Joly Braga Santos was born in May 1924. Now marks the centenary of this great Portuguese composer, one of the best ever. He died in 1988 and, since then, it has been his orchestral works that continue to bring him the most notoriety, particularly his six symphonies. But his pieces for smaller instrumental ensembles also deserve our attention. He composed around two dozen, of which the Metropolitan Soloists will perform four in this concert. It’s a small sample that reflects the value of his legacy.
In chronological order, it all begins in 1942 with his first creation, a charming Noturno for violin and piano. Then, from 1946, the Sonata for Violin and Piano, whose manuscript kept in the National Library was recently recovered by the pianist and researcher Ana Beatriz Ferreira (this is its first hearing in Portugal). Two years later, she composed Tema e Variações for cello and piano, dedicated to two of her colleagues from the Conservatoire who were then making their debut at the Institute of Italian Culture. Finally, the Trio with Piano, which here illustrates the final period of his career. The longest piece is in three movements, with dense writing that is both introspective and restless. There are scattered sounds, glimpses, perhaps memories.
Joly Braga Santos
Joly Braga Santos Nocturne, for violin and piano
Joly Braga Santos Theme and Variations, for cello and piano
Joly Braga Santos Sonata for Violin and Piano
Joly Braga Santos Trio with Piano
Ana Pereira violin
Nuno Abreu cello
Anna Tomasik piano