be the union of the intellect with a

79
divine force.37 His poems focus on an internal spiritual journey seeking the spirit of
God. De la Cruzs life and poetry show a desire for a simple and reformed religious life.
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Cantar del alma

Song of the soul

Aquella eternal fuente est escondida,


que bien s yo d tiene su manida,
aunque es de noche.

That eternal spring is hidden,


but well I know where it rises,
though it is night.

Su origen no lo s, pues no le tiene,


mas s que todo origen de ella viene,
aunque es de noche.

I do not know its source, for it has none,


but I know that all things stem from it,
though it is night.

S que no puede ser cosa tan bella


y que cielos ya tierra beben de ella,
aunque es de noche.

I know there is nothing more beautiful


and that sky and earth drink from it,
Though it is night.

S ser tan caudalosas sus corrientes


que infernos, cielos riegan y las gentes,
aunque es de noche.

I know its streams to be so full


that they water hell, heaven and mankind,
though it is night.

El corriente que nace de esta fuente,


bien s que es tan capaz y tan potente,
aunque es de noche.

The stream that rises from this spring is,


well I know, so broad and mighty,
though it is night.

Aquesta viva fuente que yo deseo,


en este pan de vida yo la veo,
aunque es de noche.

This living spring that I desire


I see as the bread of life,
though it is night.

This song indicates the song is to be performed dans le style grgorian.


Mompou was interested in the rich musical and literary traditions of monastic life in

37

Marilyn Stone, San Juan de la Cruz, in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 318:
Sixteenth-Century Spanish Writers, Ed. Gregory B. Kaplan, (Farmington Hills,
MI: Thompson Gale., 2006), 121.

80
Catalunya and this song is vaguely reminiscent of chant,but it is not written in Gregorian
notation.
The song features two sections: one section for solo piano and another section for
unaccompanied voice. The solo piano section, in E melodic minor, again features simple
diatonic progressions with little chromaticism. The piano texture is a simple hymn-style
setting usually in three to four voices (see Example 30). The same piano solo repeats
three times at the beginning, middle, and end of the song while reflecting the meditative
nature of the song. The piano accompaniment is certainly not in the style of Gregorian
chant, but the hymn like character of voicing and harmonic progression establishes a
sacred and solemn character.

Example 30. Mompou, Cantar del Alma, Measures 16.

The unaccompanied voice follows the initial piano solo. The melody is likely
fashioned after a hymn, a poetic elaboration of a sacred theme written in strophic form.
Cantar del alma features three verses of text set to the same melodic line and same

81
rhythms and is similar in text structure of a chant hymn. Although the melody is
fashioned after plainchant, the line is an original composition that merely imitates chant
style. The monodic vocal line is syllabic and presents the text in a direct, straightforward
way. The melody is elegant, legato, and meditative in nature. Phrases are largely stepwise
although some skips of thirds or fourths are seen in individual phrases (see Example 31).
The vocal melody lacks any barlines and the phrases lengths are determined by the
number of syllables in the text. One line of text, aunque es de noche, is repeated at the
end of each brief stanza and each repetition of the word noche features an ascending
whole step. Not every repetition of aunque es de noche is identical in notated pitch, but
the rhythm and the ascending whole step accompanying the word noche is consistent
through the song (see Example 31).

Example 31. Mompou, Cantar del Alma, Measure 11.

The lento tempo indicated in the solo piano remains consistent with many of
Mompous other songs. The tempo of the song is divided into two sections for the piano
solo and the vocal solo. The rhythm of the piano solo is dependent upon by a steady
eighth note pulse. In contrast, the vocal melody is unmeasured and in free meter to

82
accommodate the importance of the poetry. Characteristic of phrase and section endings,
many ritardando markings occur interrupting the rhythmic motion of the song.
Aureana do Sil
Date of publication: 1951
Language: Catalan
Range: D4 F-sharp5
Tessitura: D5
Meter: 6/8
Tempo: Eighth-note equals 92
Form: Strophic
Poet: Ramn Cabanillas (1876-1959) was a Galican poet and writer who worked to
preserve the language and culture of his home region. The majority of this writing
focused on the unification of the Galican people. He was a strong supporter of the
agrarian movement, helping to create a fair distribution of land for rural farmers. He also
focused his attention on the interests and needs of a national Gallican aesthetic. Although
much of his writing was political in scope, he wrote several volumes of lyric love poetry,
including Aureana do Sil.
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Aureana do Sil

Aureana do Sil

As arenas de oura,
Aureana do Sil,
Son asbagoas acedas
Que me fas chorar ti.
Si queres oura fino,
Aureana do Sil,

The golden sands,


Aureana do Sil,
are the bitter tears
you make me cry.
If you want fine gold,
Aureana do Sil,

83
Abre o meu corazn
Ts de a topalo a li.
Co que collas no rio,
Aureana do Sil,
Mercaras cando moito
Un amor infeliz.
Para dar cun cario
Verdadero has de vir
Enxoitar os meus ollos,
Aureana do Sil.

open up my heart
you shall find I there.
With what you glean from the river,
Aureana do Sil,
you will buy, at most,
an unhappy love.
To find a true love
you must come
to bewitch my eyes,
Aureana do Sil.

A sorrowful song expressing the pain of an unrequited love, Aureana do Sil


begins with a series of descending planing sixth chords that successfully set a mood of
lament. Although no key signature is indicated, the songs tonal center is a mixture of B
major and minor modes. The highly chromatic harmonies, frequent use of augmented
chords, suspensions, resolutions, and large intervallic leaps are combined to intensify the
sorrowful emotions of the poem.
The opening vocal line descends a minor third by step and then leaps up a fifth as
shown in Example 32. The following phrase, Son asbagoas acedas, Que me fas chorar
ti (are the bitter tears you make me cry), imitates falling teardrops by an arpeggiated
descending D dominant-seventh chord.

84
Example 32. Mompou, Aureana do Sil, Measures 410.

Aureana do Sil shows another excellent example of modal mixture, a common


feature of Mompous compositional style. Example 33 shows B major and B minor
juxtaposed in adjacent measures to create a sense of lament and to express deeply felt
emotions. The chromatic alterations from D-sharp to D-natural in mm. 16-17 effectively
demonstrate the modal mixture (see Example 33). The effectiveness of this chromatic
alteration is enhanced because it also highly occurs in conjunction with a ritardando
recitation of the beloveds name.

85
Example 33. Mompou, Aureana do Sil, Measures 1517.

The song continues with a second stanza of text set to the same music as the first
stanza. Eighth notes make up the steady rhythmic pulse of the song but the actual tempo
of the song alternates between a tempo and molto ritardando indications at phrase
endings. The piano once again concludes this song with a consonant and a quiet B major
chord.
Sant Mart
Date of publication: 1962
Language: Catalan
Range: A3 F5
Tessitura: C5
Meter: 6/8 and 3/4
Tempo: Eighth note equals 88.
Form: Ternary, ABA
Poet: Pre Ribot is the pen name of Peter Ribot Sunyer (19801997) a Catalan writer and
rector best known for his deeply religious texts. He received several literary awards for a

86
number of his books and Catalan composers including Mompou and Eduardo Toldra set
several of his poems in song. Little biographical information exists about Ribot, except
what is found through the Catalan governments Departament de Cultura.38
The poem Sant Mart tells the tale of Saint Martin of Tours (c.316c.397), the
patron saint of soldiers and one of the best-known saints in Catholicism. Born in Sabaria
(present-day Szombathely, Hungary), his father was a high-ranking officer in the Roman
Imperial Horse Guard. When Martin was a young child, the family moved to Tincinum
(present-day Pavia) in northern Italy. Martin received his religious calling in life early by
choosing to become a catechumen (a candidate for baptism). Against his parents wishes,
he attended a Catholic school and insisted he felt called to a life in the clergy. Before
Martin entered the clergy, he was required to become a soldier in the Imperial Horse
Guard. By age fifteen, Martin was an officer in the Imperial Guard and was stationed at
Samarobriva in Gaul (present-day Amiens, France).
During his military service in Gaul, Martin became famous for the legend of the
cloak.39 One particularly cold day, Martin noticed a cold, starving, and poorly dressed
beggar as he approached the gates of the city. Filled with compassion, Martin took his
sword from its sheath and cut his own cloak in half to share with the man.
There are a couple of versions of the legend regarding the following events. The first
version of the legend tells that Martin dreamt that Jesus was the beggar with whom he
had shared his cloak. He dreamt that Jesus told the angels that he was now worthy for
38

Department of Culture, Generalitat de Catalunya. www.gencat.cat. Accessed March 19,


2012.

39

Clugnet, Lon. "St. Martin of Tours." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York:
Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 22 Mar. 2012
<http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09732b.htm>.

87
baptism. The second version of the legend tells that Martins cloak was miraculously
restored into one whole piece the following morning. Martins cloak was preserved as a
religious relic and it also proved Martins piety and devotion. The result of the legend is
that Martin was deemed worthy of baptism and entry into the clergy at age eighteen.
Although he was still enlisted in the Imperial Guard, he proclaimed that as a soldier of
Christ he could no longer fight in Earthly battles. He was released from his military
service at age twenty and dedicated the rest of his life to the church.
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Sant Mart

Saint Martin

Pedra ferma entre muntanyes.


Ull de serp, olor de pi.
Sant Mart,
rei de les teves entranyes,
la ploma, laire I el vi.

Firm stone amid mountains.


Granite stone, pine fragrance.
Saint Martin,
king in your very being,
quill, air, and wine.

Respira la teval imatge


caritat pep pelegr.
Sant Mart,
la intimitat del paisatge,
tu I jo pel mateix cam.

Your image breathes


compassion for the pilgrim.
Saint Martin,
the intimate landscape
you and I on the same path.

Cavaller del Crist, lespasa


mati el serpent I el ver.
Sant Mart,
vetlli la flama la casa
i la veu del Sina

Knight of Christ, with your sword


kill the monster and its poison.
Saint Martin,
let your flame guard the house
and the voice of Sinai.

Sant Mart exists in two versions, the first for voice and piano and a second
version orchestrated version for five part strings and piano. The examples shown are for
voice and piano. The orchestrated version is not available in print at this time.

88
A lilting, swaying figure in a moderate 6/8 meter imitates traveling by horseback.
A three note rocking motive is introduced in the accompaniment in the first two measures
of the song (see Example 34, mm. 1-2) and used throughout the accompaniment. F major
diatonic harmonies are used in the A section (mm. 1-17), which includes the first stanza
of the poem.

Example 34. Mompou, Sant Marti, Measures 19.

