Hyperion Records

Trois Variations

'Mompou: Piano Music' (CDA66963)
Mompou: Piano Music
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Theme: [untitled]
Variation 1: Les soldats
Variation 2: Courtoisie
Variation 3: Nocturne

Trois Variations

Trois Variations (1921), in spite of the abstract-sounding title, belongs to the same family as the other cycles. After a ‘one-finger’ theme there follow three contrasting variations—‘The Soldiers’, ‘Courtesy’ and ‘Nocturne’—which are like a miniature anthology of the three musical styles of Mompou: the first is in his typical naive, primitive style, with its echoes of Satie—these are children dressed as soldiers, not fighting men; the second is a suavely seductive waltz which folds the theme in a succulently rich harmonic sauce—a reminder, perhaps, that Poulenc was a neighbour in Paris; and the third variation (originally called ‘The Toad’ and later ‘The Frog’ for some unknown reason) is akin to the mystical pieces, with its gentle, undulating accompaniment weaving a magic carpet of sound beneath the trance-transformed theme.

from notes by Stephen Hough ę 1997

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