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Christ Church Cathedral
The world of Catalan composer Federico Mompou is a place of innocence and charm exquisitely reduced to small-scale pieces that make perfect encores. But for Stephen Hough – a long-term Mompou champion – there’s spiritual depth behind the notes that calls for more considered hearing. His whole recital is constructed around Mompou’s Música Callada or Music of Silence: an extraordinary collection of contemplative miniatures inspired by the poetry of St John of the Cross and expressed in terms that pass through pain and joy into transcendence. Written in the 1950s/60s, they prefigure the simplicity of latter-day ‘Holy Minimalism’, with an austerity that Hough calls ‘shocking, but with healing in the silences and harmonies that Mompou quietly leaves hanging in the air. To play them is like playing at a sacred service’, so it’s fitting that the venue here will be Christ Church Cathedral, one of Oxford’s ancient sacred spaces.
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