Picc, 2 Fl, 2 Ob, E Hn, 4 Cl Sib, 2 B Cl, 2 Bsn, C bsn, A Sax, 2 T Sax, Brt Sax, 4 Hn F, 3 Trp C, 3 Tbn, Tb, Timb, Glock, T B, Mrb, Vb, 3 Perc, 2 Hp, Cel, Pno, Strings
Pluharlieder is a song cycle with symphonic accompaniment. Both text and music work together as a whole of simultaneous perception.The score of Pluharlieder, is clearly tonal but in the most “modern” and flexible sense of the word.
Pluharlieder is included on the Germanic urban popular song, somewhere between Wiener Kabaret and the musical “drapery” of Kurt Weill for the dramaturgy of Brecht.In a well succeeded gesture of prestidigitation, all the differences make a similitude noticeable, residing mainly in the endogenous characteristics of the “orchestral palette”. What I want to say is that these two pieces so different from each other have in common a flawless technical efficacy in their orchestration. In these score there is a perfect utilization of the timber and an undeniable respect for the “physiology” of each instrumental sector (once again, thank you for the penetrating expression that combines the logic of Biology with Music, Fernando Lopes Graça). The soloistic interventions are always in the right tessitura, and allow each instrument to breathe freely and express itself in its own musical language. Great talented passages can be somewhat difficult but never impossible. The musical composition does not ask for impossible things, and searches for the effects where they present the best results.
The art of orchestrating, considered by many as a science, requires a deep knowledge of workshop, this is, professionalism without flaws. If, to this characteristic, we add nobility in the melodic conducting, intelligence to perform the arrangements, precision on what concerns the counterpoint, and balance of the whole, we will be in the presence of a true symphonic composer.
In these piece, António Victorino D'Almeida manages to preserve his creativity, distancing himself from the experimentalist radicalism, and the temptation of the “easy way out”. It is implied in them the enigmatic old saying in extremis, medium, attested by the subtle humour of the famous Argentine Oliverio Girondo.
António Victorino D'Almeida is once more related to the so-called “isms”. Owner and master of a musical experience of five decades, he does not renounce his creative freedom defended with courage in his youth and strongly developed throughout his career, where everything he has done and still does was and always will be honest, controversial, and therefore magnificent. However, there are two unquestionable aspects: the integrity of his technical training inherent to the distinguished professors who guided his studies, and his artistic fecundity, materialized in a repertoire of more than 180 pieces.
António Victorino D’Almeida is acknowledged not only for its multidisciplinary action as a pianist, writer, television programmes director, historian and orchestra director, but above all for being a mature composer at the height of its creativity. He is indeed an obligatory figure when it comes to analyze the evolution of Portuguese musical modernity.
Alejandro Erlich Oliva
Lisbon, May of 2004
(Translation: Odete Martins)