Xavier Montsalvatge was born in Girona in 1912, but at the age of nine he moved to Barcelona for family reasons. At the Municipal School of Music he studied the violin with Francesc Costa and composition with Enric Morera and Jaume Pahissa.
He became interested in the ideas of the French school (Milhaud and Poulenc) at the same time as he first came into contact with the intellectual and artistic milieu of Barcelona. From 1933 onwards he was active as a composer and was awarded the Fundació Patxot Prize for the work Tres Impromptus for piano.
His work is extensive and as Francesc Taverna-Bech says, Montsalvatge created a personal world of sounds where foreigh styles and new compositional tendencies are only incorporated where they help him to express his ideas more efficiently.
He attaches great importance to vocal and piano music in which he uses texts by the best poets of all time. In 1945 he composed the extremely well-known Cinco Canciones Negras which have won international recognition.
He has won various prizes and awards and in 1989 the Xavier Montsalvatge International Piano Prize was established in Girona. Was death in Barcelona in 2002.
4 Rimes breus were composed by after reading the first edition of the collection of poems L’oreig entre les canyes by Josep Carner. The four songs interpret the lyrics of poet, evoking different moods and a wide range of rhymes but which are always concise and epilogic.