Example 34 also shows the legato melody lines are filled with large leaps of fifths
and octaves (mm. 5-8). The A section follows a similar melodic shape and character until
it is contrasted in the B section. A diminuendo and a fermata mark the end of the A

89
section in m. 17 and the beginning of the B section (mm. 18-36) begins with a meter
change to 3/4 and a contrasting lento tempo (see Example 35). Arpeggiated augmented
chords that imitate bells provide a striking contrast to the diatonic harmonies of the
previous section. The melody repeats the augmented triad twice, each to the text of Sant
Mart. The first forte exclamation and the second piano repetition of Sant Mart seem
like a prayer for compassion and strength (see Example 35).

Example 35. Mompou, Sant Marti, Measures 2636.

The return of the A section in m. 37 brings back a steady 6/8 meter and a return of
the F-major harmonies to conclude the song. The lilting, swaying, and forward motion of
the A section returns to conclude the song as Saint Martin and his horse continue on their
way.

90
Primeros pasos
Date of publication: 1964
Language: Catalan
Range: C4 F5
Tessitura: B-flat4
Meter: 4/4
Tempo: Lento
Form: Through Composed
Poet: Clara Jans (b. 1940) is one of the most respected twentieth century writers in
Catalunya. She is known for her poetry, plays, and translations of French, Czech,
Turkish, Chinese, and Arabic literary works. The daughter of poet Josep Jans, Clara was
raised in an artistic household where music and literature were an important part of
family life.
She studied philology (a combination of literary studies, literary and linguistic
history) at the University of Barcelona and later taught Spanish at the University of
Sorbonne. She wrote a variety of genres including poetry, narratives, essays,
anthropology, and translating. In 1972, she wrote one of the most authoratative
biographies of Mompou. Her most acclaimed literary works were written after 1975. The
poetic themes in her works are largely existential in nature and entail death, night, selfliberation, despair, suffering, solitude, and the enigma of human existence.40
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

40

Janet Prez, Clara Jans, in Dictionary of Literary Biography: Twentieth entury


Spanish Poets Second Series, Vol. 134, Ed. by Jerry Phillips Winfield, (Detroit,
MI: Gale Research Inc., 1994), 209.

91
Primeros pasos

First steps

Tu cuerpo como un rbol,


tus ojos como un lago,
y yo soaba hundirme
debajo de tu abrazo.
Tu tiempo no era tiempo,
tu ser era un milagro
y te busqu hasta hallarte
debajo de tu abrazo.
El sol muri en el cielo,
tus pasos se alejaron
y se qued mi sueo
debajo de tu abrazo.

Your body like a tree,


your eyes like a lake,
and I dreamed I was drowning
in your embrace.
Your time was not time,
your existence was a miracle,
and I sought you till I found you
in your embrace.
The sun died away in the sky,
your steps faded away,
and my dream was left
in your embrace.

Quartal and quintal harmonies begin the introduction of this song and are another
demonstration of the composers preference for perfect intervals that are found in the bell
overtone series. This song lacks a key signature, but analysis shows that F major is the
overall tonal center of the song. F major is the tonal center, but the song contains
chromaticism and shifting tonal centers that are composed in a contrapuntal texture.
Two and three voice contrapuntal textures permeate the entire though composed
composition. The contrapuntal writing is similar to the accompaniment of Aquesta nit
un mateix vent, but the melodic styles of the two songs are different.
The first two melodic phrases of Primeros Pasos are intoned on repetitions of
two pitches the first phrase is sung on C5 and the second phrase sung on G4 (see
Example 36). A sforzando and crescendo mark the beginning of a new phrase in m. 9 as
the line rises and then abruptly falls a seventh to imitate the meaning of the word
hundirme (drowning). The presence of the sforzando is a remarkable because it is one
of the few instances of this effect being used in Mompous songs. The vocal range of

92
individual phrases is sometimes static, like the first two phrases, but also has phrases with
large ascending and descending leaps, as in the third phrase of Example 36.

Example 36. Mompou, Primeros Pasos, Measures 510.

The contrapuntal texture and dotted eighth-sixteenth note rhythms of the piano
accompaniment are reminiscent of Aquesta nit un mateix vent from the Combat del
somni. The voice and piano are more independent of each other, especially in comparison
to other songs. The dotted eighth-sixteenth note rhythm is the driving rhythmic unit in
this song and is consistent throughout. The rhythm is the unifying feature in this song as
little melodic material is repeated in this through-composed song.

93
CHAPTER 4
TWELVE SONGS
Composed late in Mompous career, Le nuage, and the sets Canions
Bcquerianas and Cinq Mlodies are Mompous most difficult songs. Jacqueline
Cockburn and Richard Stokes believe the poems by Gustavo Adolfo Bcquer and the
resulting Canions represented a new literary and musical style for Mompou. The
combination of the poetry and the music are more dramatic and romantic than previously
seen in his songs.41 Cinq Mlodies sur des textes de Paul Valery were selected from
Valerys larger work of poetry, Charmes. These songs are Mompous final contribution
for voice and piano.
These songs are among Mompous most dramatic, intense, and exquisitely
beautiful. Technical demands include large vocal ranges that span a distance of a tenth or
twelfth in a single phrase. The tessituras of many of these songs are high and require
sustained pianissimo and piano singing, again requiring excellent breath support and
vocal flexibility. Melodies are increasingly difficult and contain disjunct vocal lines with
large leaps and the melodies are often highly chromatic. The dynamic palette features
more contrast between piano and forte, and many of these songs employ more forte
passages than in previous songs. Terraced and gradual gradations of dynamics are still
common, but these songs feature more juxtapositions of subito and unexpected dynamics.
The harmonic scope of these songs continues to be tonal, but there is increasing
chromaticsm as demonstrated in many of the disjunct melodic lines. These twelve songs

41

Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes, The Spanish Song Companion, 146.

94
feature more independent piano and vocal lines, and the piano is largely responsible for
introducing thematic and motivic material.
Le nuage
Date of publication: 1951
Language: French
Range: D4 G5
Tessitura: C-sharp4 G-sharp5
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Lentement
Form: Ternary ABA
Poet: Mathilde Poms (1886-1997) was a poet, literary critic and translator. She was a
friend of Federico Mompou and also provided French translations of the songs Rosa del
cam, Cortina de fullatge, Incertitude, and Neu. At the present time, little specific
information is published about Poms life or work.
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Le nuage

The cloud

Sembarquer, lente nef,


ton bord sans capitaine;
sembarquer, blanc vaisseau,
a ton bord sans gouvernail,
rompues les amarres du souvenir meme,
perdu le sextant du dsir concret.
aller voguer dans une douce derive,
sur une mer sans couleur
vers des les sans contour.
Voguer, aller, aller
Le silence diaphane
Tenant lieu pour espace,

To embark, o languid ship,


on your deck devoid of captain;
to embark, o white vessel,
on your deck devoid of helmsman,
the mooring ropes of memory itself broken,
the sextant of concrete desire lost.
To sail in a sweet drift,
on a sea devoid of colour
toward islands devoid of shape,
to sail, to go, to go
The diaphanous silence
in lieu of space,

95
Le coeur ne martelant plus
la scansion des seconds
quen battements touffs.
Aller voguer, voguer
chaque coup de roulis
perdre un peu de sa figure,
perdre un peu de sa substance.
Voguer, aller
usqu ce point ideal
o la mer du ciel se comble
pour baigner le clair visage
dune terre plus fleurie;
mon esquif plus frle
que neige en avril,
fondue au soleil la haute misaine,
ltrave ronge par les alizs,
du beau port en vue
mollement couler

the heart now hammering


the scansion of seconds
with mere stifled beats.
To sail, sail,
with every roll
losing a fraction of ones form,
losing a fraction of ones substance.
To sail, to go
to that ideal point
where the sea fills with sky
to bathe the bright face
of a more blossoming land
my skiff more frail
than April snow,
the high foresail melted in the sun,
the stem-post gnawed by trade winds,
with the beautiful port in sight,
gently gliding

Le nuage is a highly chromatic song again featuring shifting tonal centers and
obscured tonalities with no prominent tonal center. The harmonies progress through a
variety of tonal centers including B, D, A, A-flat, D-flat, B-flat, D-sharp, and finally end
in B major.
A brief two-measure piano introduction displays the primary rhythmic motive, a
consistent pattern of steady sixteenth notes moving in whole steps (see Example 37).

Example 37. Mompou, Le nuage, Measures. 14.

96
The first twenty measures of the melody feature repetitive, stepwise phrases with
a high vocal tessitura. The piano dynamics in a high tessitura present a technical
challenge for a soprano or a tenor. A very short three-note melodic motive appears three
times throughout the song. This melodic motive appears in conjunction with the text
voguer, aller (to sail, to go) and is seen in Example 38, mm. 30-35.

Example 38. Mompou, Le nuage, Measures 3035.

Le nuage is unique among Mompous songs because the final stanzas of poetry
are spoken along with the piano rather than being sung. The final twenty-seven measures
are indicated as Rcit while the poetry is spoken as the piano brings a return of opening
musical material at the beginning of the song. The piano fades away with a final
repetition of the three-note voguer, aller motive.
Canions Bquerianas
Composed in 1971 and published in 1980, the collection of six Spanish poems by
Sevillian poet Gustavo Adolfo Bquer may have marked a new direction in the 87-yearold composers literary taste.42 The musical settings of these poems reflect the romantic

42

Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes, The Spanish Song Companion, 146.

97
nature of the poetry and each of the songs in the set is varied in character, attitude, and
emotion. Most notably, Mompous typically introverted and subdued sonorities are
replaced with highly chromatic dance rhythms in Yo soy ardiente, yo soy morena. The
final song of the set, Olas gigantes, expresses grief so intense as to be considered
suicidal.
Gustavo Adolfo Bquer (1836-1870) is considered the founder of modern Spanish
poetry. He was born into a family of painters and he was skilled as both a painter and a
writer. Bquer received moderate acclaim in his lifetime, but his works became more
famous throughout Spain after his death. He grew up in Seville as one of eight children,
raised by his uncle and aunt. At age seventeen, he moved to Madrid, relying on painting
and writing as sources of income.
Bquers poetry contains a deep emotional quality that is almost painted into the
text. He spoke of adding something that can be felt although it cannot precisely be
seen43 in his poetry. Bquers poetry expresses the solitude and restorative qualities of
nature, and also of unrequited love. The poetic forms were in short stanzas and musical in
nature. The Rimas consisted of 98 poems with more than a thousand lines of poetry in all.
Bquers poetic style influenced a later generation of composers including Juan Ramn
Jimenz, Antonio Machado, and Federico Garcia Lorca.
Hoy la tierra y los cielos me son ren
Range: D4 G-flat5
Tessitura: Db5

43

Edmund L. King, Gustavo Adolfo Bquer: From Painter to Poet, (Mexico: Editorial
Porrura, S.A, 1953), 22.

