Author Topic: Joly Braga Santos  (Read 56226 times)

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Offline kyjo

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #400 on: May 14, 2018, 07:21:33 PM »
Recently discovered JBS' wonderful Symphonic Overture no. 3 (don't be put off by the dry title), which shares the wonderfully invigorating and melodic folk-music influences of his first four symphonies. Written in 1954, it is possibly the last of his works to be written in his accessible, tonal/modal earlier style. I also recently listened to his Cello Concerto (1987, one of his last works), which is a dark, somber work; certainly more "difficult" than his earlier music but not compared to some other music being written at the time. I found the great lyrical outburst toward the end of the work to be particularly moving - it's almost as if he's retrospectively looking back on his earlier style; after that the work dies off into bleakness.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #401 on: May 14, 2018, 07:43:57 PM »
Recently discovered JBS' wonderful Symphonic Overture no. 3 (don't be put off by the dry title), which shares the wonderfully invigorating and melodic folk-music influences of his first four symphonies. Written in 1954, it is possibly the last of his works to be written in his accessible, tonal/modal earlier style. I also recently listened to his Cello Concerto (1987, one of his last works), which is a dark, somber work; certainly more "difficult" than his earlier music but not compared to some other music being written at the time. I found the great lyrical outburst toward the end of the work to be particularly moving - it's almost as if he's retrospectively looking back on his earlier style; after that the work dies off into bleakness.

The Symphonic Overture No. 3 is wondrous indeed! I wish I could listen to the other two. As you say, it's like a synthesis of the period that spans his first 4 symphonies. A gorgeously tuneful and uplifting overture.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #402 on: May 14, 2018, 10:30:33 PM »
Following this discussion I've been listening to the fine and uplifting Symphonic Overture No.3; on Naxos it's followed by the equally fine but more tragic-sounding Elegy in memory of Vianna da Motta (1948) which is another of my favourite shorter works by JBS. The somewhat dry title 'Symphonic Overture No.3' brings to mind other such works whose titles disguise the quality of the music, including Bax's 'Festival Overture' and Samuel Barber's 'Essay No.2 for Orchestra', both of which I find powerful and moving.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #403 on: May 16, 2018, 11:01:53 AM »
The Symphonic Overture No. 3 is wondrous indeed! I wish I could listen to the other two. As you say, it's like a synthesis of the period that spans his first 4 symphonies. A gorgeously tuneful and uplifting overture.

I also wish to hear the first two Symphonic Overtures - I hope they are recorded! Ditto his viola and piano concerti, though I believe they both belong to his later style, which I find less appealing (but still worthwhile on its own terms). I see the Viola Concerto is on YouTube.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline kyjo

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #404 on: May 21, 2018, 01:16:11 PM »
Just discovered the Sinfonia pirenaica by Braga Santos' Basque neighbor Jesús Guridi (1886-1961). Written in 1945, it's roughly contemporary with JBS' first four symphonies. Like the Portuguese composer in his early period, the Guridi work utilizes folk material in a colorful, energetic, and life-affirming way. It must be said that, at least on first listening, I found the work rather weak structurally, and it disappointingly lacks a true slow movement. Nonetheless, it contains some wonderful moments and I think fellow BSEs would enjoy it  ;D It's available on this Naxos recording:



https://youtu.be/-NMk5zIpEwk
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline kyjo

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #405 on: July 31, 2018, 11:50:03 AM »
Brian altered us to this exciting upcoming Naxos release in the New Releases thread:



The Piano Concerto is a late work (1973) so we can expect the more dissonant language characteristic of his 5th and 6th symphonies. The Symphonic Overtures 1 and 2 are earlier works (1946 and 1947; no. 1 was his first orchestral work), so we can expect the folksy/modal language of the first four symphonies. Dare we hope Naxos will go on to record his Viola Concerto, his chamber music (including two string quartets, a piano trio, a piano quartet, and a string sextet; all of which are later works besides the 1st quartet), and his vocal works (including an opera, Mérope)?
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #406 on: July 31, 2018, 07:53:00 PM »
Our pleas have been heard at last! A major release of Naxos so far. I'm grateful to this label because of their rescue of neglected composers. They do know the interests of avid people like us to enjoy not-recorded stuff, instead of recording the same works by the same composers over and over again like e.g. DG or Warner do. Long live the Naxos!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 07:54:53 PM by SymphonicAddict »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #407 on: July 31, 2018, 09:40:28 PM »
Brian altered us to this exciting upcoming Naxos release in the New Releases thread:



