Author Topic: Joly Braga Santos  (Read 54210 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Dundonnell

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3599
  • Edmund Rubbra(1901-86)
Joly Braga Santos
« on: August 20, 2007, 01:51:55 PM »
One of the wonderful aspects of a forum like this is that posts by enthusiasts reminds one of music not listened to for some time. Having read references in posts by Christo, vandermolen, btpaul674 and Bonehelm to the symphonies of the Portugese composer Joly Braga Santos(1924-88) I have revisited these works in the Marco Polo series conducted by Alvaro Cassuto. I had remembered them as fabulous melodic masterpieces but have been totally bowled over again by just how good these symphonies actually are!

Anyone who is attuned to the music of Vaughan Williams, Moeran, the Walton of the 1st symphony, George Lloyd, Sibelius to cite some comparators ought to find these works just up their street! There is a bold, melodic modal sweep to Braga Santos's first four symphonies which is quite overwhelming. Admittedly Nos. 5 and 6 are a bit harder going but still fine works-albeit in a somewhat different vein of greater chromaticism. Considereing that Braga Santos wrote his first four symphonies while in his twenties these are amazing achievements. His slow movements are breathtakingly beautiful(I am listening to that of his second symphony as I type!) as others on this site have remarked.

I don't know if the Marco Polo CDs are still readily available but if they are I cannot recommend them enough!

btpaul674

  • Guest
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2007, 05:17:19 PM »
 :D Amazing indeed.

The second and third symphonies always blow me away. Even Vaughan Williams' slow movements can't compare to the passionate second movement of the second symphony!

Offline val

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2090
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2007, 12:12:03 AM »
The 4th Symphony is perhaps is most famous work. There is a splendid version conducted by Silva Pereira in the old PORTUGALSOM.

I saw the world first performance of the 6th and was not very enthusiamed. As far as I remember, it was also conducted by Silva Pereira.

Braga Santos also wrotte an opera "To live or to die". I know the work only from the radio, but it doesn't seem very inspired.

For those who are interested in Portuguese composers of the XX century I must say that Luis de Freitas Branco(brother of the famous conductor and friend of Ravel) and Lopes Graça are great musicians, in my opinion very superior to Braga Santos. At least that was also the opinion of Braga Santos himself.

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2007, 03:57:09 AM »
. . . in my opinion very superior to Braga Santos. At least that was also the opinion of Braga Santos himself.

Perhaps Braga Santos was becomingly modest?

Seriously, I am curious to hear these other composers, as well as to hear more Braga Santos.  So far I've only got two Braga Santos discs, and I must hear more! More!

Offline val

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2090
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2007, 12:30:27 AM »
Quote
karlhenning

Perhaps Braga Santos was becomingly modest?

He was a very modest person. But he always had a deep admiration for Freitas Branco that helped him in the begining of his career.

Quote
Seriously, I am curious to hear these other composers, as well as to hear more Braga Santos.  So far I've only got two Braga Santos discs, and I must hear more! More!

Thy the Quartet and the cello Sonata of Freitas Branco by the Takacs Quartet and Perenyi and Jando, his first Symphony by Silva Pereira and, regarding Lopes Graça his "Tragic History of the Sea"conducted by Gyula Nemeth with the baryon Oliveira Lopes.

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10777
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2007, 10:56:05 PM »
I have all the Marco Polo recordings and love symphonies 1-4. I also have the Portugalsom version of No 5 and would be very interested in hearing the Portugalsom versions of the earlier symphonies (I gather they add a chorus at the end of No 4). The problem is that Portugalsom seem to have disappeared!

