release date:

July 22, 2017

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Cançons i Danses

" .... those of us who really admire Mompou will know all but one of these pieces as piano works. Nevertheless, such is Mark Eden’s taste and skill as an arranger, that they emerge quite unscathed in this two-guitar guise; indeed one gets to savour these wonderful and utterly timeless gems afresh. It seems to me that one has to truly love and feel this music to project its subtleties effectively. I have heard many a decent pianist make a bad job of Mompou. BGS issued this promo video of the first piece to help market the disc –it tells one all one needs to know about the Eden Stell Duo and their regard for this singular composer. There is real soul in this music and these guys consistently find it in these deeply humane, wonderfully unassuming performances. No.1 is arguably the most famous work in Mompou’s entire oeuvre – the ‘harmonics’ element he strives for in the original piano version of the work is given new life in this beautifully played and recorded account. No. 2’s courtly dance emerges with an authentic baroque grace on these instruments. The tender lullaby that opens No. 3 is followed by a sardana; if one didn’t know what was coming its opening seconds here suggest it could be Status Quo unplugged, while the Hot Club-like jazzisms of the second section really suit two guitars. The Lento litúrgico song of No. 5, funereal and slow, is brief but beautifully paced. At times such is the synchrony on display here one forgets that that this is a duo rather than a single player. The guitars also seem to inject an animation into the sophisticated dance of No. 6 which complements the purity of its preceding song’s lament in a most apposite manner. By the time this reviewer reached half way he had almost forgotten that these are arrangements of piano originals! The Eden Stell duo find a Ravelian delicacy in the Allegro dance of No. 9, while the stateliness projected in both elements of No. 10 emphasise the influence of ancient songs by King Alfonso X. They invest the strange unisons that open No. 11 with deeper, darker colours than one tends to notice on the piano. In truth these terrific players find something to say about all of these enigmatic and thoroughly modern pieces. The recording is detailed yet sympathetic throughout. I think even the most puritanically-minded of those who know Mompou’s piano originals will be pleasantly surprised. For newcomers to this extraordinary composer my advice would be to try and hear these pieces in both forms. The thing about Mompou is that one rarely falls under his spell on the first listen. Nor could this ever, in my view, be background music. One needs to turn one’s phone off, ensure that partners and offspring are preoccupied and simply listen. More than once. The rewards are potentially unlimited. The fantastic Eden Stell duo manage to extract every gram of essence from this music and re-present it tastefully and imaginatively. Mark Eden’s insightful, modest and beautifully written notes complete a most impressive issue." MusicWeb International

6 Comments

  1. hello, another try: could you communicate please whre to buy ths cd? thanks and best regards boris

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  2. Hi Boris, ‘Cancons i Danses’ will be on iTunes and other download and streaming outlets very soon, but you can order it direct from BGS records http://www.bgsrecords.co.uk. Hope that helps.

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  3. Hello Mark and Chris
    Thank for the hint, I will take a look at BGS!
    Best regards
    boris

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  4. Hi again, the correct link is http://www.bgsrecords.com, The CD hasn’t shown up yet, but hopefully will 🙂 b.

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  5. Very nice recording! I’ve read that there are 15 of these pieces/sets. I’ve misplaced my liner notes – sorry if the answer is there…

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  6. Hi Jim … apologies for late reply. Yes there are 15 in total. The 15th is for organ and it isn’t published and I haven’t seen the score only read about it. Hope that helps and glad you enjoyed the recording. Mark

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