Expect contagious energy and passion in a programme to include an extraordinary, ingenious and fantastically scored masterpiece by much-loved Portuguese composer Freitas Branco, music by British-Creole composer Coleridge-Taylor (famously described as the ‘African Mahler’) and a Brazilian Fanfare your dancing feet will find irresistible.
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ÒSCAR COLOMINA I BOSCH Echo and Narcissus (UK première) LUÍS DE FREITAS BRANCO Vathek (UK première) CLARICE ASSAD Brazilian Fanfare (UK première) SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR Petite Suite de Concert NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Capriccio Espagnol
Luís de Freitas Branm
More about this concert:
VATHEK (aka Vathek, an Arabian Tale or The History of the Caliph Vathek) is a Gothic novel written in the 18th century by the Englishman WILLIAM BECKFORD. The novel was inspired by the Oriental culture, and was particularly influenced by Antoine Galland's translation of The Arabian Nights. The book is a pre-Gothic fantasy on the Ninth Caliph of the Abassides, Vathek, who ascended to the throne at an early age. With his unlimited wealth, Vathek created five palaces each dedicated to sensuality: food, music, art, fragrance and eros.
FREITAS BRANCO’s Vathek is a magically orchestrated musical journey composed on an authentic Arabic theme. This ingenious music takes us through dances, fanfares, broad climaxes, warm melodies and passionate power inspired by Beckford’s tale. It brings to mind music by Mahler and Rimsky-Korsakov, or epic scenes from the film The Lord of the Rings.
Written in 1913, the music contains as much melodious and epic beauty as is overflowing in innovation. It touches avant-garde writing and the third variation is written for strings divided into 59 real parts!
Freitas Branco was a pupil of Humperdinck in Berlin and Grovlez in Paris, where he also met Claude Debussy. He was appointed professor of Score Reading at Lisbon Conservatory in 1916, heading the composition master class from 1930. His brother, Pedro was a distinguished conductor. He's one of Portugal's most loved composers and some of his orchestral music has been used for film soundtracks.
The writer, William Beckford visited Portugal frequently and had many links with the country.