ClassicsOnline Home » FREITAS BRANCO, L. de: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 (Cassuto) - Symphony No. 2 / After a Reading of Guerra Junqueiro / Artificial Paradises > Review List

FREITAS BRANCO, L. de: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 (Cassuto) - Symphony No. 2 / After a Reading of Guerra Junqueiro / Artificial Paradises

Composer(s):Freitas Branco, Luis de
Artist(s) Cassuto, Alvaro, Conductor • Ireland RTE National Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.572059
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
USD 6.99


Luís de Freitas Branco was the towering figure in Portugese music during the first half of the 20th Century. His Second Symphony combines elements as disparate as Gregorian chant, the boisterous spirit of a Brucknerian scherzo and the influence of Franck and Debussy into a superbly integrated Romantic work. His tone poem After a reading of Guerra Junqueiro was inspired by Richard Strauss, whose opulent orchestrations it echoes. Artificial Paradises , an eerie piece inspired by De Quincy’s Confessions of an Opium Eater , is regarded as Freitas Branco’s masterpiece.


Review By Record Geijutsu,January 2011


Review By François Laurent,Diapason,September 2010


Review By François Laurent,Diapason,September 2010


Review By Robert R. Reilly,,May 2009

Branco’s Second [Symphony] reveals a marvelous imagination working in Portugal around 1926. Branco starts with Gregorian chant and builds an imposing edifice larded with gorgeous melodies. The two tone poems accompanying the Symphony are knockouts. Please, Naxos, record his Third and Fourth Symphonies.

Review By David Denton, Naxos,January 2009

This is the second disc in a series of orchestral works by Luis de Freitas Branco, one of the most important Portugese composers working in the first half of the 20th century. His wealthy Lisbon family provided a musical education in Berlin and Paris, though it was the French metropolis that made the lasting influence. He rapidly developed a style of orchestration that was his own, the opening flourish lifting the curtain on the Second Symphony full of unexpected twists and turns. Gregorian chant forms the basic material for the first movement, from which he creates music of considerable drama. A long flowing cello melody introduces the lyric beauty of the second, before a jagged and bounding scherzo comes almost as a parody of Bruckner. With brass intoning the



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