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Lark Reviews, January 2018

This proved to be an unexpected pleasure as much for the high quality of performance throughout as well as the wide range of music included. Few of us will be aware of the range of Portuguese music and so the twenty tracks on the cd offer a valuable insight into the range of music which came out of the country over the last three hundred years. The Fado items are a delight, sitting comfortably alongside composed works by eighteenth century composers Palomino and da Silva Leite, and living composers Carlos Goncalves and Pedro Ayres Magalhaes. Most of the tracks may be short but the balance between them means that the programme flows without any uncomfortable jumps. © 2018 Lark Reviews

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2017

Recorded at a 2016 concert in Lisbon, the disc takes us on a journey of Portuguese Music from the 13th Century to the present day with an accent on the Baroque era. It is rustic folk orientated Baroque with Arab influences and often in a dance mode, with an extract taken from a Bach Cantata played and interpreted in a way that sounds very strange to our ears. The twenty tracks are mostly short, and feature the early music soprano, Ana Quintans, and the popular fado singer, Ricardo Ribeiro. Omnipresent the period instrument group, Os Musicos de Tejo, their sound—again with Arab influences—bringing a percussive rhythmic backdrop, and among those ‘strange’ instruments, we have the standard instruments of a string chamber orchestra. Having played the disc to several people, the response has been as wide as the repertoire, the most positive response coming with the three soprano ‘arias’ by the fourteenth century, Francisco Antonio de Almeida, who brought ‘Italian’ opera to Portugal. They are all beautifully performed by Quintans, her approval rating closely followed by the earthy sound of Ribeiro in three traditional fados reinvigorated by twentieth century composers. A few moments of applause being the only indication of an audience, the recording ideally captures the spontaneity of a ‘live’ concert. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

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