Saturday, June 18, 2011

A reader in Australia searches for a sad bird

Letters, I get letters...

Michael in Melbourne, Australia writes:

I heard "Sad Bird/Pajaro Triste" on the radio some time ago and later saw your video of one of your (very talented) students playing it. Anyway could you forward publication details for the piano sheet music as I have been unable to find it?

Anyone who compliments one of my students is a friend of mine.  

The piece "Pajaro triste" is by Federico Mompou (1893-1987) and comes from a collection entitled "Impresiones intimas".  (I have also seen it spelled "Impresiones intimes".)  The original Union Musical Espanola (imagine the tilde) edition of the complete set costs mucho, mucho dinero, but is available from your favorite music dealer.


People who wish to have this one piece are in luck.  It is included in the Alfred anthology Keys to Stylistic Mastery, Book 3 by Dennis Alexander and Ingrid Jacobson Clarfield.

It is beautifully edited, with performance suggestions, and of course the rest of the collection is very valuable for teaching and repertoire purposes.  This volume currently sells for $9.95.  I recommend this series highly, as well as another similar series by the same two writers/editors, Keys to Artistic Performance.

There are many complete surveys of Mompou's music available on CDs, including those by Martin Jones (full-price) and Jordi Maso (budget label, but thoroughly enjoyable).  Mompou himself recorded much of his music in the later "stereo LP" era so we can hear how he interpreted it.  But for an all-around "sample disc", no one has beaten Stephen Hough in this repertoire.  I have posted an Amazon link to this CD, and it is available on iTunes as well.