The Piano Concerto is a late work (1973) so we can expect the more dissonant language characteristic of his 5th and 6th symphonies. The Symphonic Overtures 1 and 2 are earlier works (1946 and 1947; no. 1 was his first orchestral work), so we can expect the folksy/modal language of the first four symphonies. Dare we hope Naxos will go on to record his Viola Concerto, his chamber music (including two string quartets, a piano trio, a piano quartet, and a string sextet; all of which are later works besides the 1st quartet), and his vocal works (including an opera, Mérope)?
OMG! Great news and love the cover image too.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #408 on: July 31, 2018, 09:41:12 PM »
Just discovered the Sinfonia pirenaica by Braga Santos' Basque neighbor Jesús Guridi (1886-1961). Written in 1945, it's roughly contemporary with JBS' first four symphonies. Like the Portuguese composer in his early period, the Guridi work utilizes folk material in a colorful, energetic, and life-affirming way. It must be said that, at least on first listening, I found the work rather weak structurally, and it disappointingly lacks a true slow movement. Nonetheless, it contains some wonderful moments and I think fellow BSEs would enjoy it  ;D It's available on this Naxos recording:



https://youtu.be/-NMk5zIpEwk

Like this work very much as well Kyle.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #409 on: August 10, 2018, 10:31:36 AM »
Brian altered us to this exciting upcoming Naxos release in the New Releases thread:



The Piano Concerto is a late work (1973) so we can expect the more dissonant language characteristic of his 5th and 6th symphonies. The Symphonic Overtures 1 and 2 are earlier works (1946 and 1947; no. 1 was his first orchestral work), so we can expect the folksy/modal language of the first four symphonies. Dare we hope Naxos will go on to record his Viola Concerto, his chamber music (including two string quartets, a piano trio, a piano quartet, and a string sextet; all of which are later works besides the 1st quartet), and his vocal works (including an opera, Mérope)?

Just realized that, in addition to the PC and the two Symphonic Overtures, this disc also includes the substantial (13 minute) Vivier ou Morrer: Prelude, as well as four short pieces: Pastoral, Romance, Symphonic Prelude, and Intermezzo. According to the liner notes, these all belong to his earlier phase.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Christo

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #410 on: August 10, 2018, 01:14:01 PM »
Just realized that, in addition to the PC and the two Symphonic Overtures, this disc also includes the substantial (13 minute) Vivier ou Morrer: Prelude, as well as four short pieces: Pastoral, Romance, Symphonic Prelude, and Intermezzo. According to the liner notes, these all belong to his earlier phase.

Great news indeed. Still, there's enough unrecorded orchestral music left to hope for yet another CD with mostly early JBS:

Elegia tragica (1943)
Paisajem, symphonic scene, Op. 22 (1952)
Aria I Op. 6, for cello and orchestra (orchestrated) (1954)
Canção, Op. 23 (from the film Chaimite) (1955)
Ruinas do Carmo, symphonic poem, Op. 33 (1961)
Otonifonias, suite for brass band, Op. 50 (1977)

And we could also hope for a new recording (I have the old Strauss/Portugalsom, but who else does?) of the
Concerto for viola and orchestra Op. 31 (1960)

… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline kyjo

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #411 on: August 11, 2018, 07:14:13 AM »
Great news indeed. Still, there's enough unrecorded orchestral music left to hope for yet another CD with mostly early JBS:

Elegia tragica (1943)
Paisajem, symphonic scene, Op. 22 (1952)
Aria I Op. 6, for cello and orchestra (orchestrated) (1954)
Canção, Op. 23 (from the film Chaimite) (1955)
Ruinas do Carmo, symphonic poem, Op. 33 (1961)
Otonifonias, suite for brass band, Op. 50 (1977)

And we could also hope for a new recording (I have the old Strauss/Portugalsom, but who else does?) of the
Concerto for viola and orchestra Op. 31 (1960)

I wasn't aware of the existence of most of these works - thanks for bringing them to my attention. I wouldn't be surprised if the ever-enterprising Alvaro Cassuto and Naxos have these up their sleeve!  :)
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #412 on: August 12, 2018, 04:03:11 AM »
Cassuto is 80 this year;  is he still conducting?
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Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #413 on: September 14, 2018, 08:33:51 PM »
Listening to with great enthusiasm the new Naxos release (this year has been quite prolific).

