Música Callada (translated often as “Voices of Silence”, “Silent Music”, “Quiet Music”, or “Music of Silence”) is a very special piece. It is one of the most beautiful and elusive works in the entire piano repertoire. Although much of the music is indeed quiet, and none of it moves quickly, it is all meaningful. This makes it extremely difficult to perform. Música Callada, is a piano suite consisting of 28 pieces arranged in four books and is the considered the masterwork of Catalan composer Federico Mompou.
About Música Callada, Mompou once wrote, “its mission is to reach the profound depths of our soul and the hidden domains of the vital force our spirits. This music is silent (callada) as if heard from within.” This idea was inspired by the Cántico Espiritual (“Spitirual Canticle”), one of the poetic works of the Spanish mystical poet St. John of the Cross which presents an allegory of the human soul’s search and eventual reunion with God. The following verse resonated with Mompou and inspired Música Callada:
La noche sosegada
en par de los levantes de la aurora,
la música callada,
la soledad sonora,
la cena que recrea y enamora.
(night sunk in a profound
rest, with the stir of dawn about the skies,
music without a sound,
a solitude of cries,
a supper of light hearts and lovelit eyes.)