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Notation in Mompou's Impresiones Intimas
#2190634 11/30/13 05:28 PM
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I'm looking at Federico Mompou's wonderful Impresiones Intimas, and there's some notation I don't recall seeing elsewhere. There is no introductory matter explaining things, at least not in the battered, old copy I have. Can anyone help explain these, please?

1) There are what appear to be tenuto signs not over notes, but between them. Sometimes they are over a bar line, but sometimes not. For example, the very first bar of PƔrjaro Triste.

2) There are horizontal, square brackets over small groupings of notes. Sometimes with slurs underneath them, and also sometimes with further articulation marks. For example, between bars 7 and 8 of Secreto.

3) There are horizontal lines that look like tenuto marks, but with a little vertical cross near the end. For example, the last note in bar 7 of Secreto.

Can anyone shed any light on what these various markings are intended to convey or direct?

Thanks!


--
Don Morrison
"After all these years I have observed that beauty, like happiness,
is frequent. A day does not pass when we are not, for an instant,
in paradise."
-- Jorge Luis Borges, _Los Conjurados_, tr Willis Barnstone
Re: Notation in Mompou's Impresiones Intimas
dfm #2190827 12/01/13 05:23 AM
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1) Whatever he means by the tenuto sign applies to the whole of the (always) 3-note phraselet.


2) No idea, sorry. With one exception, the bracketed notes are F# and C#; the exception having an additional A.

3) They are little arrows pointing to the right. They could indicate some sort of rhythmic inflection, but I really don't know.

John


Vasa inania multum strepunt.
Re: Notation in Mompou's Impresiones Intimas
dfm #2496078 01/01/16 07:52 PM
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I believe from listening to Mompou himself his tenuto marks are all about dynamics and phrasing ~ emphasizing the cantabile in his exquisite little sections of melody above the accompaniment

Another example of his unconventional notation and strange (at least to me) is in "Jeune Filles Au Jardin" from Scene d'Enfants where "each note has it's own accidental" rather than putting the piece in a set key signature.
Can anyone explain that to me?

Re: Notation in Mompou's Impresiones Intimas
dfm #2496116 01/01/16 09:51 PM
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I concur with drumour in regards to point #1.

I dont see any horizontal brackets in Secreto!
I do see one in "jeunes filles" 2nd page, and i would guess it's an emphasis of the tenuto. That particular phrase should feel as if the notes were weightless, like how you feel at each end of the arc of a swing.
As for the accidentals in "jeunes filles", again a guess but based on wilfrid mellers writing about the piece. He saw it as a fall from Eden, or just before the fall from the paradise of innocence. And mompou wrote in a visual way as much as he did musically. So one could look at the piece and say, "ah the pure innocent key of c" but "tarnished" by the visual reality of sharps and flats, thus giving a sense of the spirit in which one sees the girls at play, from the point of view of a "fallen" adult.

Re: Notation in Mompou's Impresiones Intimas
dfm #2497018 01/04/16 02:19 PM
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Thank you ToyBoy!
Interesting explanation ~ the horizontal brackets drumour mentions in Secreto are there (with the arrow) over the 9th bar of the copy I printed from the ISMLP. I'm playing it from the same score since I'm still waiting for that particular Mompou book I ordered to arrive. Again to my mind, these markings seem to be about his very individual sense of dynamics and phrasing to go with the slurred couplets throughout the bass and sometimes treble clef as well ~ it's almost as if Mompou introduces and develops these little slabs of melody and inner melody and then glues them together ~ in many of his most beautiful compositions like this one. To my ear there are similar things along those lines going on in Canto and Danza No 1 ~ which is the initial piece that drew me in in the first place.
Somewhere I read that the notation for these IMPRESSIONS INTIMES which he wrote when he was 17 include a lot more markings instructions and inscriptions which he later dropped leaving it to the discretion of the performer. Since much of what I can find is in spanish and I'm reading it through google translator I couldn't find it again despite my best efforts but apparently this piece was printed with a very intriguing and amusing message he'd written about the only secret being that there are not really any secrets

Last edited by PeteDako; 01/04/16 02:21 PM.
Re: Notation in Mompou's Impresiones Intimas
dfm #2497032 01/04/16 02:49 PM
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It's good to see other Mompou fans around! The published version I have has much fewer notations.. the explanation for the revision and the reduced annotations is in the link below. Basically, it was published in 1920, and revised by Mompou in 1959 to switch to a more convention marking form.

I would love to find his 1913 treatise which explains his intent.

http://symposium.music.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=10732:the-intimacy-of-expression-implications-of-performance-indications-in-mompou%E2%80%99s-impresiones-%C3%ADntimas-for-guitar-arrangement-and-performance&Itemid=133





"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: Notation in Mompou's Impresiones Intimas
dfm #2497037 01/04/16 03:05 PM
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Found the reference to 'there are no secrets'... page 52

https://etd.ohiolink.edu/%21etd.send_file?accession=ucin1243303271&disposition=inline


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Notation in Mompou's Impresiones Intimas
dfm #2497063 01/04/16 04:28 PM
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oh dogperson, you make my day. i've been trying to get my 13 year old dog to pee all day, she nearly fell off a cliff in the ice, and then i come back and find not one but two nice long things to read about Mompou. thank you!

there is a gem of a site, http://www.fredericmompou.es where all sorts of things Mompou are to be found to look at and read. Makes me want to learn Catalan. There is probably lots there I can't figure out.

But I can see things, and it's where this can be found: http://imgur.com/QGRZWPG

And lo, there is a bracket. I could be right about the emphasis of the tenuto, but looking right at what he wrote, I'm not all that sure now. I would be very careful, Pete, to compare Secreto and most of the rest of the Impresiones, with his "folkier" pieces like the Songs and Dances. Yes there are Spanish/Catalan references and rhythms in the Impresiones, particularly the 4th and Gitano (Gypsy), but as a whole it is one of his more insular works. I have no written proof, but I'd bet money it was the start of his thinking towards Musica Callada. But as to what you say about "little slabs of melody", I'd have to dig up the quote but Mompou said as much in regards to his inspirations of the Callada. One of the pieces there was inspired by the intro theme song for the Spanish shortwave radio. Pajaro Triste was written after feeling sorry for a lonely bird in a cage. His Prelude for Left Hand came after he was improvising at a friend's house. He wasn't just about working out from Catalonian folk songs in the least.

And that revision, whatever it was, doing it some 40 years later and for such a short piece has to be one of my most favorite things about Mompou.

Re: Notation in Mompou's Impresiones Intimas
dfm #2497323 01/05/16 10:45 AM
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Mompou fans will enjoy the reflections of Stephen Hough on Mompou

http://www.stephenhough.com/writings/album-notes/mompou-piano-music.php


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Notation in Mompou's Impresiones Intimas
dogperson #2498129 01/07/16 04:38 PM
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oh marvellous ~ thanks so much for these links


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