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Braga Santos: Symphony No. 4 ; Symphonic Variations

Joly Braga Santos , Alvaro Cassuto , National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Price: $16.14 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 5 Songs, 2002 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2002 $16.14  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

View the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Symphonic Variations on a popular song from the Alentejo14:54Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 4: Lento13:48Album Only
listen  3. Symphony No. 4: Andante12:19Album Only
listen  4. Symphony No. 4: Allegro tranquillo11:03Album Only
listen  5. Symphony No. 4: Lento16:05Album Only

Frequently Bought Together

Braga Santos: Symphony No. 4 ; Symphonic Variations + Symphony 2 in B Minor / Crossroads + Braga Santos: Symphonies Nos. 3  And  6
Price for all three: $41.10

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
  • Conductor: Alvaro Cassuto
  • Composer: Joly Braga Santos
  • Audio CD (December 3, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Marco Polo
  • ASIN: B00006B1KD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,879 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating find for me. And hopefully for you as well. September 15, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Fellow classical music reviewer J Scott Morrison, in his review of Joly Braga Santos's Symphony No. 2, was so convincing in his enthusiasm for this largely-unknown 20th-century Portuguese composer that I obtained not only that CD but this one as well. Both CDs are certifiable "winners." There is little that I can add to Scott's comments on the 2nd Symphony and its discmate (the "Crossroads" Ballet); I agree with all that he has written. But there is plenty worthy of comment for this 4th Symphony, coupled on this CD with his "Symphonic Variations."

Braga Santos (1924-1988) spent the early part of his musical career studying under a Portuguese composer of the previous generation, Luis de Freitas Branco, who would appear to have influenced all of Braga Santos's compositions through and including the 4th Symphony, all of which were written while he was still in his 20s. (The excellent booklet notes, by Álvaro Cassuto, the conductor for this Marco Polo series and clearly the principal champion of the music of Braga Santos, go on to state that Braga Santos subsequently studied with Herman Scherchen and Virgilio Motari, and that his later works reflected a more avant-garde compositional style, something that I have yet to look forward to.) Despite his Iberian roots, there is little in his music that brings to mind a characteristically Iberian style (say, that of Manuel de Falla). Instead, there is a more "international" flavor to these works, including some fairly obvious similarities with a number of better-known composers: Bax, Bruckner, Hanson, Nielsen, Ravel, Respighi, Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius and Vaughan Williams come to mind at various points throughout the 4th Symphony, and the Symphonic Variations have their Ravelian and Respighian touches as well.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I have little to add to the other estimable reviews printed here other than to say that, as an aficionado of minor composers and out-of-the-way repertoire, I have listened to hundreds of symphonies and other orchestral works from leading but often completely neglected composers of many nations, and have never heard a series of symphonies more impressive than those of Joly Braga Santos. How many so-called 'minor' symphonies have provided pleasure by virtue of their skillful orchestration, their clever handling of thematic development, or their inventive architecture....while failing to imprint upon the musical memory any melodies of distinction or, even less, of simply any resonance. Yet here, in the 4th symphony of Mr. Braga Santos, we have all of the characteristic virtues of masterful composition along with the very rare facet of memorable melodies. Melodies, in fact, that contain the essence of beauty and power that typifies the highest artistic achievements. Everyone who loves music should buy this disc. Every music director should consider programming this or other works of this composer. If music like this were programmed more often audiences would appreciate classical music more so than they do in this time in which programming relies too often on a formula of juxtaposing the same old orchestral repertoire with modern works that usually sacrifice melody and shape for sound effects and architectural ingenuity. To the Andrew Littons of the world.....please champion this music!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As exuberant as anything you haven't heard September 25, 2003
Format:Audio CD
If you don't like Braga-Santos's 3rd and 4th symphonies, all I can say is that you must be immune to the joy that classical music can bestow. Full of brilliantine orchestration and sheer musical craftsmanship, the 4th deserves not just to be played, but to be a standard. The fourth movement contains, in additional to the chorale-like coda discussed by other reviewers, not one but two memorable and stirring melodies. Perhaps labeling Braga-Santos the Portugese Tchakovski might help. Anything to get his symphonies 2 thru 4 played.
Crystalline performance by the orchestra that, for all its success, only hints at what a major ensemble could do with this piece.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A major Symphonic discovery January 6, 2003
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Why a Symphony like this goes unrecorded and unplayed is beyond me. Both the Symphony and the Variations are wonderful, gloriously played and tuneful. The last movement of the symphony is just stunning in its virtuosity culminating in a grand hymn like coda. The rest of Joly Braga Santos' works are worth discovering but for those wanting more of this, his 5th and 6th are more atonal but still major discoveries.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous - Gorgeous - Gorgeous March 11, 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What a magnificant symphony. It is simply stunning! And the "Hymn to Youth" of the last movement is beyond belief. Get this one. You'll play it again and again.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinarily joyous November 7, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Since first hearing this symphony about a year ago (and immediately buying the CD), I've listened to it at least twenty times; and with each re-playing, it continues fresh and seems to grow even more beautiful. It's the most exciting piece of music I've discovered in at least the last 10 years, and I have yet to grow tired of hearing it (I can't imagine ever doing so). As a lover of classical music for over 70 years, I consider its last movement to be one of the most gloriously joyous pieces of music ever written, coming close in joyousness to the finale of Beethoven's Ninth. I almost never enthuse this strongly about anything, but Braga-Santos's 4th deserves extraordinary enthusiasm.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful if Untamed Gem
I essentially agree with all the praise that other reviewers have heaped upon this disc. It's a marvelous work, tuneful and thoughtful, propulsive and inspiring, and well-played in... Read more
Published 24 months ago by J. R. Trtek
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent symphony and discovery!
This is my second Braga Santos CD Braga Santos: Concerto for Stringsand it won't be my last! If you respond to the sound world of Vaughan Williams, Walton, Hanson then I'm... Read more
Published on June 23, 2012 by Thomas Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars A great discovery of an exciting and masterful work
If you have got this far, you will already have an idea of what awaits you in the music of Braga Santos. So I would just give a brief summary about the composer. Read more
Published on June 12, 2009 by Bryan Leech
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning find
Braga Santos' fourth symphony is a stunning work, and one might feel very reasonable bewilderment about the fact that it's not played more often. Read more
Published on November 24, 2008 by G.D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!
This is the first time I bought a disc without ever hearing the music; doing so solely on the basis of reviews that I read here at Amazon. Read more
Published on December 8, 2007 by Ralph A. Hesse
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece - not to be missed
If you have not heard the 4th symphony of Braga Santos, you have missed one of the great joys in life. Read more
Published on July 8, 2007 by Jolly Roger
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Wonderful
Both pieces on this CD are absolutely terrific.

Perhaps it is time to consider revising the Basic Repertoire. Read more
Published on May 10, 2007 by Allen L. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful works
So glad to see great reviews on 2 of my all time favorite "unknown works" from Portugal. I have actually more to say about the Variations - about midway into this work begins a... Read more
Published on October 27, 2005 by John C. Leopold
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