Mompou wrote thirteen Cancións y Danzas
for piano between 1921 and 1979 (plus one for guitar in 1972) and they are a richly varied collection. He described the idea behind this form as ‘a contrast between lyricism and rhythm, to avoid a collection of songs and another of dances, and also due to a natural logical coincidence with a form adopted by many composers’. He goes on to cite Liszt and Bartók in their Rhapsodies, although Mompou’s ‘gypsies’ have considerably less of a swagger; these songs come from a more refined voice, and the dance steps are graceful and poised. In fact Wilfrid Mellers insightfully points out a certain affinity to Chopin’s Mazurkas, not least in the wistful nostalgia for home which both composers felt living as exiles in Paris.
from notes by Stephen Hough © 1997