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  • Symphony No. 1, Scherzo Fantastique, Suite Alentejana No. 1
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Symphony No. 1, Scherzo Fantastique, Suite Alentejana No. 1

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Audio CD, July 29, 2008
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 1: I. Adagio - Allegro moltoIreland Rte National Symphony Orchestra12:52Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 1: II. AndanteIreland Rte National Symphony Orchestra11:47Album Only
listen  3. Symphony No. 1: III. Allegro molto vivaceIreland Rte National Symphony Orchestra 9:22Album Only
listen  4. Scherzo fantastiqueIreland Rte National Symphony Orchestra 5:48$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Suite alentejana No.1: I. Prelude: AllegrettoIreland Rte National Symphony Orchestra 7:34$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Suite alentejana No.1: II. Intermezzo: Adagio - AndantinoIreland Rte National Symphony Orchestra 5:07$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Suite alentejana No.1: III. Finale: AllegroIreland Rte National Symphony Orchestra 8:20Album Only

Frequently Bought Together

Symphony No. 1, Scherzo Fantastique, Suite Alentejana No. 1 + Freitas Branco: Symphony No. 2; After a reading of Guerra Junquiero; Artificial Paradises + Freitas Branco: Symphony No. 3 / The Death of Manfred / Suite Alentejana No. 2
Price for all three: $32.64

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: RTE National Sympony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Alvaro Cassuto
  • Composer: Luis De Freitas Branco
  • Audio CD (July 29, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B001AE4PIS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,689 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Luis de Freitas Branco was a pre-eminent figure in Portuguese music of the first half of the twentieth century. This first disc of a four-volume series of Freitas Branco' orchestral works features the First Symphony, in which the influence of Cesar Franc


This first volume in a projected series of Freitas Branco orchestral works nicely outlines his three principal styles. First, in the symphony, there is the influence of Franck and his school. This is so pronounced, particularly in the finale, that the result risks caricature. There is no need to describe the music in any further detail: if you love Franck's Symphony in D minor, then you'll also enjoy this work. It's a very, very good copy, closer to its model in sound and structure than many of the works of Franck's immediate contemporaries (Chausson, for example, or Dukas). If you forget the fact that the symphony was composed in 1924, you certainly would think you are hearing a French piece from the 1890s.

The Scherzo fantasque also betrays a French influence, this time of the impressionists, or perhaps Dukas, in its piquant use of a smallish orchestra with plenty of colorful percussion. Suite Alentejana No. 1 reveals Freitas Branco as an ethnic nationalist, recalling Falla, particularly in the ebullient concluding Fandango. It's a lovely work--but then all of this music is certainly worth getting to know, especially when the performances are this sympathetic and well recorded. Álvaro Cassuto is of course familiar to collectors from his series of orchestral works by Joly Braga Santos (one that I hope is ongoing--there's still come good stuff there). He's 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. -- Classics Today, David Hurwitz, August 2008

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Luis de Freitas Branco was, together with Joly Braga Santos, one of the leading figures in 20th century Portuguese classical music, and his music was an obvious choice for Naxos/Marco Polo after their at least artistically immensely successful Braga Santos series. Though only the Scherzo Fantastique is, as far as I can tell, the only work not previously recorded, Freitas Branco’s music is not exactly easy to get ahold of, so the series is very welcome. That said, I don’t think the disc at hand is particularly representative – on the other hand, the works here are all outward-going and accessible, colorful and buoyant, and possibly even more so than many of his later works (not that these are particularly “difficult” either).

The aforementioned Scherzo Fantastique, however, is not a reason to obtain this disc. Composed when the composer was 17, it does sport some local color and certainly displays some compositional skill, but it is a long shot from being great music. The first symphony is a different matter, however. Composed in 1924, it is a post-romantic work, relatively easy on the ear, and owes a great deal to the Flemish and French tradition after César Franck, though with plenty of color and somewhat more forward-looking harmonies – particularly “Portuguese” it isn’t (as far as I can tell), apart from the fact that those familiar with the music of Braga Santos (and you should be) would probably hear a certain similarity in phrasing and melodic material. No, it is not a lost masterpiece, and there are places where the composer reverts to note-spinning, but there are certainly plenty of good ideas as well, and overall I am happy to have made the encounter.

The Suite Allenteja no. 1 is richly colorful and catchy, hardly profound but very appealing.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 6, 2009
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Good music, another example of a composer lost in the sidelines. Should be a regular in concerts in Europe and the US.
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