Braga Santos is one of my favourite composers and I hope that the Marco Polo CDs eventually get released on Naxos in order to give them wider exposure.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8741
  • William Havergal Brian, symphonist (1876-1972)
    • JZH Text Services
  • Location: Delft, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bruckner, Wagner, Brian, Bax, Dyson, Delius...
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2007, 06:08:16 AM »
Hello, vandermolen! I met up with Christo a few weeks ago (thanks to this forum we renewed our acquaintance!) and he said that Braga Santos is great and, IIRC, that you recommended Braga Santos to him... Since then I listened to some clips, and yes - it's my cup of tea alright! (Christo also played me Tubin's Sixth, which was another ear-opener.)
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10777
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2007, 07:00:42 AM »
Hello, vandermolen! I met up with Christo a few weeks ago (thanks to this forum we renewed our acquaintance!) and he said that Braga Santos is great and, IIRC, that you recommended Braga Santos to him... Since then I listened to some clips, and yes - it's my cup of tea alright! (Christo also played me Tubin's Sixth, which was another ear-opener.)

Hello Jezetha,

That's very nice to know. Yes, Tubin ranks very high with me too. All his symphonies are very fine, my especial favourites being nos 1,2 and 4. Best wishes to Christo if you see him again.

Jeffrey
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10777
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2008, 01:09:44 AM »
I just read a very good review of a new CD (Musicweb), containing a symphony by Freitas Branco, the teacher of Braga Santos. The Violin Concerto, with which it is coupled is described as "very moving". I have ordered the CD and greatly look forward to hearing it. Am listening to BS Symphony 4 at the moment, a wonderfully inspiriting score.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fernandes-J-Violin-Concerto-Symphony/dp/B000ZOTD4A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1211018782&sr=1-3
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dundonnell

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3599
  • Edmund Rubbra(1901-86)
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2008, 04:23:17 AM »
I just read a very good review of a new CD (Musicweb), containing a symphony by Freitas Branco, the teacher of Braga Santos. The Violin Concerto, with which it is coupled is described as "very moving". I have ordered the CD and greatly look forward to hearing it. Am listening to BS Symphony 4 at the moment, a wonderfully inspiriting score.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fernandes-J-Violin-Concerto-Symphony/dp/B000ZOTD4A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1211018782&sr=1-3

The Naxos website under 'News' reported last September  that the company is planning to record all the 5 Freitas Branco symphonies on four discs! No. 1 was recorded in Dublin by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland under Alvaro Cassuto-the conductor of the Braga Santos series.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 05:03:17 AM by Dundonnell »

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8741
  • William Havergal Brian, symphonist (1876-1972)
    • JZH Text Services
  • Location: Delft, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bruckner, Wagner, Brian, Bax, Dyson, Delius...
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 04:39:54 AM »
I just listened to my first Braga Santos ever - the Fourth symphony (Cassuto/Marco Polo). The work sounds incredibly familiar (Respighi, RVW, Moeran, Bax, Sibelius), and still he is distinctive. Wonderful music!
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10777
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 04:53:30 AM »
The Naxos website under 'News' reported last September ago that the company is planning to record all the 5 Freitas Branco symphonies on four discs! No. 1 was recorded in Dublin by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland under Alvaro Cassuto-the conductor of the Braga Santos series.

Great news Colin. Thank you.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10777
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 04:55:51 AM »
I just listened to my first Braga Santos ever - the Fourth symphony (Cassuto/Marco Polo). The work sounds incredibly familiar (Respighi, RVW, Moeran, Bax, Sibelius), and still he is distinctive. Wonderful music!

Yes, it's great Johan and you are right about those familiar influences. Do you know symphonies 1-3? All are great. Probably No 3 is my favourite...wonderful life-affirming last movement.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8741
  • William Havergal Brian, symphonist (1876-1972)
    • JZH Text Services
  • Location: Delft, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bruckner, Wagner, Brian, Bax, Dyson, Delius...
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2008, 05:05:06 AM »
Yes, it's great Johan and you are right about those familiar influences. Do you know symphonies 1-3? All are great. Probably No 3 is my favourite...wonderful life-affirming last movement.

I have to thank Christo for 'enlightening me' on Braga Santos. I'll certainly go onlistening to the other early symphonies. Number 3 will be my next on the list.