98
Meter: 2/4
Rhythm: Tranquillo
Form: Through composed
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Hoy la tierra y los cielos me sonren

Today the earth and heavens smile on me

Hoy la tierra y los cielos me sonren,


hoy llega al fondo de mi alma el sol,
hoy la he visto ,
la he visto y me ha mirado
hoy creo en Dios!

Today the earth and heavens smile on me,


today the sun reaches the depth of my soul,
today I saw her
saw her and she looked on me
today I believe in God!

The lyric legato lines of this song are set to a highly romantic poem creating some
of the most beautiful phrases in all of Mompous songs. Yet again, no key signature is
indicated but E-flat is tonal center. Open sonorities of perfect fourths, perfect fifths, and
octaves are used frequently in the harmonies and also in the melody.
The most repeated motive is shown in Example 39, where it appears in the first
vocal entrance in mm. 5-6. This two-note melodic motive, moving from E-flat to D,
emphasizes the motion of the leading tone to tonic, and this motive repeats four times
during the song. This motive is used in both the very first and the final vocal phrases.

99
Example 39. Mompou, Hoy la tierra Measures 516.

In addition to the importance of the leading tone to tonic movement, the


previously mentioned motive is further enhanced by other ascending half-step
movements. Example 39 further demonstrates the numerous uses of half-step movements
in the melody. These half-steps help to enhance the romantic nature of the poem. The
lyric, legato lines are filled with intervals of minor seconds that create an undulating
melody. The poem itself contains only five lines of text, but the phrase Hoy creo en
Dios (I believe in God) is repeated four times. This text repetition is an unusual
feature not used in any other of Mompous songs. The melody and the repeated motives
are closely related to the rhythm of the song.
A simple, steady, homogeneous rhythm of eighth notes is shared by both voice
and piano. The subdued and calm character is maintained throughout the song. The

100
tranquillo tempo marking is regularly interrupted by ritardando and a tempo markings at
phrase endings. As found in a majority of Mompous songs, the piano concludes with a
single piano chord fading away.
Los invisibles tomos del aire
Range: E4 G-sharp5
Tessitura: C-sharp5
Meter: 4/4
Tempo: Plcido
Form: Through composed
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Los invisibles tomos del aire

The invisible atoms of the air

Los invisibles tomos del aire


en derredor palpitan y se inflaman,
el cielo se deshace en rayos de oro,
la tierra se estremece alborozada.
Oigo flotando en olas de armonas
rumor de besos y batir de alas;
mis prpados se cierran
Qu sucede?
Dime?
Silencio! Es el amor que pasa!

The invisible atoms of the air


around me throb and flare,
the sky dissolves in rays of gold,
the earth shivers in ecstasy.
Floating on waves of harmony,
I hear the sound of kisses and fluttering wings;
my eyelids close
What is night?
Tell me?
Hush! It is love that passes by!

The invisible atoms of the air are introduced immediately by a pianissimo


dissonant minor second clash and followed by a tritone (see Example 40). The minimalist
sixteenth-note motive is repeated for the first three measures of the song. Harmonic
change occurs at a slow and subtle rate of every three to four bars, reflecting the constant
but miniscule subatomic motion suggested by the imagery of the poem. Clashing minor

101
seconds and tritones are used most commonly in this song, especially the A-sharp, B, Esharp combination. These dissonant seconds simultaneously juxtapose chromaticism with
a harmonic ostinato.

Example 40. Mompou, Los invisibles tomos del aires, Measures 13.

The static melodic phrases moving by half-steps also reflect the plcido tempo.
The vocal phrases possess narrow intervallic ranges that remain within a distance of a
perfect fifth. Subdued piano and pianissimo dynamics are most prevalent, but Example
41 shows some of the greatest and quickly contrasting dynamics found in all of
Mompous songs. The piano begins with a forte and crescendo in m. 16 leading to a
subito pianissimo accompanying the question que sucede? (what is night?) in both
voice and piano in m. 17. An abrupt sforzando accompanies a second repetition of the
question que sucede. Such an abrupt change in dynamics in adjacent measures is rarely
seen in Mompous other songs.

102
Example 41. Mompou, Los invisibles tomos del aires, Measures 1618.

The minimalistic style of this composition features steady sixteenth note rhythms
that repeat almost continuously for the duration of the song. The static and steady
rhythms waver very little from the indicated plcido tempo. The rate of harmonic change
varies between two and four bars. The rhythmic motives are repeated for at least two
measures before the harmonies are altered. The steady sixteenth notes slowly evolve until
the piano again concludes the song.
Yo soy ardiente, yo soy morena
Range: C4 G5
Tessitura: C-sharp5
Meter: 3/8
Tempo: Ritmo de Polo
Form: Modified strophic
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Yo soy ardiente, yo soy morena

I am fiery, I am dark

- Yo soy ardiente, yo soy morena,


yo soy el smbolo de la passion,
de ansia de goces mi alma est llena.
A m me buscas?

- I am fiery, I am dark,
I am the symbol of passion,
my soul is filled with a thirst for pleasure.
Is it me you seek?

103
- No es a ti: no.

- No it is not you. No

- Mi frente es plida, mis trenzs de oro,


puedo brindarte dichas sin fin.
Yo de ternura guardo un Tesoro.
A m llamas?
- No: no es a ti.

- My brow is pale, my tresses gold,


I can offer you boundless joy.
A wealth of tenderness I hold.
Is it me you call?
- No: no it is not you.

- Yo soy un sueo, un imposible,


vano fantasma de niebla y luz;
soy incorporeal, soy intangible:
no puedo amarte.
- Oh , ven; ven t!

- I am a dream, an impossibility,
a futile phantom of mist and light;
I have no body, I am intangible:
I cannot love you.
- Oh come! Come!

The bold dance rhythms of Yo soy ardiente, yo soy morena create the most
extroverted and passionate character of all Mompous songs. The song features the
rhythms and style of the polo, an extremely popular dance in Catalunya and also
throughout Spain. Israel J. Katz lists the polo as one of forty-four individual types of
flamenco dance. The origins of flamenco dance are controversial among scholars, but it is
widely accepted that many of the specific dances, including the polo, developed in
Andalusia, in southern Spain. The word flamenco is a generic word to describe a
combination of song, dance, and instrumental music usually accompanied by guitar. 44
The development of flamenco dance is mostly attributed to a wide variety of Gypsy songs
and dances but there are other influences that shaped the genre. Although there are many

44

Katz, "Flamenco." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online,


http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/
music/09780 (accessed March 23, 2012).

104
theories describing the development of flamenco dance, each philosophy shares a belief
of a common way of life exemplified by generosity, boisterousness and recklessness.45
The piano begins the passionate song with a forte presentation of the polo theme
that is used frequently in the song. The presentation of three staves for the piano line is a
unique feature of the song (see Example 42). Again lacking a key signature, the highly
chromatic song is in C-sharp minor. The six-measure piano solo shown in Example 42 is
the theme of the song, and is the most recognizable feature of the piece.

Example 42. Mompou, Yo soy ardiente, Measures 16.

Its difficult melody features large ascending and descending leaps as shown in
mm. 7-18 in Example 43. The disjunct, angular, and highly chromatic lines provide a
distinct melodic contrast to the static and narrow vocal range of Los invisibles atomos.
Short declamatory two-bar phrases are consistent throughout the polo-inspired song. The
second stanza is a melodic variation of the first stanza, generally following similar
rhythms but mildly modified melody.
45

Katz, "Flamenco." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, (accessed March 23,
2012).

105
Example 43. Mompou, Yo soy ardiente Measures 718.

Yo soy ardiente contains many unique rhythmic characteristics not commonly


used in Mompous other songs. The exciting and energetic polo dance rhythms feature
displacements of strong metric accents from beats two to three. The rhythmic intensity
continues until the very end of the piece with a final sharp abrupt fortissimo and marcato
chord to punctuate the ending.
Yo s cul el objeto
Range: D4 G-sharp5
Tessitura: D5
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Lento
Form: Modified strophic
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

106
Yo s cul el objeto

I know the reason

Yo s cul el objeto
de tus suspiros es.
Yo conozco la causa de tu dulce
secreta languidez.
Te res ?
Algn da sabrs, nia por qu:
T lo sabes apenas
y yo lo s.

I know the reason


for your sighs.
I know the cause of your sweet,
secret languor.
Your laugh ?
Some day, my love, youll know why:
you scarcely sense it
and I know it.

Yo s cundo t sueas,
y lo que en sueas ves;
como en un libro puedo lo que callas
en tu frente leer.
Te res ?
Algn da sabrs, nia por qu:
T lo sabes apenas
y yo lo s.

I know when you dream,


and what in your dreams you see;
Like a book I can read on your brow
what you conceal.
You laugh ?
Someday, my love, youll know why;
you scarcely sense it
and I know it.

Yo s por qu sonres
y lorras a la vez:
yo penetro en los senos misteriosos
de tu alma de mujer.
Te res ?
Algn da sabrs, nia por qu:
mientras t sientes mucho y nada sabes,
yo que no siento ya, todo lo s.

I know why you smile


and weep in one:
I can fathom the mysterious declivities
of your womans soul.
You laugh ?
Some day, my love, youll know why;
while you feel many things and know none,
I, who can no longer feel, know all.

Yo se cual objeto returns to a lyric and quiet demeanor and is similar in style to
Los invisbles atomos. The opening features A minor harmonies with emphasis on
intervals of fourths, fifths, and octaves, again reflecting the common intervals of the
bells. The descending line of the piano introduction imitates sighing and is shown in
Example 44. Open fifths are seen at many cadence points of the song; this sonority is first
introduced in mm. 5-6 before the vocal entrance.

107
Example 44. Mompou, Yo s cul el objeto, Measures 112.

Example 44 also shows undulating legato phrases encompassing a range of more


than an octave. Leaps of fourths, fifths, and sixths are typical in all vocal phrasesof this
song. Four-bar phrase lengths are most common, but some phrases are of irregular twobar or six-bar lengths. This modified strophic song uses the same melody for first two
stanzas of text, but the third stanza is mildly modified. A more familiar lento tempo is
sustained in this song with a steady eighth note pulse. The phrase endings are
accompanied by the characteristic ritardando and a tempo markings.
Volvern las oscuras golondrinas
Range: D-flat4 G-flat5
Tessitura: D-flat5
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Molto tranquillo

108
Form: Through composed
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Volvern las oscuras golondrinas

The darkling swallows will return

Volvern las oscuras golondrinas


en tu balcn sus nidos a colgar,
y otra vez con el ala a sus
cristales jugando llamarn.

The darkling swallows will return


to hand on your balcony their nests,
and brush again your windows with their
wings as they playfully call.

Pero aqullas que el vuelo refrenaban


tu hermosura y mi dicha a contemplar,
aqullas que aprendieron
nuestros nombres
sas no volvern!