The two Symphonic Overtures are indisputably nice revelations. The 1st is clearly a very young Braga Santos, though is well managed. The 2nd called Lisboa stands out even more accomplished, more tuneful and developed. This only piece is worth acquiring the whole CD. Recommended.

The Symphonic Prelude is like a pastoral miniature, very in the vein of Atterberg, just gorgeous.

Now, Viver ou morrer Prelude is, thus far, the most dramatic and expressive work. It's a rather moving utterance. I'm impressed, this is so heartfelt and redemptive.

Thank Naxos for recording this gem, likewise the other works. This disc is a must-buy. Don't hesitate!

The other works are next.




Joly seemed an agreeable guy, didn't he?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 09:33:45 PM by SymphonicAddict »

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #414 on: September 14, 2018, 09:32:19 PM »
Continuing with the rest of the CD, now I've played Pastoral, Romance, Intermezzo and the Piano Concerto. What I can say is that this is lovely stuff! Again, a set of exquisite miniatures that will delight the avid listeners.

On the other hand, the Piano Concerto, Op. 52 is a different beast. We are far from the sunny music of the previous works, but nothing bad about it. Astringent, kind of challenging but with substance. The instrumentation gives an effect of a mysterious and somber composition in the first two movements (baleful in places), albeit slightly more hopeful in the 3rd one. The piano writing weaves between percussive and lyrical, dominating an advanced harmony throughout (dodecaphonic and/or serialist).

All in all, this CD is one of the greatest eye-openers this year.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #415 on: September 14, 2018, 09:50:07 PM »
Continuing with the rest of the CD, now I've played Pastoral, Romance, Intermezzo and the Piano Concerto. What I can say is that this is lovely stuff! Again, a set of exquisite miniatures that will delight the avid listeners.

On the other hand, the Piano Concerto, Op. 52 is a different beast. We are far from the sunny music of the previous works, but nothing bad about it. Astringent, kind of challenging but with substance. The instrumentation gives an effect of a mysterious and somber composition in the first two movements (baleful in places), albeit slightly more hopeful in the 3rd one. The piano writing weaves between percussive and lyrical, dominating an advanced harmony throughout (dodecaphonic and/or serialist).

All in all, this CD is one of the greatest eye-openers this year.
This is very exciting news Cesar and thanks for the update. The CD is en route to me so should arrive soon. It has been a musically exciting week for me as well with Ruth Gipps, Langgaard and Braga Santos release, not to mention the organ transcription of Basil Poledouris's fine score for 'Conan the Barbarian'. :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Christo

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #416 on: September 14, 2018, 11:18:16 PM »
not to mention the organ transcription of Basil Poledouris's fine score for 'Conan the Barbarian'. :)
Just wait for the balalaika version! #knockdown
… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #417 on: September 15, 2018, 02:58:02 AM »
Just wait for the balalaika version! #knockdown

Kazoo version coming out early next year.

 8)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #418 on: September 17, 2018, 01:14:49 AM »
Listening to with great enthusiasm the new Naxos release (this year has been quite prolific).

The two Symphonic Overtures are indisputably nice revelations. The 1st is clearly a very young Braga Santos, though is well managed. The 2nd called Lisboa stands out even more accomplished, more tuneful and developed. This only piece is worth acquiring the whole CD. Recommended.

The Symphonic Prelude is like a pastoral miniature, very in the vein of Atterberg, just gorgeous.

Now, Viver ou morrer Prelude is, thus far, the most dramatic and expressive work. It's a rather moving utterance. I'm impressed, this is so heartfelt and redemptive.

Thank Naxos for recording this gem, likewise the other works. This disc is a must-buy. Don't hesitate!

The other works are next.




Joly seemed an agreeable guy, didn't he?

Greatly enjoying 'Viver ou Morrer' at the moment. I'm in and out the house so listening to the CD in instalments but am very pleased with it. Nice photo of BS.  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Joly Braga Santos
« Reply #419 on: September 17, 2018, 10:48:10 AM »
Greatly enjoying 'Viver ou Morrer' at the moment. I'm in and out the house so listening to the CD in instalments but am very pleased with it. Nice photo of BS.  :)

Excellent, Jeffrey! That work was one of the most enjoyable along with the Symphonic Prelude No. 2 Lisboa. The rest of the works don't disappoint at all either.

A friendly pic of the great Portuguese gentleman  :)

 

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