Btw - I am listening to Langgaard, his ravishing movement for string orchestra from Symphony No. 14, 'Ignored Stars' ('Upaaagtede Stjerner') Do you know it? If not, I'll upload it - its utter beauty cries out for world-wide distribution!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 05:06:41 AM by Jezetha »
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Dundonnell

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3599
  • Edmund Rubbra(1901-86)
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2008, 05:11:35 AM »
Yes, it's great Johan and you are right about those familiar influences. Do you know symphonies 1-3? All are great. Probably No 3 is my favourite...wonderful life-affirming last movement.

If we recall that Braga Santos wrote his first four symphonies between 1947 and 1950 when he was aged 23-26 from where can be possibly have absorbed these influences? I cannot imagine that he could possibly have heard any VW, Bax or Moeran! Respighi, Sibelius? The influence of his teacher Freitas Branco? That is possible but begs so many other questions!

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8741
  • William Havergal Brian, symphonist (1876-1972)
    • JZH Text Services
  • Location: Delft, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bruckner, Wagner, Brian, Bax, Dyson, Delius...
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2008, 05:16:32 AM »
If we recall that Braga Santos wrote his first four symphonies between 1947 and 1950 when he was aged 23-26 from where can be possibly have absorbed these influences? I cannot imagine that he could possibly have heard any VW, Bax or Moeran! Respighi, Sibelius? The influence of his teacher Freitas Branco? That is possible but begs so many other questions!

When I said the music sounded like those composers I mentioned, Colin, I didn't suggest he had actually heard them... Braga Santos belongs to this wonderful 'band of brothers', miraculously, that's all. When you hear the third movement it sounds for all the world like Moeran. How this could be? The enigma of creativity!
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10777
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2008, 05:21:47 AM »
I have to thank Christo for 'enlightening me' on Braga Santos. I'll certainly go onlistening to the other early symphonies. Number 3 will be my next on the list.

Btw - I am listening to Langgaard, his ravishing movement for string orchestra from Symphony No. 14, 'Ignored Stars' ('Upaaagtede Stjerner') Do you know it? If not, I'll upload it - its utter beauty cries out for world-wide distribution!

Thanks v much for the offer but I do find that I have it, although I don't really know it (I shall play it later today). It is on danacord; a great double album with symphonies 4,6, 10 (all great) and "Music of the Spheres"

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dundonnell

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3599
  • Edmund Rubbra(1901-86)
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2008, 05:27:13 AM »
When I said the music sounded like those composers I mentioned, Colin, I didn't suggest he had actually heard them... Braga Santos belongs to this wonderful 'band of brothers', miraculously, that's all. When you hear the third movement it sounds for all the world like Moeran. How this could be? The enigma of creativity!

Oh no, I wasn't trying to imply that you thought he had! :) I totally agree that his music reminds one of these composers. I suppose that it depends what one understands by the word 'influences'!  'The enigma of creativity'-what a nice way of putting it!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 05:35:23 AM by Dundonnell »

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8741
  • William Havergal Brian, symphonist (1876-1972)
    • JZH Text Services
  • Location: Delft, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bruckner, Wagner, Brian, Bax, Dyson, Delius...
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2008, 05:28:55 AM »
Thanks v much for the offer but I do find that I have it, although I don't really know it (I shall play it later today). It is on danacord; a great double album with symphonies 4,6, 10 (all great) and "Music of the Spheres"

Okay.

BUT - that performance of Langgaard's Tenth is much too sluggish, however much I admire Ole Schmidt. If you don't have any other performance, I could upload the Stupel (Danacord) for you (when I have time to rip the CD)...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10777
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2008, 05:55:16 AM »
Okay.

BUT - that performance of Langgaard's Tenth is much too sluggish, however much I admire Ole Schmidt. If you don't have any other performance, I could upload the Stupel (Danacord) for you (when I have time to rip the CD)...

Thanks Johan,

That would be great.

Jeffrey
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).