But those that lingered in their flight


to behold your beauty and my joy,
those that learned
our names
those will not return!

Volvern las tupidas madreselvas


de tu jardn las tapias a esclar
y otra vez a la tarde an ms hermosas
sus flores se abrirn.

The dense honeysuckle will return


to climb again your garden walls
and again at evening, lovelier still,
their flowers will unfold.

Pero aquellas cuajadas de roco


cuyas gotas mirbamos temblar
y caer como lgrimas del da
sas no volvern!

But those that hung bedecked with dew,


whose dewdrops we saw tremble
and fall like tears of day
those will not return!

Volvern del amor en tus odos


las palabras ardientes a sonar,
tu corazn de su profundo sueo
tal vez despertar.

Upon your ears will fall again


the sound of ardent words of love;
your heart from its deep sleep
will then perhaps awake.

Pero mudo y absorto y de rodillas


como se adora a Dios ante su altar,
como yo te he querido
desengate, as
no te querrn!

But mute and rapt and kneeling,


as God before His altar is adored,
as I loved you,
you may be sure,
none shall ever love you so!

The fifth song of the Becquerianas shares characteristics with Los invisibles
atomos largely because of the rhythmic motive that permeates all but ten measures of

109
the song. A composition totaling one-hundred twelve measures, this six-stanza poem is
the longest text that Mompou set.
Although F minor harmonies occur at a few cadences in the song, the majority of
the song features chromatic harmonies and constantly shifting keys. The most important
unifying device of the song is the rhythmic motive that appears in the very first measures
of the piece (see Example 45). The motive is divided between right and left hands of the
piano, with either a half or quarter note followed by three sixteenth notes in the right
hand. The motive shown in measures 1-3 also appears in exact repetition at the ends of
the second, fourth, and sixth stanzas.

Example 45. Mompou, Volveran las oscuras, Measures 14.

110
The melodic phrases of Volveran are varied in contour including stepwise,
undulating, and disjunct lines. The first vocal phrase, starting in m. 3, has a descending
contour with a descending minor third skip while the second phrase, starting in m. 7, is an
undulating melody sung at a slightly higher tessitura (see Example 45). No two phrases in
this song are exactly alike, although they share similar melodic contours.
The drama and intensity of the song is heightened by contrasting melodic phrases,
extreme shifts of dynamic contrast from piano to forte, and variations in tempi in
adjacent phrases. The contrasts in dynamics and phrases reflect the conflicting emotions
presented by pleasant memories with the painful reality of a lost love. Although the
tempo of the song is marked molto tranquillo, frequent markings of accelerando,
ritardando, and a tempo markings indicate a disturbance in the tranquil intention.
Example 46 shows how contrasting phrase contours, dynamics, and tempi combine to
create one of the most dramatic moments in the song. A sforzando in the piano in m. 81
leads to a poco accelerando in m. 82. The voice and piano lines both feature rising
melodic lines accompanied by a crescendo that lead to the climax in m. 84. However, the
intense moment is short lived because the dynamics change back to piano in m. 85 and
the texture of the piano is notably thinner than the previous measures.

111
Example 46. Mompou, Volveran las oscuras golondrinas, Measures 8089.

In spite of the moments of great intensity and forte dynamics, subdued and subtle
dynamics prevail as the piano resumes playing the opening rhythmic motive. A final
thirty-second note flourish at the close of the piece imitates swallows in flight
disappearing from the horizon.
Olas gigantes
Range: E-flat4 G-flat5
Tessitura: D-flat5
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Con energa
Form: Ternary, ABA
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

112
Olas gigantes

Vast waves

Olas gigantes que os rompis bramando


en las playas desiertas y remotas,
envuelto entre la sbana de espumas,
llevadme con vosotras!\

Vast waves, breaking with a roar


on deserted and distant strands,
shroud me in a sheet of foam,
bear me away with you!

Rfagas de huracn, que arrebatis


del alto bosque las marchitas hojas,
arrastrado en el ciego torbellino,
llevadme con vosotras!

Hurricane gusts, snatching


the tall woods withered leaves,
dragging all along in dark turbulence,
bear me away with you!

Nubes de tempestad que rompe el rayo


y en fuego ornis las desprendidas orlas
arrebatado entre la niebla oscura,
llevadme con vosotras!

Storm clouds rent by lightning


with your edges bordered in fire,
snatch me up in a dark mist,
bear me away with you!

Llevadme, por piedad, adonde el vertigo


con la razn me arranque la memoria.
Por piedad! Tengo miedo de quedarme
con mi dolor a solas!

Bear me away, I beg, to where vertigo


eradicates my memory and reason
Have mercy I dread being left
alone with my grief!

The dramatic conclusion of the Caniones Becquerianas is filled with intense


grief, despair, and sorrow. Vast waves appear as thirty-second note arpeggios in A-flat
minor in the piano introduction and continue through the entire song (see Example 47).
A-flat minor is the tonal center of the A and A sections of the song (stanzas one and
four). The B section features more chromaticism and shifting harmonies to intensify
imagery of vast, gigantic, and tumultuous ocean waves and the protagonists suicidal
thoughts.

113
Example 47. Mompou, Olas gigantes, Measures 17.

The opening vocal phrase uses dramatic leaps of a minor sixth and a rhythm of
double-dotted eighth and thirty second notes (see Example 47, mm. 3-7). Forte and
fortissimo dynamics prevail through the song and are atypical of the colors and dynamics
usually identified in Mompous songs. In addition to a fortissimo dynamic, the voice is
indicated with the word amplitud in mm. 17-22, the only such indication seen in
Mompous songs (see Example 48). This song, specifically this moment in mm. 17-22, is
quite operatic and implies singing with full voice and forte dynamics to heighten the
emotion and drama of the text.

114
Example 48. Mompou, Olas gigantes, Measures 1722.

The piano is of utmost importance in this song because it is a clear example of


text painting of the violent ocean waves. In addition, the accompaniment provides
chordal support for the vocal line, but the piano is largely independent from the voice.
The piano is responsible for the rhythmic pulse and driving the motion of the song
forward until its crashing conclusion with fortissimo repetitions of the giant waves.
Cinq Mlodies sur des textes de Paul Valry
Paul Valry (1871-1945) was one of the last late nineteenth-century symbolist
poets, following the literary traditions established by his predecessors including Charles
Baudelaire and Stphane Mallarm. Valry was born in Ste, a small seaport on the
Mediterranean coast of France. His family moved to nearby Montpellier where he was
educated from childhood through college. Although he completed a law degree, he was

115
never extremely active as an attorney. He served a mandatory military term in 1889-1990
and he met poet Pierre Lous. Through Lous he eventually met other poets, including
Stphane Mallarm.
Valry composed over 200 poems as a young man but he later dismissed them as
being too emotional. In his late adolescence and twenties, he believed in cultivating
purely intellectual pursuits including mathetmatics, science, architecture, and music. As
an adult, Valry returned to writing poetry with more life experience and a different
outlook on life. His mature poetry embraced both emotion and intellect as being
important experiences in life. This unconscious awareness of the activities of the
unconscious forms46 allowed Valry to focus on complex thoughts, emotions, and
uncertainties of life. The collection of Charmes, written by Valry in the 1920s, is one of
his most famous collections and features highly complex and rich symbolism. Mompou
set five of the poems from Charmes to music in 1973.
La fausse morte
Date of publication: 1973
Language: French
Range: C-sharp4 A-flat5
Tessitura: C5 D5
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Tranquillo
Form: Through composed

46

Charles Chadwick, Paul Valry in Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 258:


Modern French Poets, Ed. Jean-Franois Leroux, (Farmington Hills, MI: The
Gale Group, 2002), 386.

116
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

La fausse morte

The woman falsely dead

Humblement, tendrement,
sur le tombeau charming,
sur linsensibile monument,
Que dombres, dabandons,
Et damour prodigue,
Forme ta grace fatigue,
Je meurs, je meurs sur toi,
Je tombe et je mabats,
Mais peine abattu
sur le spulcre bas,
Dont la close tendue
au cendres me convie,
Cette morte apparent,
En qui revient la vie,
Frmit, rouve les yeux,
Millumine et me mord,
Et marrache toujours une nouvelle mort
Plus prcieuse que la vie.

Humbly, tenderly,
On the enchanting tomb,
Over the insensate monument
Which, with a wealth of shadow,
Abandon and love,
Your exhausted grace forms,
I die, I die above you,
I fall and subside;
But I have scarcely slumped
on the low sepulcher
Whose narrow confines beckon me
to the ashes,
than this seeming dead woman,
regaining life,
quivers, opens again her eyes,
illuminates and bites me,
and wrests me for another death,
more precious than life.

Although La fausse morte begins and ends in D-minor, harmonies shift often to
create a sense of ambiguity. Both the voice and piano lines use primary motives that are
featured in the opening ten measures. The first piano motive occurs in mm. 1-2 starting
with a minor chord in the left hand and followed by a series of suspension and resolutions
in steady eighth notes in the right hand (see Example 49). The two-bar motive is heard
often throughout the song at cadences, and beginnings of new phrases in a variety of
harmonies. Example 49 also shows the second important motive in the piano occurring in
mm. 7-10 in conjunction with the appearance of alternating tritones in the bass line of the
piano. The highly chromatic passages resolve back to the piano motive as seen in mm. 12. The harmonies of the song are constantly moving between dissonance and resolution.

117
Example 49. Mompou, La fausse morte, Measures 110.

The long, lyric, legato vocal lines are difficult because they contain leaps of
octaves, sevenths, and sixths in both ascending and descending directions in a single
phrase. Similar to the piano line, the vocal melody uses two primary motives as the
foundation of the piece. Example 49 shows the first vocal motive is in mm. 3-4, which is
characterized by a descending octave leap. The second motive occurs in mm. 7-10 and is
doubled by the right hand of the piano above the moving tritones in the left hand, also
seen in Example 49. This highly chromatic passage provides a tremendous challenge in
achieving legato, especially when considering the tranquillo marking of the piece.
Another tranquillo tempo reflects an introspective poem and the rhythm is
characterized by steady eighth notes interrupted by frequent ritardando and a tempo

118
markings that correspond with phrase endings. The through-composed song is unified by
the frequent repetitions of the piano motives.
Linsinuant
Date of publication: 1973
Language: French
Range: D4 A5
Tessitura: C-sharp5 D5
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Quarter note equals 116
Form: Through composed
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Linsinuant

The hinter

O courbes, meander,
Secrets du menteur,
Est-il art plus tendre
Que cette lenteur?
Je sais o je vais,
Je ty veux conduire,
Mon dessein mauvais
Nest pas de te nuire

O curves, o meanders,
Secrets of the liar,
Is there an art more tender
Than this slow pace?
I know where I go,
I shall take you there;
My evil design
Is not to harm you

(Quoique souriante
En pleine fiert,
Tant de libert
La dsoriente!)

