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Album review: Arcadi Volodos, Volodos Plays Mompou (Sony Classical)


Frederic Mompou seems an unusual subject for the Russian virtuoso pianist Arcadi Volodos, better known for the relish with which he tackles more complex material. By contrast, Mompou's music is of such modesty and discretion it seems almost to evaporate, retreating from the spotlight after just the hint of a theme.

He's been called “the Catalan Satie”, but his music is informed by a wistful, nostalgic melancholy perhaps best realised in the “Scènes d'enfants”. Rarely lasting longer than two or three minutes apiece, there's a Borgesian concision and brevity about Mompou's music, with its eschewal of ornament and development, that's quite fascinating the more one hears it.

Download: Musica Callada XV Lento-plaintif; Musica Callada XVI Calme; Scènes d'enfants; Prélude VII