ANTÓNIO VICTORINO D'ALMEIDA (b.1940): Dinis e Isabel for Soprano, Piano, Trumpet, Flute and Harp, Op. 89 (Ana Ferraz [soprano], José João Gomes dos Santos [piano], António Costa [trumpet], Ravelle Chapuis [flute], Carmen Cardeal [harp]), Decateto No. 1, Op. 138, Decateto No. 2, Op. 155 (Orquestra Utópica; Nuno Corte-Real), Memória for Piano, Flute and Trumpet, Op. 95 (performers as above), O Pássaro que salvou o mundo for Flute and String Trio, Op. 137 (Janete Santos [flute], Ana Pereira [violin], Joana Cipriano [viola], Carolina Matos [cello]), In Memoriam for Brass Quintet, Op. 105 (Quinteto de Metaís LX Brass), Tocata for Piano and Guitar, Op. 133 (Ingeborg Baldaszti [piano], Ricard Rocha [guitar]).
Catalogue Number: 08M079
Reference: NUM 1193
Description: This disc displays the usual range of styles and forms in which D'Almeida seems equally at ease. Dinis e Isabel is lush and impressionistic, with warm, full textures in which all instruments are treated as equal soloists, including the ravishingly sensuous vocal part. There are two Decets because the instrumentation for the commission was somehow misinterpreted over the phone, and rather than attempt to recompose the very idiomatic ensemble writing of the first, the composer found it more expedient to write another, for a kind of Stravinskyan neoclassical chamber orchestra, rather than the angular wind ensemble of the first. Memória is a slightly ironic, sentimental piece dedicated to an author of popular Portuguese novels. "The Bird that Saved the World", according to the composer, is a satirical commentary on environmental concerns; the flute is plainly the bird, obliviously going about its way, while the music as a whole passes through a series of episodes with some apparent implicit narrative, tonal but dissonant, with a sense of irony. The brass quintet In Memoriam for a close friend of the composer sounds like an affectionate character-portrait, with elements of Latin melodic contour and rhythm. The lively little Tocata, for the unusual combination of metallic Portuguese guitar and piano is an immensely appealing encore.