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Mompou was born in Barcelona (Spain), and studied piano there at the Conservatorio del Liceo. In 1911 he went to Paris. He was studying to be a concert pianist, but he was very shy, and decided to become a composer.
Although he left Paris and returned to Barcelona when World War I broke out in 1914, he went to Paris again in 1921 and stayed there until 1941 when, once again he went back to Catalonia, because the German army were invading Paris in World War II. He continued to lecture about his music until he had a stroke. He died at the age of 94.
Mompou is best known as a miniaturist (someone who composes short pieces). His music often sounds as if is being improvised. When he wrote his Scènes d'enfants (1915-18) a French music critic, Émile Vuillermoz, said he would be the next great composer after Debussy. Although he did not become as famous as Debussy, his musical style shows the influence of French Impressionism and of Erik Satie. He liked using short, repeated note-patterns (ostinati), imitations of bells, and a kind of thoughtful, religious sound which is heard in his piece called "John of the Cross." His music often uses the rhythms and modes of Catalan folkmusic.
- Groves Music Online