Luiz de Freitas Branco (1890 - 1955)

Luiz de Freitas Branco (b. Lisbon, 12th October 1890; - d. Lisbon, 27th November 1955) is an outstanding personality in the 20th twentieth century musical cultural scene in Portugal, who stands alongsideonly compared to the writer Fernando Pessoa in the literature. His powerful and multiform productionoutput was could be placed among what’s the best and most innovative workinnovator was being done in Europe and, in certain cases even anticipating anticipated itself to it; his he work was prolific in all the fieldsgenres and established a new platform of excellence in the Portuguese repertoire.

An Exceptional exceptional case of  precocityprecociousness, Freitas Branco composed his the first work of his catalogue at the age of 13thirteen: the song Aquela Moça is quite premonitory by his its modal contour (Doric Dorian mode), and it discloses the influence of one of his most important composition teachers, Tomás Borba. Another important teacher was August Machado, a composer of high standard quality operas such as Lauriane and La borghesina. It became very relevantOf significance also proved the lessons that Freitas Branco had with Désiré Pâque, a Belgian composer who was a precursor of the atonalism and came to Lisbon in 1906 to teacher organ to the prince Prince D. Luís.

At the beginning of 1910, Luís de Freitas Branco left to for Berlin with his uncle to study composition with Humperdinck; , but the conservative ways of the Hochschule was were not in accordance with its his character. The most fructuous fruitful event for him there it becamewas the attendance to of Debussys Pélléas Pelléas et Mélisande; on in his own words, that it was a revelation that changed the entire course of his career. In the same year, he wrote the symphonic poem Paraisos Artificiais, with which he establishes established the introduction of modernism in Portuguese orchestral music. The premiere of this piece in 1913 caused a huge scandal in Lisbon.

In the following year, Freitas Branco met Debussy in Paris and studied impressionist aesthetic with Gabriel Grovlez. Between 1910 and 1911, Freitas Branco introduces introduced the impressionist aesthetic into the Portuguese piano repertoire for piano, with his Mirages. This tendency culminated with the Ten Preludes dedicated to Viana da Mota, written between 1914 and 1918.

He was director of the National Conservatory between 1919 and 1924. This was theDuring this period when, together with Viana of theda Mota, he operatedeffected an a historical reformation of that institution (neutralized in the 1930s by the Dictatorial Regime). It consisted in of the adoption of sung solfe

This composer has 40 works on AvA:

Orchestra (17)

Chamber Music (3)

Strings (10)

Voice (2)

Choir (12)

Piano (4)

Organ (1)