(Though smiling
In her full pride,
She is thrown
By so much freedom)

O courbes, meander,
Secrets du menteur,
Je veux faire attendre
Le mot le plus tendre

O curves, o meanders,
Secrets of the liar,
I shall make her wait
For that most tender word.

119
It comes as no surprise that the harmonies of Linsinuant are ambiguous and
frequently changing based on the first line of the poem O courbes, meander, Secrets
du menteur, (O curves, o meanders, secrets of the liar). No key signature is notated and
the use of tritones in both the vocal melody and piano accompaniment further obscure the
tonalities. A pointillistic texture is created by the sparse texture of the piano and the
intervallic distance between the right and left hands of the piano. The piano texture is
largely dominated by single notes and few chords are used in this accompaniment.
The vocal phrases again feature angular and disjunct contours with large
intervallic leaps. Following a sixteen measure introduction, the voice first enters by
singing tritones. The voice begins by singing descending tritones from E5 to B-flat4 and
the dissonance is echoed by the top voice of the piano (see Example 50). The ending of
the first phrase features an ascending leap of a tenth from F4 to A5, as shown in m. 19 in
Example 50. The second vocal phrase imitates the opening phrase by moving down a
whole step as shown in mm. 20-24.

120
Example 50. Mompou, Linsinuant, Measures 1425.

The tempo of Linsinuant is one of a handful of songs given a specific


metronome marking. With a quarter note equaling 116, this song is quicker than most of
Mompous songs. However, the piece is still marked with a number of ritardandi at
phrase endings. Although the music is through composed, the first line of text is repeated
in the final vocal phrases of the song. The final stanza concludes textually with a
statement and musically with an authentic cadence rather than the question posed in the
first stanza.
Le vin perdu
Date of publication: 1973
Language: French
Range: C4 G5

121
Tessitura: C5 D5
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Moderato
Form: Through composed
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Le vin perdu

The lost wine

Jai, quelque jour, dans locan,


(Mais je ne sais plus sous quells cieux,)
Jet, comme offrande au nant,
Tout un peu de vin prcieux

One day, into the ocean,


(but under which skies I no longer know,)
I threw, as an offering to the void,
A sprinkling of precious wine

Qui voulut ta perte, liqueur?


Jobis, peut-tre au devin?
Peut-tre au souci de mon Coeur,
Songeant au sang, versant le vin?

Who willed this waste, o liquor?


Did I perhaps obey the soothsayer?
Or perhaps my hearts anxiety,
Dreaming of blood, spilling the wine?

Sa transparence accoutume
Aprs une rose fume
Reprit aussi pure la mer

Its usual transparence


Later a pink spread of cloud
Was assumed as purely by the sea

Perdu ce vin, ivres les ondes!


Jai vu bondir dans lair amer
Les figures les plus profondes

Lost this wine, drunken the waves!


I saw hurtling through the bitter air
The profoundest figurations

The piano accompaniment is prominently featured in Le vin perdu, beginning


with a twenty-one measure introduction. A two-voice contrapuntal texture in the piano
permeates the majority of the song. Imitative of unpredictable ocean waves, chromatic
descending sixteenth-notes consistently appear as a unifying motive in the piece.
Example 51 shows a perfect fifth between B and F-sharp in the upper voice of the piano,
providing a sense of harmonic stability. The inner voice of the piano features descending

122
chromatic sixteenth notes that descend from B to E-sharp. Example 51 shows the most
commonly used pattern of descending sixteenth notes. The descending motive of B, G, Fsharp, and E-sharp outlines a descending fifth that is overshot by a half-step. The
descending sixteenth note motive shifts frequently throughout the song, but returns to the
B, G, F-sharp, E-sharp motive at important cadences.

Example 51. Mompou, Le vin perdu, Measures 2128.

The vocal lines of the melody are first played by the piano and then repeated
exactly in mm. 22-38 and is seen in Example 51. After m. 38, no melodic material is
repeated for the remainder of the piece. The difficult vocal melody is again filled with
disjunct, angular lines, and large leaps. Irregular phrase lengths range between two to five

123
bars and assist in creating a sense of instability, again reflecting the nature of the text.
Further drama is achieved through dramatic variations in dynamics and tempi.
Le sylphe
Date of publication: 1973
Language: French
Range: C4 G5
Tessitura: C5
Meter: 3/8
Tempo: Allegro
Form: Through composed
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Le sylphe

The sylphe

Ni vu ni connu
Je suis le parfum
Vivant et dfunt
Dans le vent venu!

Neither seen nor known


I am the perfume
Living and dead
That came on the wind!

Ni vu ni connu,
Hasard ou genie?
A peine venu
La tche est finie!

Neither seen nor known,


Fate or genius?
Scarce arrived,
My task is done.

Ni lu ni compris?
Aux meilleurs esprits
Que derreurs promises!

Neither read nor understood?


To the finest of spirits
How many have promised errors!

Ni vu ni connu
oLe temps dun sein nu
Entre deux chemises!

Neither seen nor known


The moment for a naked breast
Between two shirts!

124
Le sylphe supplies an exciting and energetic contrast to the other songs of Cinq
Mlodies. The light, playful character piano texture sets the mood for the entire piece by
accentuating ascending fifths. The playful dance-like melody is immediately introduced
in brief two- and three-bar phrases starting in D major. Although D major is the opening
tonal center, this key is short-lived. The conclusion of the first stanza cadences in B-flat
major. The remainder of the song remains in B-flat major, with only a brief venture to the
dominant F major harmonies, but then returns to conclude solidly in B-flat major.
The initial phrases, characterized by leaps of fourths and fifths, are reminiscent of
a horn call. These declamatory three-bar phrases are frequently used and can be seen in
Example 52. Most of the vocal phrases follow the two and three bar length established in
the beginning of the song.

Example 52. Mompou, Le sylphe, Measures 3041.

125
The lively allegro tempo in 3/8 is interrupted numerous times by poco ritardando
to match the questions posed in the poetry. The piano makes the final on the song with a
flourish of an ascending five-note figure while a decrescendo fades to a pianissimo
dynamic.
Les pas
Date of publication: 1973
Language: French
Range: D4 F5
Tessitura: B4
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: Lent
Form: Through composed
Poet: Paul Valry
Translation: A Spanish Song Companion by Jacqueline Cockburn and Richard Stokes

Les pas

The steps

Tes pas, enfants de mon silence,


Saintement, lentement placs,
Vers le lit de ma vigilance
Procdent muets et glacs.
Personne pure, ombre divine,
Quils sont doux, tes pas retenus!
Dieux! tous les dons que je devine
Viennent moi sur ces pieds nus!

Your steps, children of my silence,


With slow and saintly tread,
Towards my vigils bed
Are advancing mute and frozen.
Pure person, divine shadow,
Your constrained steps, how sweet they are!
God! all the gifts that I surmise
Come to me on those naked feet!

Si, de tes lvres avances,


Tu prepares, pour lapaiser
A lhabitant de mes penses
La nourriture dun baiser,

If, with your proffered lips,


You prepare, to appease
The inhabitant of my thoughts,
The nourishment of a kiss,

126
Ne hate pas cet acte tendre,
Douceur dtre et de ntre pas,
Car jai vcu de vous attendre,
Et mon coeur ntait que vos pas.

Do not hasten this tender act,


Sweetness of being and being not,
For I have lived off awaiting you,
And my heart was naught but your steps.

Cinq Mlodies concludes with the quiet and restrained quality essential to the
personality of the composer. The piano once again presents the most important motive in
the very first measures. Example 53 shows the motive as presented in mm. 1-3. The
highly repetitive A-sharp, B, E-sharp motive is altered only slightly during the piece. The
deliberate, plodding, heavy, and static accompaniment imitates the slow and saintly
tread (saintement, lentement places) expressed in the poem. The tonal center of the song
is a modally-inflected B. The texture is largely in two voices with the rhythmic motive in
the right hand and a single note bass line.

Example 53. Mompou, Les Pas, Measures 18.

127
The vocal melody further supports the imagery of heavy, plodding steps through
the small stepwise movement of the phrases. Example 53 shows a two-note motive using
notes B and A in mm. 3-5. This two-note motive appears several times in the song and
further helps establish B as the tonal center. In contrast to the previous songs of the set,
the vocal melody of Les Pas is largely stepwise with considerably fewer large leaps.
The lento tempo contains only a few ritardando markings, as the tempo is already
slow and steady. The rhythmic motive presented in the opening measures occurs in every
measure of the song providing a greater sense of stability from the beginning to the end
of the song.

128
CONCLUSION
Twentieth-century composer Federico Mompou wrote a relatively small number
of songs for voice and piano, but these songs contain a variety of technical and
interpretive challenges for singers wishing to explore the Catalan song repertoire. The
primary purpose of this essay is to provide analysis of Mompous thirty-five songs as a
vocal repertoire guide and secondly to provide a basic pedagogical guide for teachers and
performers.
Each of the thirty-five songs was analyzed using Jan LaRues Guidelines for Style
Analysis with the SHMRG mnemonic (Sound, Harmony, Melody, Rhythm, and Growth).
The combination of prose analysis and musical examples of each of the songs provides
performers and teachers with an overview of the songs. General charactics of Mompous
music are described in the following paragraphs following the SHMRG format.
The initial impressions of the songs are characterized by elegance, restraint,
simplicity, and a sentiment of nostalgia. One of the most important elements in
Mompous songs are the use of small motives that may appear in the harmony, melody,
accompaniment, and sometimes in multiple elements. These small motives are important
basic ideas that make the songs familiar to the listener but not stagnant.
Mompous harmonies are tonal and he commonly uses diatonic and modal
progressions in his songs. Mode mixture and chromaticism are important elements of
Mompous harmonic language and one of the most common harmonies is a major-minor
chord. Harmonies of many songs feature altered scale degrees in succession, the most
common chromatic alterations occurring on scale degrees 3, 6, and 7. Open harmonies of
fourths, fifths and octaves are another common characteristic in Mompous compositions.

