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PORTUGUESE PIANO MUSIC

João Guilherme DADDI • José VIANA DA MOTA


  • Sofia Lourenço, piano

GUILHERME DADDI was a key figure in Portugal’s musical life in the nineteenth-century. Amongst his compositions are a series of powerfully virtuosic piano pieces, largely based on popular operatic themes or else sequences of waltzes and other dances. From a later generation was JOSÉ VIANA DA MOTA, one of the great virtuosi of the time whose fusion of classical-romantic traditions with nationalist elements was inspired by Portuguese songs and dances.

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Tracklist

Daddi, João Guilherme
1
Andante Cantabile () * (00:06:54)
2
Barcarola () * (00:05:42)
3
Douce Illusion () * (00:05:10)
4
Il Lamento () * (00:07:47)
Vianna da Motta, José
 
Cenas portuguesas, Op. 9 (1893) (00:11:02 )
5
No. 1. Cantiga d'Amor (00:08:04)
6
No. 2. Chula (00:03:18)
7
No. 3. Valsa Caprichosa (00:04:21)
 
Cenas portuguesas, Op. 18 () (00:14:17 )
8
No. 1. Canção do Figueiral - Ao Viatico (00:07:15)
9
No. 2. O Malhão - Canção d'Aveiro (00:05:23)
10
No. 3. Canção da Beira - Canção do Douro (00:06:42)
11
Serenata, Op. 8 () * (00:08:39)
12
Ballada, Op. 16 (1905) (00:09:45)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:19:00

The Artist

Sofia Lourenço was born in Oporto, where she completed graduate studies at the Conservatory and University. From the age of ten she was a pupil of Helena Sá e Costa and was also guided by several distinguished pianists, including Sequeira Costa, Vitaly Margulis and Alicia de Larrocha. She obtained a Soloist Diploma at the Berlin Universität der Künste and was awarded a Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation scholarship. She has been a professor at the Escola de Música e das Artes do Espetáculo do Oporto since 1991. She enjoys an active career as a performer in Portugal and abroad, with a number of recordings to her credit.

The Composer

Daddi was to become a key promoter of concert life in Portugal, starting in 1863, when he organised a chamber music recital at Lisbon’s Dona Maria Theatre, with a programme of works by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Weber. In 1874 he and one of his students, Eduardo Wagner, established a Society for Classical Concerts which ran a series of concerts between March and May of that year. Then, in 1875 he cofounded a Chamber Music Society, it too devoted to presenting an international repertoire, by composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Chopin. Daddi’s own compositional output consists primarily of sacred works and music for the stage, but also includes a number of virtuosic piano pieces published by Sassetti, most of which were fantasies on themes from operas by Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi, or stylised waltzes and other dances, all of which were clearly designed as vehicles to showcase his own technical expertise as a pianist.

The Portuguese pianist and composer José Vianna da Motta studied the piano and composition in Berlin, and in Frankfurt with Hans von Bülow. He attended Liszt’s final classes in Weimar and his close association with the music of Liszt continued after the latter’s death in 1886. One of the leading pianists of his time, he finally returned to Portugal in 1917, becoming director of the Lisbon Conservatory in 1919 and doing much to establish there a broader system of musical and cultural education.

Piano Music

The influence of Liszt is apparent in Vianna da Motta’s compositions for piano, where Portuguese elements have an increasing part to play.

Reviews

“It’s very pleasing that this music has found its way onto CD, especially Daddi’s highly appealing and tasteful works for piano. This is a very welcome CD that boasts real rarities.” – Piano News

“This is a must have album if you are a fan of Portuguese piano music from the Romantic era...This album features Sofia Lourenço in refreshing and emotionally rich performances.” – Record Geijutsu