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  • Branco: Orchestral Works 3 (Symphony No.3/ Suite No.2/ Death of Manfred)
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Branco: Orchestral Works 3 (Symphony No.3/ Suite No.2/ Death of Manfred) CD

1 customer review

Price: £7.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Branco: Orchestral Works 3 (Symphony No.3/ Suite No.2/ Death of Manfred) + Freitas Branco: Symphony No.4, Vathek + Luis de Freitas Branco: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1
Price For All Three: £21.65

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Product details

  • Performer: Alvaro Cassuto
  • Conductor: Alvaro Cassuto
  • Composer: Luís De Freitas Branco
  • Audio CD (26 April 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: NAXOS
  • ASIN: B003DQWPBU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 197,179 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)


Product Description

Symphonie n°3 - A Morte de Manfredo - Suite Alentejana n°2 / RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra - Álvaro Cassuto, direction

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G.C. on 18 Sept. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Naxos has made a name for itself by recording unfamiliar composers from European countries outside of the standard repertoire (Germany, France, Austria), and continues its track record with its series of recordings by the Portuguese composer Luis de Freitas Branco. All of the works here are very enjoyable and accessible. Symphony No. 3 is obviously the major work on the album, perhaps prolix in places, as it lasts a little over 46 minutes. By contrast, the second work on the CD, "The Death of Manfred", is the shortest, and as such is the most unified and consistent in tone. It's not quite clear which Manfred this work refers to, whether is the Manfred of Byron's poem (such as with Tchaikovsky's "Manfred" Symphony) or some other, as the notes are not clear on that. The "Suite Alentejana No. 2" is perhaps the most overtly "populist" work, as it aspires to regionalist musical tone painting, with passages that sound like variations on moments from Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnol".

The conductor, Alvaro Cassuto, also contributed the liner notes for this recording. His narrative structure is quirky at times, such as starting a summary about the music, listing the orchestration, and then going back to the musical discussion. It's also odd that with respect to the "Suite Alentejana No. 2", he notes that the composer probably did not sanction the program note from the time of its premiere, but then Cassuto goes on to tell about that note in full anyway. He does a good job with conducting the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, from Ireland (strange that an Irish orchestra got the call to record this Portuguese music), in these recordings.

If you like something off the beaten path, and are willing to explore orchestral music from the other country on the Iberian peninsula, this is worth a hearing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fine performances, accessible music from an unfamiliar name 11 July 2011
By G.C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Naxos has made a name for itself by recording unfamiliar composers from European countries outside of the standard repertoire (Germany, France, Austria), and continues its track record with its series of recordings by the Portuguese composer Luis de Freitas Branco. All of the works here are very enjoyable and accessible. Symphony No. 3 is obviously the major work on the album, perhaps a little prolix in places, as it lasts a little over 46 minutes. By contrast, the second work on the CD, "The Death of Manfred", is the shortest, and as such is the most unified and consistent in tone. It's not quite clear which Manfred this work refers to, whether is the Manfred of Byron's poem (such as with Tchaikovsky's "Manfred" Symphony) or some other, as the notes are not clear on that. The Suite Alentejana No. 2 is perhaps the most overtly "populist" work, as it aspires to regionalist musical tone painting, with passages that sound like variations on moments from Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnol".

The conductor, Alvaro Cassuto, also contributed the liner notes for this recording. His narrative structure is quirky at times, such as starting a summary about the music, listing the orchestration, and then going back to the musical discussion. It's also odd that with respect to the Suite Alentejana No. 2, he notes that the composer probably did not sanction the program note from the time of its premiere, but then Cassuto goes on to tell about that note in full anyway. He does a good job with conducting the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, from Ireland (strange that an Irish orchestra got the call to record this Portuguese music), in these recordings.

If you like something off the beaten path, and are willing to explore orchestral music from the other country on the Iberian peninsula, this is worth a hearing.
Enjoyable music in overall good performances 1 Sept. 2014
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Luis de Freitas Branco was, together with Joly Braga Santos, one of the leading figures in 20th century Portuguese classical music, and his music was an obvious choice for Naxos/Marco Polo after their at least artistically immensely successful Braga Santos series. Freitas Branco’s symphonies are rooted in a post-romantic musical language, influenced by Wagner and Franck, with only hints of Portuguese folk music. In the third symphony (1944), however, there are more modern elements as well – at least the music is craggier, grittier and somewhat more dissonant than his earlier works. Although not strikingly original, the musical voice is individual enough and many of his themes are quite good. At 46 minutes the symphony does, perhaps, tend to lose sight of any strong underlying argument at times, yet Freitas Branco does give us so many ideas and tricks that the listener’s attention is sustained throughout. Now, the music here is perhaps not as immediately accessible as his previous symphonies; on the other hand repeated listening will reveal new facets and connections between the various elements – a very fine work, in other words.

The couplings are perhaps less interesting. The Death of Manfred is an elegy for strings – an early work, and not particularly memorable. The Suite Allenteja no. 2, on the other hand, is – like the first suite featured on an earlier release in the series – richly colorful and catchy, hardly profound but very appealing. And as oppose to the other works, the music here draws on Portuguese folk music, with enjoyable and appealing results. The performances are overall good as well; the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra plays with plenty of color and energy and spirit under Álvaro Cassuto, but once again the strings do sound a bit thin – perhaps the main reason for giving this release four rather than five stars. In any case, the sound is overall good though a little dry, and overall this is a very welcome and recommendable release.
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