129
Melodies in Mompous songs also feature the perfect intervals of fourths, fifths,
and octaves in addition to a variety of melodic shapes. The vocal melodies range from
simple, stepwise motion to disjunct, and highly chromatic lines. The majority of the
melodies consist of regular two-bar or four-bar phrases and all sung with legato. The
vocal melodies are unadorned with melismas or ornaments.
Rhythms in the songs are uncomplicated and often feature ostinati. The majority
of the songs are designated in simple meters of 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 and a few compound
meters in 6/8. Many of the meters are indicated only with a single numeral in the score.
Only a few songs Pito, pito, colorito, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, and Sant Marti
contain changing meters with in the song; all other songs retain the same meter for the
duration of the piece. The tempi of the songs range from lento to allegro, but Mompou
preferred the slow and lento tempi. More than a third of the songs are marked as lento,
lentement, placid, or tranquillo.
Growth and development in Mompous songs occur in very small scales because
he usually wrote brief songs. Spanish scholar Toms Marco has described Mompou as a
miniaturist because he preferred to work in small forms. Large scale growth is not
common in Mompous songs, instead preferring to modify the motives that are the main
musical ideas of each individual composition.
The piano plays an important role in Mompous songs because piano was his
primary instrument. The vast majority of his compositions were for solo piano, and it is
natural that the piano is featured prominently in his songs. Often, the piano doubles the
vocal melody in octaves and is highly supportive of the singer. The piano provides a
general sense of mood painting in the songs and contains some brief introductions,

130
interludes, and postludes. The piano imitates specific ideas or concepts in some of
Mompous later songs. The piano motive imitiates invisible atoms of air in Los atomos
invisibles and crashing ocean waves in Olas gigantes both found in the Becquerianas
set.
The organization of the songs was based on basic pedagogical concepts and the
songs were divided into three groups based on difficulty of the songs. The first group of
songs features the Comptines, a set of six songs that are particularly good for beginning
students. The poetry, written by Mompou, is reminiscent of childhood poems, counting
games, dances, and stories. Musical characteristics of the songs include tonal and modal
harmonies, vocal ranges of about an octave, rhythmic and melodic ostinati, syllabic
melodies, and simple, straightforward rhythms.
The largest group includes seventeen songs of intermediate difficulty that are
appropriate for intermediate to advanced students. These seventeen songs are more
harmonically complex as they are more chromatic, and appear difficult because the songs
often lack key signatures. The vocal melodies of these seventeen songs have an average
range between and octave and an octave and a half. Many of the vocal melodies require
sustained singing in passaggio and demand solid breath support. The piano lines of these
songs are supportive of the vocal line, but some of the songs feature more independent
lines between voice and piano.
The final group of twelve songs includes Mompous most difficult vocal
compositions. The song sets Canions Bquerianas and Cinq Mlodies were the last
vocal compositions that Mompou composed. These tonal songs feature combinations of
mode mixture and chromaticism. The vocal melodies of these difficult songs often

131
contain large leaps of tenths of twelfths in a single phrase. The songs contain a wide
range of dynamics, often requiring sustained piano or pianissimo singing at high vocal
tessituras. The piano is featured more prominently in these twelve songs and the voice
and piano are more independent of each other in these songs. In addition, the piano line
contains most of the small motives that are the unifying features of the songs.
Analysis of each of these songs gives a more complete idea of how the songs
were composed and what individual musical elements are most prominent in the
composition. However, no amount of analysis is truly able to convey the meaning and the
emotions in the music. Above all, Mompou wished to create music that evoked a highly
personal response that transcended place and time. His songs that were of great personal
importance to him and he hoped his songs would evoke a strong visceral reaction for
those listening to and performing his compositions.

132
APPENDIX A
CATALAN PRONUNCIATION AND DICTION GUIDE
Catalan is one of the official languages spoken by more than 13 million people in
the autonomous Spanish regions of Catalunya, the Balearic Islands, and Valencia.
Catalan, a romance language, is linguistically related to French, Spanish, Italian, and
Portuguese. Catalan shares many cognates and structural similarities with other romance
languages, most notably, Castilian Spanish and Provincial French.
There are similarities between the romance languages, but Catalan also possesses
many distinctive characteristics that are important for performers to known when
preparing Catalan texts. There are a very large group of songs written in Catalan, and the
songs of Federico Mompou are only a small number of this total collection of Catalan
Singing these songs in their original language is important in helping preserve the rich
Catalan culture.
Performing Catalan songs in the original language provides a challenge to
American performers because there are no currently available Catalan diction guides. Of
the Catalan pronunciation guides that are available, they do not include IPA, an
especially useful tool for singers. This appendix serves as an introductory guide to
Catalan pronunciation and IPA and is not a comprehensive guide to understanding
Catalan diction. Furthermore, the appendix is not a substitute for study of the Catalan
language and grammar.
The following guide is adapted from Teach Yourself Complete Catalan by Anna
Poch Gasau and Alan Yates. The chapter entitled Pronunciation and Spelling is
particularly helpful in introducing the sounds of the Catalan language. A two-CD set is

133
included as a supplement that provides audio files that correspond with examples in the
text. The audio guide is helpful in developing a sense of syllabification, word stress, and
allows a listener an opportunity to scribe the IPA symbols.
Syllabification
In general, Catalan words have as many syllables as the number of vowels in the
word. The syllables are stressed and unstressed, as is true of all languages. Monosyllables
can be stressed or unstressed depending on the word. Stressed monosyllables include
words gros, set, and vuit. Unstressed monosyllables include words que and i, articles (el
and la), weak pronouns (em, ens), and some prepositions (a de, en, amb, per).
Multi-syllable words fall into two general categories. In a multi-syllable word
ending in a vowel, the stress is placed on the penultimate syllable, as in parlo. The stress
on the penultimate syllable remains in endings of a final vowel plus s, en, or in.
Parlo, parles, and parlen all have penultimate stressed syllables. Other multi-syllable
words (i.e. those not ending in vowels) receive stress on the final syllable, as in parlem
and parleu.
Accents written over a vowel are always stressed in the word, regardless of how
many syllables are in the word. The presence grave or acute accents both indicate word
stress. Examples include mquina, esglsia, and gimns.
Vowels
The Catalan language has several regional variations in pronunciation. The
conventions of the written language are standardized. The vowel sounds are addressed
first in this guide. There are five vowels in written Catalan and there are eight vowel

134
sounds possible with these vowels. There are also two glides. The discussion will begin
with the stressed vowels, lead to the unstressed vowels and conclude with the glides.
Stressed Vowels
There are seven stressed vowel sounds in Catalan. These stressed vowels are pure,
sharp, clear, bright and distinct. The stressed vowels, the corresponding IPA symbols,
and a description of pronunciation is provided below. Stressed vowels and syllables
receive the greatest length in the word.

Vowel

IPA Symbol

Pronunciation47

[a]

The stressed Catalan a is a combination


between the English words cat and father.
This is always an open sound, and can only
take a grave accent when stress is indicated in
writing.
Examples: pa, anys, catal, germ

[i]

The vowel i sounds like the vowel in the


English word feet.
Stressed i is always a closed vowel and takes
only the acute accent when stress is indicated
in writing.
Examples: mida, mat

[e]

Closed [e] is a forward sound with a halfclosed mouth position and the lips slightly
extended.
An acute accent indicates closed [e].
The closed sound closely resembles a closed

47

Examples for pronunciation are based on British English pronunciation and not
American English.

135
[e] in Italian.
Examples: b, gens, adu
e

[]

Open [] is closely related to the vowel sounds


in the English words get and bet.
A grave accent indicates open [].
Examples: vost, guerra

[o]

Closed [o] is described as a backward48 sound


with a closed mouth position and rounded lips.
This pure vowel closely resembles a closed [o]
in Italian.
An acute accent indicates closed [o].
Examples: fons, mel, estaci

[]

An open [] sounds similar to the vowels in the


English words hot and coffee.
A grave accent indicates open [].
Examples: bona, per, histria

[u]

The vowel u sounds like the vowel in the


English word hoot.
Stressed u is always a closed vowel and takes
only the acute accent when stress is indicated
in writing.
Examples: alguna, menu

Unstressed Vowels
There are two main unstressed vowel sounds in Catalan. One of the most difficult
tasks for a novice to the Catalan language is determining the stressed and unstressed
48

Ana Gasau and Alan Yates, Complete Catalan, 12.

136
vowels. Careful study of the language and listening to the syntax of the language is the
best way to learn these stressed and unstressed vowels. Syllabification is one way to
determine if a vowel is stressed or unstressed. Generally, a stressed syllable will contain a
stressed vowel.
The schwa is the neutral syllable in Catalan, as it is in other languages. In the
Catalan language, vowel sounds change depending on whether it is stressed or unstressed.
For example, in an unstressed syllable the vowel o becomes an [u] sound.

Vowel

IPA Symbol

Pronunciation

a or e

[]

The schwa sound in Catalan is similar to the


sounds in the final vowel sounds of the English
words sugar or butter.
The schwa is a relaxed49 vowel and always
unstressed.
Examples: el, perdoni, senyor

[u]

In an unstressed syllable, the vowel o is


changed to sound like [u].
Examples: sento, ho

Diphthongs
Diphthongs are two contiguous vowels that make a single syllable. In Catalan,
diphthongs are formed in two ways. The first vowel of the diphthong receives the longest
length of the syllable, as is common in diphthongs in other languages. The first type of
diphthong is formed with a vowel plus i (except i plus i) and the second type is formed

49

Ana Gasau and Alan Yates, Complete Catalan, 12.

137
with a vowel plus u. Not all vowels plus i or u are diphongs and syllabification helps
determine whether two contiguous vowels are diphthongs or separate syllables.

Diphthong

IPA Symbol

Example

ai

[a:i]

esplai

ei

[e:i]

llei

oi

[o:i]

oi

ui

[u:i]

avui

au

[a:u]

sisplau

eu

[e:u]

teu

iu

[i:u]

riu

ou

[o:u]

ous

Glides
There are two glides in Catalan and can also be described as semi-vowels.

Letter

IPA Symbol

Pronunciation

[j]

Placed between two vowels, an unstressed


letter i sounds similar to the beginning of the
English word yesterday.

[j]

Examples: noia, feien


The letter y appears only in foreign words that
have been assimilated and in a few proper
names.
The symbol and sound [j] is a glide and also
considered a semi-vowel.

138

Examples: yacht, Ruyra


qu or qu

[kw]

Example: aquesta

Consonants
Most of the Catalan consonants are similar to English consonants. As one might
expect, there are also some differences between the sounds of the languages. The letters k
and w are used only in foreign words and any derivitives. Two examples include kaiser
and clown. The letter y is sometimes found in proper names, but it usually only occurs in
the combination of ny. It is found in such words as catalunya, espanya, and lluny. The
chart below lists the consonants, IPA symbols, a pronunciation guide and any similarities
and differences of the sounds of English and Catalan.

Consonant

IPA Symbol

Pronunciation

b or v

[b]

The [b] is similar to the English word bat.


Between vowels, the letter b has a softer sound
with only minimal contact between the lips.
Examples: dbil, hivern

[k]

The letter c is similar to the English word cat.


