> Contemporary Portuguese Clarinet music SP4338 [AT]: Classical Reviews- February 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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CONTEMPORARY PORTUGUESE MUSIC
Works for Clarinets

Carlos MARECOS
(b.1963)

Aguas Neves (1996) [13.05]
Sergio AVEZEDO (b.1968)

Monumentum pro Gora Kalwaria (1991) [6.30]
Antonio SOUSA DIAS (b.1959)

Uma Sombra Tambem (1999) [5.11]
Paulo BRANDAO (b.1950)

Colibri (1989) [4.22]
Sergio AZEVEDO (b.1968)

Agio (1999) [2.16]
Jorge PEREIRA (b.1973)

Vingt-sept Cristaux Pour Nelson (1999) [7.57]
Sergio AZEVEDO (b.1968)

Monodrama(1995) [11.48]
Luis MACHADO PINTO (b.1962)

Transparencias (1993) [4.47]
Ensemble Clarinet Modus
Sergio Oliveira clarinet, Paulo Gaspar clarinet, Nelson Caetano clarinet
Orquestra de Clarinetes
Rec PBStudio, Brejos de Azeitao, Portugal, July 19-23 1999
STRAUSS SP 4338 [56.47]

Contemporary Portuguese clarinet music might be about as obscure as it gets. Portugal, along with Ireland, is about the only country in Europe that has never produced a major composer. According to the sleeve notes, the quality of composition teaching in Portugal has risen in recent years, so perhaps this situation might be rectified sometime in the near future. This disc, the first in a series intended to promote the works of contemporary Portuguese composers, will hardly propel any of these names into the limelight, but they do show some tidy enough works for clarinet.

Most of the composers here have studied at some stage at the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa, and whilst they are not a "school" as such, they certainly write in a very similar idiom. In all these pieces the clarinet or clarinets construct slow meandering lines whilst electronic treatment provides interesting changes in timbre. This music is thoughtful, and very much of its time, although I have serious doubts that it is all interesting enough to fill a whole CD. Greater variety in sounds and style would have made this disk much more enjoyable. Without a score or comparison it is hard to judge the performances, although they seem adequate. Similarly the recording quality does not sound outstanding, although the electronic effects make this hard to judge.

The accompanying documentation is not good, missing out a whole section of the notes in the English translation.


Aidan Twomey


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