Piano Music of Francis Poulenc, Enrique Granados, Federico Mompou and Franz Liszt
A collection of piano works by four brilliant composers who use the keyboard to transport the listener to a particular place or to a particular moment in time, to introduce the listener to the charm or quirk of a particular friend or colleague, or simply to evoke in the listener a feeling or a mood.
Improvisations pour le piano
FRANCIS POULENC, 1899–1963
Among Francis Poulenc’s vast output are 15 Improvisations – musical impressions of friends and colleagues – that he wrote for the piano over a period of 25 years. Click below to hear one of the four Improvisations that Benjamin Burrell has included on his CD Impressions.
Improvisation No. 13 in A minor
Improvisation No. 13
ENRIQUE GRANADOS, 1867–1916
Enrique Granados opens his Escenas Românticas (Romantic Scenes) with a mazurka that reflects the composer’s extreme and many-changing moods.
Escenas Românticas: Mazurka
Granados then uses a brief recitativo to lead us to a simple, yet lush berceuse. In the lento, we again hear his many moods, characterized by beautiful melodies and dramatic flourishes. After the lovely allegretto movement, the brilliant, dynamic Allegro appassionato movement bursts to life. “Epilogo”, the closing section, is an enchanting finale.
FEDERICO MOMPOU, 1893–1987
Intimate Impressions is a collection of nine short pieces, each of which in an intimate manner shares a feeling, a thought, a mood, an impression. These impressions range from melancholy and subdued to gentle and dark; from playful and sunny to fast and anxious; from dark and sinister with bolts of lightning to gentle caresses.
Listen as this half-minute piece suggests a fragile happiness.
Impresiones Intimas No. III
Années de Pèlerinage: Première Année—Suisse
Les Cloches de Genève: Nocturne
(The Bells of Geneva: Nocturne)
FRANZ LISZT, 1811–1886
Les Cloches de Genève: Nocturne (The Bells of Geneva: Nocturne) originally appeared in “Impressions et Poésies”, the first volume of Liszt’s first major piano cycle, Album d’un voyageur, which he later revised to form the basis of his Premiere Année: Suisse (The First “Swiss” Year) of Années de pelèrinage (Years of Pilgrimage). Les Cloches de Genève: Nocturne has been labeled a character piece; that is, a work that expresses either a single mood or a specific idea defined by its title. From the opening phrase to the final diminuendo, Liszt shares with us his impression of the pealing of the bells of Geneva.