Antonio Victorino DALMEIDA
Capitães de Abril (April Captains)
CAM 498096-2 [47:10]
A winner at Cannes recently, Capitães De Abril (April Captains)
is the true story of the first twenty-four hours of 1974s
Carnation Revolution in Portugal. Composer DAlmeida (himself
Portuguese) has enlisted a whole range of instrumentation to bring this inventive
score to fruition.
Divided into two suites, the first performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic
and the second by the Orchestra di Roma (with solo pianist Alfonso Malao
featured on both), the CD opens with Capitaines davril,
a rather old-fashioned main theme that has a Continental 1960s feel.
But despite this being the central motif, the most interesting aspects of
the work are provided by the imaginative dramatic suspense music that dominates
the entire score. Pieces such as O despertar dos soldados,
Gente fina e foroz, As horas decisivas and Temas
da angústia all show real quality and ingenuity.
With his off-beat orchestration, utilising a varied palette,
DAlmeida never allows these cues to become predictable. All kinds
of quirky, dissonant musical devices are employed and while the music is
not exactly melodic, it remains fascinating. If the lack of distinctive melodic
passages finally makes the score somewhat remote, this is still nonetheless
a technically accomplished work.
Other pieces fare less well however; Temas da ansiedade with
its mock waltz and the jazzy, laid-back piano and sax of Música
do bar for instance. And Suite 2 is far less rewarding, as theres
nothing here that moves the score on in any new directions. Its very
much more of the same, although with less inherent quality than before.
The CD concludes with Capitaines davril featuring Ricardo
Rocha on Portuguese guitar and DAlmeida himself on piano in a subdued
version of the main theme. All very exotic and refined without being particularly
effective. Then with lyrics provided by Pedro A. Magalhães, the main
theme is given still another interpretation on As brumas do Futuro
sung by Madredeus, whose pleasant female vocal brings things to a close.
While not for everyone, there is enough originality on show, particularly
in the dramatic suspense cues, to possibly make this one worth checking out.