Listen to an extract from Vito

José VIANA DA MOTA (1868–1948)
À Pátria – Sinfonia (To the Homeland)

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Álvaro Cassuto

The most distinguished pianist of his generation, a brilliant pedagogue and a highly gifted composer, José Viana da Mota was a towering personality in the field of Portuguese music. Disapproving of ‘modernistic’ compositional trends he stopped composing around 1910 but not before he had written his Symphony ‘To the Homeland’, a brilliantly orchestrated paean to Portuguese prowess and discovery which makes use of Portuguese folk dances and songs. Based on the dramatic life and murder of the 14th-century noblewoman Inês de Castro, Viana da Mota’s Lisztian symphonic poem is an early work notable for its kaleidoscopic sections full of inspiring contrasts. This recording presents the complete orchestral works of Viana da Mota.

Álvaro Cassuto   •   Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

About Álvaro Cassuto

Álvaro Cassuto is Portugal’s foremost conductor. After establishing himself as one of the most promising young composers of the avant-garde of the early 1960s, he went on to study conducting with Herbert von Karajan in Berlin. A recipient of the Koussevitzky Prize in Tanglewood among many other honours, he has enjoyed a career of high international acclaim, and spent almost two decades in the United States where his annual subscription concerts at Carnegie Hall with the National Orchestra of New York were enthusiastically received by The New York Times. He has a discography encompassing over fifty recordings with a variety of orchestras and for different labels, among which a highly successful ongoing series for Marco Polo and Naxos, initiated in 1997 and dedicated to Portugal’s most important composers, which has met with enthusiastic and unanimous praise from the international press. In 2009 the President of Portugal bestowed on him the degree of Grand Officer of the Military Order of Sant’Iago da Espada, the highest honour ever granted to a musician.

About the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the UK’s oldest continuing professional symphony orchestra, dating from 1840. In recent seasons world première performances have included major works by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Sir John Tavener, Karl Jenkins, Stewart Copeland, Michael Nyman, Michael Torke, Nico Muhly and James Horner, alongside works by Liverpool-born and North West-based composers. Recent additions to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s extensive and critically acclaimed recording catalogue include Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony [Naxos 8.570568] (2009 Gramophone Awards Orchestral Recording of the Year), the world première performance of Sir John Tavener’s Requiem, a complete Shostakovich symphony cycle (the recording of Symphony No. 10 [Naxos 8.572461] was the 2011 Gramophone Awards Orchestral Recording of the Year), Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances, Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3 and Piano Concertos Nos. 1-4 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (with Simon Trpčeski), Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (also with Trpčeski) and Elgar’s Symphony No. 1.


"The works performed here are full of fantasy and colors and form an appealing program."
- Pizzicato, ★★★★


"Álvaro Cassuto is…not only an authority on the Portuguese school, but he projects his knowledge of the composers and their various idioms with unfailing enthusiasm and stylishness, making this latest release an easy recommendation."
- ClassicsToday.com


"Álvaro Cassuto…is an ideal exponent of this music."
- ClassicsToday.com


"Álvaro Cassuto has done much to bring the music of his homeland to wide notice and conducts with skill and sensitivity."
- American Record Guide