Freitas Branco’s Symphonic Poem Vathek Recorded for Naxos
May 17, 2010
‘Freitas Branco’s Vathek, a symphonic poem written in 1913, is by far the most important work of its time in Portuguese music, with atonal approaches which were until then unknown. For instance there are two 12 tone chords, and tone clusters which, at the time, had not even been invented by the European avant garde. It is also a most beautiful work, modern yet deeply Romantic, alternately grandiose and delicate, with gorgeous atmospheric passages. The musical theme of Vathek is an authentic oriental melody, published in History of Music by August Wilhelm Ambros, Leipzig, 1862.