ANTÓNIO VICTORINO D'ALMEIDA (b.1940): Piano Sonata No. 4 "Sonata Bufa", Piano Sonata No. 7, 7 Nocturnos, Tema e Variações, Op. 1.
Catalogue Number: 07L094
Reference: NUM 1113
Description: A very attractive way to get to know the composer who gives polystylism a good name. D'Almeida is a composer of great versatility, and correspondingly difficult to pin down and sum up, but the piano works here showcase a number of his music's most appealing characteristics ad sound overall less eclectic than some previous collections have suggested, though no less original. There is a constant basis in tonality, with incessant wrong-footing chromatic diversions, rendering the music as harmonically lively as it is rhythmically invigorating. The four-movement seventh sonata is constructed along conventional lines, with a slow movement of songlike melodiousness, a waltz-toccata scherzo (shades of both Poulenc and Prokofiev) and a vigorous finale, all admitting an ample display of pianistic virtuosity. The substantial set of Nocturnos combines impressionistic atmosphere with an ambiguous chromatic language to striking effect, in places explicitly evoking Chopin, then departing via unexpected jazzy, Satie-esque or Salonesque or pungently 20th-century neo-classical byways. The lively fourth Sonata is Gershwinesque, but more pianistically daring, with a nice mixture of the unashamedly popular and demandingly bravura display. The presumably early Op. 1 variations takes a sentimental little songlike tune on a wide variety of appealing, thoroughly tonal excursions. Ingeborg Baldaszti (piano).