Examples: catal, cantar

c before e and i

[s]

Ce- or Ci- combinations sound similar to the


English word acid.
Examples: ciutat, acceptar, cntim

[s]

The occurs only before the vowels a, o, and


u. It may also appear at the end of a word.

139

Examples: cano, feli


d

[d]

The letter d is more dental than the English d.


The sound is pronounced with the tip of the
tongue on the teeth.
Examples: damunt, del, dedicar

[]

An intervocalic letter d is changed to a theta


sound, similar to the beginning of the English
words they and the.
Examples: cada,

g followed by e or
i

[]

The g + e or i combination sounds similar to


the French words joli, jeune, and jardin.
Examples: germ, Girona

always silent

Examples: hora, hivern

[]

The letter j always makes the same sound as


the combinations of ge or gi regardless of the
position in the word.
Examples: jard, juliol, mitja

[l]

The Catalan pronunciation of l is farther back


in the mouth. It is more similar to the English
word all.
When l is in the final position of the word, the
sound of the consonant is perceived even
further back in the mouth.
Examples: lavabo, abril, total

[m]

The sound is similar to the English word man.


Examples: mar, molt, damunt

[n]

Usually n sounds approximately like the


English words nothing and nose.

140
Examples: nas, plena, parent
n

[]

The [] sound occurs before final c or g, before


initial c, qu, or g.
Examples: cinc, sang, encara, tranquil

[p]

In most positions, p is pronounced in a similar


fashion to the English word poem.
Examples: preparar, perdere
The p becomes silent following the letter m at
the end of a word. It also becomes silent
between the letter m and another consonant,
except letters l and r.
Examples: camp, temps, assumpte

qu before e or i

[k]

The qu combination makes a single sound,


unless there is a diaeresis over the u before i or
e.
Examples: que, quinze

qu before a or o

[kw]

The qu combination before a or o is similar to


the English word quit.
Examples: quatre, quota, question

[r]

A single r is distinguished by a trill (two


repetitions of the letter) and is more
pronounced than in English.
Examples: flores, ara, Carme

rr

[r:r]

The letter r is strongly rolled (three or more


repetitions of the letter) when it appears as rr
in a word.
It is also rolled when it is at the beginning of a
word or following the letters l, m, n, or s.
Examples: roba, riure, enraonar

141
s

[s]

The letter s is unvoiced when it is at the


beginning or the end of a word. It is also
unvoiced when it appears as ss in a word.
Examples: sal, capses

[z]

The letter s becomes voiced when it is


intervocalic or when it preceds a voiced
consonant like m or n.
The English word rose is an approximation of
the voiced s.
Examples: casa, cosa, turisme

[t]

The letter t is unvoiced and is more dental than


its English counterpart. The sound is produced
by the tip of the tongue on the teeth.
Examples: total, sant, turisme

[d]

The sound changes to a voiced [d] when it is


before a voiced consonant.
rts
Examples: viatge, fullatge
Exception: The letter t becomes silent
following l or n at the end of a word. It also
becomes silent in the consonant cluster
Examples: molt,content
Exception: In consonant clusters of tl,til, or tm,
the letter t assimilates to the consonant around
it, essentially creating a double vowel.
Example: atlas [allas], setmana [semmana]

[b]

The letter v is pronounced as [b] in any


position in a word.
The sound is a much softer plosive consonant
than its English counterpart. The lips make
very little contact in the formation of the
consonant.

142

The sound is similar to the English word


birthday.
Examples: vida, conversa, aviat
w

[b]

The letter w occurs only in foreign words that


have been assimilated.
The sound creates a [b] as found in words with
the letters b and v.
Examples: water,

[]

The first of three sounds x can make sounds


like the English sound in the word sherry.
This sound usually occurs when x appears at
the beginning of words.
Examples: xai, xerrar

[ks]

The x sounds like [ks] when it is intervocalic


or in certain prefixes.
The sound is comparable to the English word
tax.
Examples: taxi, explicar

[gz]

The x sounds like [gz] when it is used in


certain prefixes.
The sound is similar to the English word eggs.
Examples: xit, exacte

[j]

The letter y appears only in foreign words that


have been assimilated and in a few proper
names.
The symbol and sound [j] is a glide and also
considered a semi-vowel.
Examples: yacht, Ruyra

143
z

[z]

The letter z is always voiced in any position in


a word.
The sound is similar to the English word zoo.
Examples: zero

Digraphs
In addition to the above listed vowels and consonants, there are digraphs that
make single sounds. A digraph is a pair of consonants or a vowel and a consonant that
make one sound. There are several digraphs in the Catalan language.

Digraph

IPA Symbol

Pronunciation

-ix

[]

Following a vowel the ix combination is


pronounced like the sound in the English word
sherry.
Examples: mateix, caixa,

ny

[]

The ny digraph occurs in few words in Catlan.


The sound is similar to the English word onion.
Example: Catalunya

ig or tx

[t]

These suffixes sound similar to the English


words match and catch.
Examples: maig, cotxe

tz

[ds]

The tz digraph sounds similar to the ending of


the English word beds.
Examples: dotze, tretze

tg or tj
tg plus e or i
tj plus a, o, or u

[d]

These digraphs sound similar to the English


words ledge or hedge. It also sounds similar to
the beginning of the name George.

144
Examples: metge, mitj

Liason
In many instances, final sounds of words are modified by the initial sound of the
following word. This running together of words occurs in French and also in Catalan.
Learning where to use liason helps achieve fluency in speech and in singing. The
following information outlines rules of liason.
1. Two accented vowels in contact are unaffected. Examples: pi alt [pi at],
carrer ample [karre ampl]
2. A schwa [] sound in contact with another vowel is elided. Examples: aquesta eina
[akstjn], ma esquerra [maskrra]
3. In the event of two unstressed schwa sounds in contact, only one is pronounced.
Examples: quinze amics [kinzmiks], una eglsia [unzglezi]
4. Final nc and ng before a vowel are pronounced [k]. Examples: cinc homes [sak
ms], sang i aigua [sak i ajgw]
5. The final b of the word amb is pronounced before a vowel. Examples: pa amb oli
[pamb li], amb honor [amb unor]
6. The final t of nt is pronounced before a vowel in the exceptions of sant before a
name beginning with a vowel, vint followed by a hypen, and occasionally cent before a
vowel. Examples: Sant Hilari [sant ilari], vint-i-dos [bintios], cent homes [sentms]
7. Final f, s, , ix, tx, and ig are voiced before a vowel or a voiced consonant.
Examples: baf horrible [bav ur:ribl], les alters [lez altrs], dol o salat [dotz o slat],

145
dibuix antic [dibu ntik], despatx obert [dspad ubrt], passeig meravellos [psd
mrbos]
8. Final s before r, s, or x is not pronounced. Examples: dues raons [du r:rons], els
sastres [el sastrs], molts xais [mot ajs]
9. Final n before b, m, v, or p is pronounced [m]. Example: un marit [um mrit], Sant
Marti [sam marti], mon pare [mum par], bon vi [bom bi], ben b [bem be]

146
APPENDIX B
SELECT DISCOGRAPHY FROM 1992-2012
A number of famous singers have recorded Mompous songs, including sopranos
Monserrat Caball and Victoria de los Angeles, tenor Jose Carrerras, and mezzo-soprano
Teresa Berganza. Most of the recordings were from concerts or studio sessions from the
1950s and 1960s. These recordings were originally made on LPs and are now difficult to
locate. In the last twenty years, the original recordings by Caball, de los Angeles,
Carrerras, and Berganza have been re-released on CD.
Since 1992, there have been over forty records that feature Mompous songs. In
addition to the re-released recordings from the 1950s and 60s, one present-day recording
label has made an effort to preserve and record the musical traditions of Catalunya.
Columna Musica, in Barcelona, specializes in the works of nineteenth and twentieth
century composers who remain largely unknown in Western music circles.50 Mompous
complete vocal works have been recorded on the Columna Musica label.
Recorded Songs on Compilations
Combat del somni. On Canciones Espaolas. Jos Carreras, Robin Stapleton, Roberto
Benzi, Antoni Ros-Marb, Martin Katz, Jos Padilla, Mara Grever, Francisco
Alonso, Agustn Lara, Amadeo Vives, Reveriano Soutullo, and Jos Serrano.
Orig.record 1978. Reissued CD, Phillips, 432 745-2, 1992. (Includes Combat del
somni Damunt de tu noms les flors, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, Jo et
pressentia com la mar.)
Combat del somni. On La msica espaola. Alicia de Larrocha, piano ; London
Philharmonic Orchestra ; Rafael Frhbeck de Burgos, conductor ; Jos Carreras,
tenor, Martin Katz, piano, and Pascal Rog, piano. CD, Madrid Salvat 428 941-2,
1994. (Includes Combat del somni Damunt de tu noms les flors, Aquesta nit un
mateix vent, and Jo et pressentia com la mar.)
50

Columna Musicas website clearly states the record labels mission. The website has a
complete listing of recordings and provide online program notes for many of the
recordings. The website is http://www.columnamusica.com. (Accessed March 29, 2012).

147

Damunt de tu noms les flors. On Songs of Spain. With Victoria de los Angeles, Renata
Tarrag, Graciano Tarrag, Jos M Lamaa, Jean-Claude Grard, Enrique
Gispert, Oscar Ghiglia, Miguel Zanetti, Gonzalo Soriano, Gerald Moore, Alicia
de Larrocha, Domingo Sagu, Luis Antonio Garca Navarro, Rafael Frhbeck de
Burgos, Juan Cornago, Diego Pisador, Juan del Vado, Antonio Literes, Manuel
Pl, Blas de Laserna, and Jos Palomino. Orig. Recording 1951. Reissued CD,
EMI Classics 7243 5 66937 2 2, 1998. (Includes Damunt de tu noms les flors.)
Damunt de tu noms les flors. On New York Festival of Song: Spanish Love Songs. With
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Joseph Kaiser, Steven Blier, and Michael Barrett. CD,
New Rochelle, NY Bridge 9228, 2007. (Includes Damunt de tu noms les flors.)
Recorded Songs by Recording Artist
Alonso, Laura and Juan Manuel Varela. Na boca das camelias. CD, Santiago de
Compostela Clave Records 1040, 2004. (Includes Aureana do Sil.)
Aragall, Jaume and Salvador Brotons. Pel teu amor. CD, Barcelona Discmedi DM72502, 2002. (Includes Damunt de tu noms les flors.)
Badia, Conchita. Enregistraments indits. CD, Barcelona Editat per DK-90 CD1136,
1995. (Includes Canoneta incerta and Damunt de tu noms les flors.)
Bustamante, Carmen and Carlos Cebro. Mlodies. CD, Belgium Discover International
DICD 920189, 1994. (Includes Combat del somni Damunt de tu noms les flors,
Aquesta nit un mateix vent, Jo et pressentia com la mar; Cinq melodies La
fausse morte, L'insinuant, Le vin perdu, Le Sylphe, Les pas; Sant Marti, Can de
la fira, Aureana do sil, Quatre comptines D'alt d'un cotxe, Frdric tic, tic, Pito,
pito, colorito, J'ai vu dans la lune; Becquerianas Hoy la tierra y los cielos me
sonrien, Los invisibles tomos del aire, Yo soy ardiente, yo soy morena, Yo s
cual el objeto, Volvern las oscuras golondrinas, Olas gigantes, and Cantar del
alma.)
Bustamante, Carmen and Miguel Zanetti. Histria de la msica catalana, valenciana i
balear Del Modernisme a la Guerra Civil (1900-1939). Volume IV. CD,
Barcelona Trit Edicions TRHM13-TRHM16, 1998. (Includes Damunt de tu
noms les flors.)
Bustamante, Carmen and Carmen Bravo. Canons. CD, Barcelona, Picap distribuit per
Actual Records Distribuci 910633-02, 2008. (Includes Jo et pressentia com la
mar, Ara no s si et veig, encar, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, Fes-me la vida
transparent, Damunt de tu noms les flors, Dalt d'un cotxe, Margot, la Pie, J'ai vu
dans la lune, Aserrn, aserrn, Petite fille de Pars, Pito pito colorito, Frederic, tic,
tic, Canoneta incerta, L'hora grisa.)

