Restricted access

This content is exclusive to members of the International Journal of Music.

Join now for as low as $1.67 per month…

…or get FREE access if you are a student or teacher!

Alicia de Larrocha and Her Catalan Composer Friends


Continuing with the series of articles about the Alicia de Larrocha Archive, this time we are going to deal with the scores and recordings of piano works by some of Larrocha’s Catalan friends.

Cite this:

Publication date:

ISSN: 2792-8349

Copyright ©

International Journal of Music

Article views:


As we mentioned in the previous article, published in Piano Magazine in September 2021, one of the important characteristics of the AdL collection is its grouping of several collections of documents in multiple media formats in the same physical and virtual space. This makes it possible to establish precise interrelationships, and we are thus able to configure a continuous line between documents which correspond to circumstances and events in Alicia de Larrocha’s personal and professional life. This is the aim of the present article.

One of Alicia’s many qualities as a person and performer was her appreciation for her composer friends. She performed all of their music in her many tours, either by premiering works such as the piano concertos by Suriñach and Montsalvatge or by adding a piece by Mompou, Nin-Culmell or Balada in her countless encores.

They are embodied in the series Scores, Commercial Sound Recordings, and Non-commercial Sound Recordings of the AdL Catalog.

With Xavier Montsalvatge, Federico Mompou and Carlos Suriñach, Alicia de Larrocha maintained great friendships and intense musical collaborations throughout her life. Examples of this include the world premiere of the works Concerto breve (“Brief Concert”) by Montsalvatge in Barcelona 1953, the 4th volume of Música callada (“Quiet Music”) by Mompou in Cadaqués 1972 and the Concerto for piano and orchestra by Suriñach, in Minneapolis 1974.

Concerto breve (Montsalvatge)

We can find different expressions of Montsalvatge’s Concerto breve by following the links in the AdL Catalog:

And the sound recordings with the pianist’s interpretation:

Música callada (Mompou)

From the 4th volume of Mompou’s Música callada we can use the following links in the AdL Catalog:

And the sound recordings with the pianist’s interpretation:

The very interesting recording of the practice of this composition with Mompou himself at home:

Concierto para piano (Suriñach)

Suriñach’s Piano Concerto can be found in the catalog register:

Also, the sound recordings with Alicia de Larrocha’s interpretation:

And the practice of this work:

Throughout her professional life, her long-standing friendships with the aforementioned composers were further reflected in her performances on stages all over the world, with small-scale works included in the program or in the encores she usually offered in recitals.

AdL’s desire to publicise the music of her Catalan composer friends can be seen in the scores dedicated to the interpreter by Mompou, Montsalvatge, Suriñach, Leonardo Balada and Joaquín Nin-Culmell and the sound recordings of the performances of these works on stage.

Prelude VII (Mompou)

The composition Prelude VII that Frederic Mompou gave to Alicia de Larrocha and Joan Torra on the occasion of their marriage in 1950 deserves a special mention.

You can consult the dedicated score of Prelude VII:

And enjoy the pianist’s performance here:

Secreto (Mompou)

Alicia de Larrocha performed the composition Secreto (“Secret”) from Impresiones íntimas (“Intimate impressions”) on numerous occasions as an encore in her recitals. The score containing handwritten annotations and indications by Mompou himself can be consulted here:

One of the jewels of the archive is the exceptional recording of the practice of Impresiones íntimas attended by Mompou, who talks with Alicia about the conception and interpretation of the work:

And Non-commercial Sound Recordings:

Divagación (Montsalvatge)

The score Divagación (“Rambling”) by Montsalvatge dedicated to Alicia de Larrocha:

And Alicia’s performances in the Non-commercial Sound Recordings series:

Acrobats of God (Suriñach)

Alicia performed the five dances from the ballet Acrobats of God by Carlos Suriñach, transcribed for piano:

Non-commercial Sound Recordings of the composition are available for consultation here:

Preludis obstinants (Balada)

Balada dedicated his work Preludis obstinants (“Obstinate Preludes”) to Alicia de Larrocha. Following this link you can consult the score, which contains numerous handwritten annotations of interpretation and formal analysis:

And likewise, the recordings with the interpretation and practice by the pianist:

Seguidilla murciana (Nin-Culmell)

Alicia de Larrocha was friends with Joaquín Nin-Culmell and the author dedicated one of his Tonadas (“Tunes”) — the Seguidilla murciana (“Seguidilla from Murcia”), to her. The pianist also used to perform another of the songs that are part of the Tonadas — El cant dels ocells (“Birdsong”), based on a popular melody. You can consult the records in the catalogue that correspond to Alicia’s interpretation:

We hope that this dynamic link consultation article will allow you to appreciate the dimension, coherence, and integrity of the Alicia de Larrocha Archive and its main instrument of description and consultation, the Catalogue.

Did you enjoy this content? Please consider sharing it with others who may find it interesting: