João de Sousa Carvalho (1745-1799): Opera Overtures, Harpsichord Sonatas

Captura de Tela 2017-10-18 às 19.15.00João de Sousa Carvalho
Opera Overtures, Harpsichord Sonatas
Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra

Em 2012, Bisnaga postou o mesmo álbum que o Avicenna já havia postado em 2011. Esta é a fusão das duas postagens.

Este álbum de hoje é uma daquelas belas surpresas que encontramos por coisa de R$ 7,00 em um desses sebos da vida (aliás, que prazer existe em se ficar garimpando tesouros a preço de banana em sebos, não?)… No meio daquele monte de compositores clássicos famosos e aquelas coleções para iniciantes (3 Tenores, Jóias da Música, Os  Mais Belos Clássicos e por aí vai…), eis que encontro este CD de João de Souza Carvalho executado por uma orquestra húngara! Pensei: “se os húngaros se deram ao trabalho de executar e gravar um português – convenhamos que Portugal nunca foi o centro de produção de música de concerto na Europa – esse cara não pode ser mau”. Dito e feito! Souza Carvalho é muito bom! O compositor português é muito elegante: suas aberturas são classudas, possuem aquela limpeza e organização típicas (e belas) do classicismo, características que também podemos perceber em suas tocatas para cravo e, ainda que eu não seja grande apreciador e muito menos conhecedor do instrumento, lhe rendo louvores. Ele carrega, inclusive, forte influência do intercâmbio musical que a coroa portuguesa realizava com a Itália no século XVIII (talvez uma tentativa de modernizar a música, afastando-a do barroco e aproximando-a do classicismo), trazendo músicos italianos e enviando compositores lusos para se aperfeiçoarem no Lácio, como ocorreu com o próprio Souza Carvalho. Sua música acaba por ser, por isso, formalmente bem próxima dos padrões italianos de então…

A bipartição do álbum em uma primeira parte orquestral e uma segunda cravística também me pareceu interessante, mostrando os dois ambientes bastante distintos para os quais Souza Carvalho produzia sua música, ora para ser apresentada nos grandes teatros de Lisboa, ora com peças mais simples para serem executadas nas casas da aristocracia portuguesa, como é o caso das tocatas deste CD.

Para saber um pouco mais, o texto original (em inglês) do álbum:

Italian opera, particularly in the latter half of the 18th century, was completely dominant on the Portuguese musical scene. The musical stage and church music were permeated with the spirit of the Roman and Neapolitan composers. Many Italians were engaged as conductors, singers or instrumentalists with cathedral choirs, and the choir of the royal court in Lisbon, and above all as teachers of music in the aristocratic homes of the capital.

By the 1720s, King John V of Portugal was already pressing for the employment of noted Venetian, Roman and Neapolitan composers in high positions. Among them was Domenico Scarlatti, who became the director of the choir of the royal chapel in 1720, and Giovanni Giorgi, who was given the post of choirmaster at Santa Catarina de Ribamar in 1729. Talented local musicians like Antonio Teixeira, Francisco Antonio Almeida and João Rodriges Esteves, on the other hand, were sent by the royal court to Rome, to fill out their knowledge. After returning home, they took on major musical tasks in the capital, and also helped to spread the Italian “concertante” style.

King Joseph I (1750-1777) continued his father’s musical policy. In 1752 he appointed David Perez as court composer and music teacher to the royal family, and sent the Braz brothers, Francisco de Lima and João de Sousa Carvalho to Naples. He also prevailed upon several Italian composers, including Niccolò Jomelli, to provide him with copies of their latest works. The royal theatres staged works by Avonado, Galuppi, Guglielmi and Lampugnani, and the dramatic pieces by local composers again showed the style and composing craft of the Italians.

The music-loving public of Lisbon was intoxicated by the musical stage and church music that likewise reflected the stylistic trends of the Italian opera: grand masses and funeral masses. But it must also be said that the standards and tastes of these audiences lagged somewhat behind those of the great European musical centres, London, Paris and Vienna. In the homes of the aristocrats and the rising middle classes, the main preference was for salon songs with a harpsichord or guitar accompaniment and for piano music. No interest was evident in symphonic music or in chamber-music genres so popular in other countries, such as the trio, quartet and quintet. The court orchestra consisted of outstanding musicians, but they played almost exclusively for the stage or in church. Their repertoire consisted of opera, serenades and large-scale sacred works,

João de Sousa Carvalho was born in 1745, in Estremoz (Alentejo province). He studied music first in the nearby Colégio dos Santos Reis Magos in Vila Viçosa, seat of the royal Braganza family, showing great gifts at an early age. When he was seventeen he was granted a scholarship to study in Italy, and enrolled at the Santo Onofrio conservatoire in Naples on January 15, 1761, under Nicola Porpora and Carlo Contumacci, where his fellow students included Paisiello. Six years later, in 1767, Sousa Carvalho returned to Portugal, where he first taught at the Lisbon cathedral school of church music, where he later became the principal conductor. In 1778 he succeeded David Perez as the music teacher to the royal family, a post he held until his death in 1798. His pupils included eminent composers who had a decisive influence on Portuguese music and won big reputation both in Europe and South America. Outstanding among them were Antonio Leal Moreira, Marcos Portugal, João José Baldi and Domingos Bomtempo.

Most of Sousa Carvalho’s music is for the stage, but he also wrote church works for soloists and choirs, and some for full orchestra. Relatively few of his keyboard works have survived.

The three overtures on this recording are from operas he wrote between 1773 and 1782. Eumene dates from 1773 and was first performed on june 9, the birthday of Joseph I. The “dramma per musica” entitled Perseo was also a birthday present, this time for Peter III, king consort to Queen Mary I, on July 5 1779, as was the third opera, Penelope, which the composer laid before his queen three years later, on December 17 1782.

All Sousa Carvalho’s works which have survived, including his operas, have come down to us in manuscript form. Most are preserved in the library of the Ajuda palace, in Lisbon. Of the three overtures, only the one for Penelope has been published (by Filipe de Sousa, in Vol. XIV of Portugaliae Musica, Lisbon 1968). All three follow the formal principle of the classical Italian sinfonia, with a fast-slow-fast movement order. Sousa Carvalho’s musical idiom bespeaks a mature musician utterly at home with the forms of musical expression, and interested in the stylistic and shaping devices of early Classicism and later Classicism. This is particularly clear from his orchestration and the play of forces between the wind and strings. On the one hand, the flutes and oboes (in the case of the Penelope overture, the bassoons as well), and, on the other the trumpets and horns assume roles both in the sound picture as a whole and in their differentiated soloistic assignments which point far beyond the tasks assigned to orchestral woodwind instruments by early classical composers.

All three surviving keyboard works by Sousa Carvalho have been included on this recording.

They can be found in an 18th century manuscript, and they have been made available in modern editions by M. S. Kastner (the toccata in G minor in Vol. I of Cravistas Portuguezes, Mainz, 1935) and G. Doderer (the sonatas in D major and F major respectively, in Vol. II of Organa Hispanica, Heidelberg, 1972). None of them can be precisely dated, and recently the authenticity of the G minor toccata has been questioned, due to its similarity with the works by the Italian Mattia Vento. Nonetheless, the expressiveness of the slow movement, replete with a Lusitanian spirit, speaks of a spectific Portuguese idiom developed by Carlos Seixas in his sonatas for keyboard. Seixas was active between 1720 and 1742 as court harpsichordist to King John V.

The sonatas in D major and in F major both reveal expressly modern features, with a three movement form and an emphatic contrasting of themes in the first movements. The pieces are in the gallant style, and excel for their frequent use of Alberti basses and the alternation of virtuoso and cantabile passages.

Even in an environment of strong Italian influence, Sousa Carvalho proves in these pieces to be the exponent of a valuable and congenial musical inheritance.

(Gerhard Dorderer, extraído do encarte)

Sousa Carvalho: Opera Overtures & Harpsichord Sonatas
João de Sousa Carvalho (Estremoz, 1745 – Alentejo, 1799)
01. Overture – Penelope
02. Overture – L’Eumene
03. Overture – Perseo
04. Toccata in G minor 1. Allegro
05. Toccata in G minor 2. Andante
06. Sonata in D major 1. Allegro
07. Sonata in D major 2. Larghetto
08. Sonata in D major 3. Allegro
09. Sonata in F major 1. Allegro
10. Sonata in F major 2. Andante
11. Sonata in F major 3. Allegro

Sousa Carvalho: Opera Overtures & Harpsichord Sonatas – 1988
Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra, Budapest
Director: János Rolla
Harpsichord: János Sebastyén

Nossos agradecimentos ao maestro, musicólogo e compositor Harry Crowl Jr por esta valiosa contribuição!

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Ouça! Deleite-se! … Mas bata um papo comigo: comente!…

Captura de Tela 2017-10-18 às 19.15.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avicenna & Bisnaga

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