Songs and Dances (Canciones y Danzas) are a collection of 15 sets of small pieces that Mompou wrote individually for piano (except No.13 for guitar and No. 15 for organ) during 55 years (from 1918 to 1972).
Each set consists of a slow and lyrical Song (Canción) followed by a more animated Dance (Danza). They were mostly inspired by Catalan folk songs. However, the Dance No.3 and both Songs and Dances No.5, 6, 11 were entirely original works (written in a Catalan folk song manner).
Song and Dance No. 10 was originally written for piano in 1953 and later transcribed for guitar by the composer himself under the title Song and Dance (about Two Canticles of Alfonso X of Castile) for guitar. Mompou chose two melodies from Canticles of Saint Mary by King Alfonso X of Castile. Saint Mary, Star of the day / Santa Maria, Strela do dia (CSM 100) was used for Song, and The Lame Woman of Molina / Ben sab' a que pód' e val (CSM 179) for Dance.
Manuscript of Song and Dance for guitar
The Canticles of Saint Mary (Cantigas de Santa María):
The Canticles of Saint Mary (Cantigas de Santa María) are a collection of monodic songs, written in the Galician-Portuguese language with a mensural notation in honor of the miracles of the Virgin Mary. They were composed or collected from troubadours at the Court of King Alfonso X “The Wise” of Castile and Leon in the second half of the 13th century. The Canticles of Holy Mary are not only a body of literature or a miracle collection but also a cultural project of great importance for medieval literature, music, and art.