In music from the classical tradition, the figure of the composer is very prominent. The performing musician is relegated to the category of faithful intermediary. We forget, however, that many great works are linked to great performers who are sometimes their “raison d’être”. This program features two ensembles that, at different times, contributed greatly to the promotion of chamber music in Portugal. In 1957, the Lisbon Quartet was made up of violinist Leonor Prado, violinist François Broos, cellist Mario Camerini and pianist Nella Maïssa. These were the musicians who premiered Joly Braga Santos’ Piano Quartet that year in Würzburg, Germany. In one breath, the score unfolds in a cyclical recurrence of the melodic ideas presented at the beginning. What stands out is the exuberance with which the four instruments intertwine, sometimes overlapping synchronously and sometimes articulating an apparently disjointed conversation in which enthusiasm and impatience prevail. In 1980, the Opus Ensemble was formed by oboist Bruno Pizzamiglio, viola player Ana Bela Chaves, double bass player Alejandro Erlich Oliva and pianist Olga Prats. This program includes three works dedicated to him. First of all, Georgicas, a set of eight short pieces composed by Fernando Lopes Graça in 1987 and inspired by the bucolic nature of the homonymous verses by the Roman poet Virgil. The premiere took place at the Cine-teatro de Tomar on December 14, 1991, the occasion of the composer’s 85th birthday. In 2005, Eurico Carrapatoso celebrated another anniversary with Cantigas de Alba, this time the 25th of the Opus Ensemble itself. In 2019, he produced this new version. These are three pieces with a stripped-down expression and a touch of our traditional music. Finally, we go back to 1984, to recover the Suite of Dances by Joly Braga Santos. The last of these three dances – Tarantela – stands out as one of the most exultant pages in our entire chamber repertoire. The premiere took place at the Gulbenkian Modern Art Center in 1986. Now it’s the Metropolitan Soloists’ turn.
Dances and songs
Metropolitana’ s Soloists
Joly Braga Santos Piano Quartet
Fernando Lopes Graça Georgicas
Eurico Carrapatoso Cantigas de Alba
Joly Braga Santos Suite of Dances
Carla Pereira oboe, Nonna Manicheva violin, Andrei Ratnikov viola, Alessio Cunha cello, Vladimir Kouznetsov double bass, Savka Konjikusic piano