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Fernando Lopes-Graça
1906 - 1994
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F. Lopes-Graça
Fernando Lopes-Graça (17/12/1906 - 27/11/1994), a Portuguese composer, from Tomar. He was a figure of enormous importance in Portuguese music, taking up positions, both musical and (almost alone amongst Portuguese composers of the time) political, which would bring him into conflict with the establishment – at one point he was imprisoned for his political views. A pupil of Luís de Freitas Branco and Vianna da Motta, Lopes Graça also travelled to Paris at his own expense to study with Koechlin. During the course of his life, Lopes Graça sought for a genuinely Portuguese national music. His works from after his Parisian period show the influence of (the nationalistic) Bartók and Stravinsky in particular, but his music changed and opened itself to the influence of the investigations of the younger generation, without ever becoming hemmed in by the adherence to a strictly avant-garde aesthetic.
Requiem pelas vitimas do fascismo em Portugal
Composed in:1979
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
In memory of:the victims of fascism in Portugal
Label(s):Strauss CD 870010/PS
This requiem written for the victims of fascism in Portugal (of the Salazar-regime), is a late work of errantly meandering tonality. It is no more challenging than Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht or Strauss's Metamorphosen. Its soaked textures will, especially in the massed choral and solo writing, remind you of Herbert Howells' Stabat Mater and, certainly of Britten's War Requiem. There are five movements: "Introito", "Dies irae", "Sanctus", "Agnus Dei", "Communio". The "Introito" is riddled with foreboding with optimistic lines rising out of the fog. The "Dies irae" (the single largest movement at almost 20 minutes) is saw-toothed with violent assaults from the brass taking a leaf from Penderecki's book. Anger and resentment and Brucknerian jagged brass bark out step-down fanfares. The music seems to speak of the plate tectonics of great change; of those ground down and of those exalted. The explosively joyous Sanctus boisterous at first soon collapses into music for solo violin then gathers itself for violence and a vinegary gibbering march (3.03). The "Agnus Dei" conveys a sense of a medieval clock tolling the passage of time and includes an ululating soprano - calm and gentle consolation out of the pages of Tippett's Child Of Our Time. The final communio rises to fill the cavernous space used for this recording. There is little unalloyed joy and a high quotient of gloom and stoical resignation. The ululating soprano returns at the close. Definitely a most moving piece. But for the accidents of geography and cultural barriers this music would have secured (and may yet secure) the place held by the War Requiem. For now it stands in the unjustly quiet company of such unaccountably neglected masterworks as Fricker's Vision of Judgement and Malcolm Williamson's Mass of Christ the King.
Author:Rob Barnett
This requiem contains:
1. Introitus 7:28
2. Sequentia 19:47
3. Sanctus 7:02
4. Agnus Dei 6:00
5. Communio 7:03