148
Bustamante, Carmen and Miguel Zanetti. Canons de Toldr, Guridi, Mompou, Halffter.
CD, Barcelona Trit TD0028, 2006. (Includes Combat del somni.)
Caball, Montserrat. Casta Diva. Orig. Recording 1963. Reissued CD, RCA Victor Gold
Seal 74321-23675-2, 1994. (Includes Damunt de tus noms les flors, Aureana do
sil, Cano de la fira, Pastoral.)
Caball, Montserrat and Rosa Sabater. A la Unesco. Orig. Recording 1981. CD Barcelona
Picap distribut per Actual Records Distribuci 910576-02, 2008 (Includes
Damunt detu noms les flors, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, and Jo et pressentia
com la mar.)
Campos, Maria Dolores and Katharine Durran. Classical Spanish Songs. CD, Herald
HAVPCD184, 1995. (Includes Combat del somni Slo las flores sobre t, Esta
noche un mismo viento, and Te presenta como el mar. The songs are sung in
Spanish rather than the original Catalan.)
Carreras, Jos. My Barcelona. Orig. Recording 1976. Reissued CD, Phillips 434 745-2,
1992. (Includes Damunt de tu noms les flors)
Casariego, Lola and Aurelio Viribay. Canciones. CD, Asturias Carlota Msica 0205,
2008. Includes Damunt de tu, noms les flors, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, and Jo
et presenta com la mar.)
Dardiny, Nria and Angel Soler. Salvador Brotons, Miquel Mart Pol, J.V. Foix. CD,
Barcelona Edicions Albert Moraleda 0167, 2000.
De los Angeles, Victoria. The Fabulous Victoria de los Angeles. Orig. Recording 1960.
Reissued CD, EMI CMS5 65061 2, 1993. (Includes Combat del somni Damunt
de tu noms les flors, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, Jo et pressentia com la mar.)
De los Angeles, Victoria. Canciones para recorder. CD, Barcelona Columna Msica
1CM0231, 2009. (Includes Damunt de tu noms les flors.)
De los Angeles, Victoria. The Maiden and the Nightingale: Songs of Spain. Orig.
Recording 1962. CD, EMI Classics 7243 5 62905 2 5, 2004. (Includes El combat
del somni Damunt de tu noms les flors, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, and Jo et
pressentia com la mar.)
Ferrante, Maria and Alys Terrien-Queen. Sea Tides and Time. CD, Worcester, MA,
Firestar FSD 001, 2010. (Includes Cantar del alma, Jo et pressentia com la mar,
and Fes-me la vida transparent.)
Frauca, Titn and Montserrat Massaguer. Canons per a veu i piano Vol. I. CD, Jafre,
Girona Produccions Anacrusi AC 029, 2002. (Includes L'hora grisa, Quatre
melodies Rosa del cam, Cortina de fullatge, Incertitud, Neu ; Canoneta incerta

149
; Comptines I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII; Le nuage, Combat del somni
Damunt de tu noms les flors, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, Jo et presentia com la
mar, Ara no s si et veig, encar, Fes-me la vida transparent; Dues melodies
Pastoral, Anteprimavera; El viaje definitive and Can de la fira.)
Frauca, Titn and Montserrat Massaguer. Canons per a veu i piano Vol. II. CD, Jafron,
Girona Produccions Anacrusi AC 039, 2003. (Includes Cantar del alma, Aureana
do Sil, Sant Mart, Primeros pasos, Becquerianas, and Cinc melodies de Paul
Valry.)
Gonzalez, Dalmacio and Liliana Maffiotte. Endrea. CD, Barcelona Edicions Albert
Moraleda 7372 EAM, 1997. (Includes Lhora grisa and Neu.)
Gragera, Elena, Alain Damas, and Antn Card. Integral de la obra para voz y piano.
CD, Madrid Iberautor Promociones Culturales SA01157, 2004. (Includes
Canoneta incerta, Quatre melodies, L'hora grisa, Comptines I-III, Le nuage,
Comptines IV-VI, Pastoral, Llueve sobre el ro, Comptines VII-VIII, Can de la
fira, Cantar del alma, Combat del somni, CD 2. Aureana do Sil, Sant Mart, Ave
Mara, Primeros pasos, Becquerianas, Cinq mlodies sur des Pomes de Paul
Valery.)
Ibarra, Ana and Rubn Fernndez. A l'ombra del lledoner. CD, Barcelona RBA Msica
ENSAYO ENY-CD-9816, 2001. (Includes Can de la fira.)
Martins, Marisa and Mac McClure. Canons & Danses. CD, Barcelona Columna Msica,
2010. (Includes Cinq mlodies de Paul Valry, Pastoral, and Llueve sobre el ro).
Martins, Marisa and Mac McClure. Combat del somni. CD, Barcelona Columna Msica
1CM0136, 2004. (Includes Can de la fira, L'hora grisa, Canoneta incerta, Sant
Mart, Comptines Dalt d'un cotxe, Margot la pie a fet son nid, J'ai vu dans la
lune, Frdric tic tic, Rossignol joli, Aserrn, asern, Petite fille de Paris, Pito,
pito, colorito; Quatre melodies Rosa del cam, Cortina del fullatge, Incertitud;
Neu, Combat del somni Damunt de tu noms les flors, Fes-me la vida
transparent, Jo et pressentia com la mar; Cantar del alma.)
Lpez, Begoa and Alejandro Zabala. Rumor de besos y batir de alas. CD, Barcelona,
Edicions Albert Moraleda, 2008. (Includes Hoy la tierra, Los invisibles tomos,
Yo soy ardiente, Yo s cul el objeto, Volvern las oscuras golondrinas, and Olas
gigantes.)
Lorengar, Pilar and Miguel Zanetti. Los adioses. CD, Madrid RTVE Msica 65010,
1992. (Includes Cantar del alma, Solo las flores sobre ti, Pastoral, and Aureana do
sil.)
Merriman, Nan and Gerald Moore. Nan Merriman sings French and Spanish Songs.
Orig. Recording 1954. Reissued CD, London Testament SBT 1134, 1998.

150
(Includes Combat del somni Damunt de tu noms les flors, Aquesta nit un
mateix vent, Jo et pressentia com la mar.)
Montano, Alexandra and Martin Nron. Lheure exquise. CD, New York One Soul
Records PLR 2003.11.18, 2000. (Includes Combat du rve sung in French.)
Monteyrol, Laurence and Narcs Bonet. Mlodies. CD, Arrou, France Maguelone, 1993.
(Includes Cinq melodies La fausse morte, L'insinuant, Le vin perdu, Le sylphe,
Les pas; Combat del somni Damunt de tu noms les flors, Aquesta nit un mateix
vent, Jo et pressentia com la mar; Comptines Margot la pie; J'ai vu dans la lune;
Petite fille de Paris; Rossignol joli; Frdric, tic, tic.)
Oelze, Christiane and Rudolf Jansen. Las locas por amor. CD, Berlin Classics DDD
0011892BC , 1999. (Includes Combat del somni Damunt de tu noms les flors,
Aquesta nit un mateix vent, and Jo et pressentia com la mar.)
Pixn, Joaqun and Alejandro Zabala. Poemas Musicados. CD, Barcelona Columna
Musica CM0083, 2001. (Includes Aureana do Sil.)
Pons, Josep, Virginia Parramon and Jerzy Artysz. Suburbis. CD, Arles, France, Harmonia
Mundi HMC 901482, 1993. (Includes Combat del somni - Damunt de tu noms
les flors, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, Jo et pressentia com la mar.)
Ricci, Anna and Angel Soler. Anna Ricci canta a Frederic Mompou y su entorno. CD,
Madrid RTVE Musica 65034, 1992. (Includes Lhora grisa, Canconeta incerta,
Quatre melodies, Comptines, Canc de la fira, Cantar del alma, Sant Marti,
Primeros pasos, and Combat del somni.)
Salza, Herminia and Gustavo Tauschek. Ensueos- y ol! CD, Argentina, Piscitelli
Producciones P-011, 1998. (Includes Combat del Somni - Damunt de tu noms les
flors, Aquesta nit un mateix vent, and Jo et pressentia com la mar.)
Serra de Larrocha, Olga and Josep Buforn. Canta! CD, Barcelona Santa Maria de
Palautordera 07010, 2007. (Includes Damunt de tu noms les flors, Pastoral, and
La fausse morte.)
Superva, Conchita. The Unknown Supervia. Orig. Record, 1929. Reissued CD, Pearl
Records GEMM CD 9969, 1992. (Includes Lhora grisa)
Supervia, Conchita. The Complete Conchita Supervia, Vol. 3. With Gaston Micheletti,
Andre Vavon, Andre Bernadet, Alejandro Vilalta, Ivor Newton, Pedro
Vallribera, Gustave Cloez, Antonio Capdevila, and Paul Minssart. Orig. recording
1930-1932. CD, Swarthmore, PA Marston 520602, 2008. (Includes Lhora grisa.)

151
Tintes- Schuermann, Helen and Winifred Goodwin. Para Entonces: Spanish Poetry in
20th-21st Century Song. CD, Newtown, CT, MSR Music MS1192, 2007.
(Includes Cantar del alma, Pastoral, and Llueve sobre el rio.)
Varela, Celestino. Las canciones de un tiempo CD, Avils Norte Sur Records NS2046,
2007. (Includes Pastoral.)

152
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