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“Dois Personagens Portugueses”
(Two Portuguese Characters)

(2019)
for fl, cl, vl, vc, pno

 

The genesis of the composition of these pieces was derived from my interest in Portuguese folklore as well as my desire to interpret and share the rich musical traditions from said folklore to the national and international community.

Both pieces of this set have traditional melodies as their base. The melodies were retrieved from the Cancioneiro Popular Português, by Michel Giacoletti in collaboration with F. Lopes-Graça (Circulo de Leitores, 1981), respectively the numbers (by order of appearance) 189. (Amolar Tixoiras - flautim), 192. (Oh Devotos e Devotas - Peditório das trovoadas), 148. (Ofícios d'Aprender - Laço da dança dos pauliteiros), e 39. (Meus Irmãos, Cuidai na Morte Encomendação das almas). The inspiration for the composition of this work was taken from the imaginary scenes of daily rural Portugal, as well as the various possibilities for the insertion of the above mentioned melodies in those scenes.

 

O Amolador (The Blade Sharpener), the first piece of the set, aims to describe the daily life of a professional blade sharpener: waking up, going to work, listening to the intonation of religious melodies on the way to the work area, possibly encountering stray dogs, working in the main square of the town, returning home still having the memories of the melodies played on a daily basis in the piccolo (which is, in this case, also a work tool), and finally welcoming sleep and the silence that comes with.

 

The second piece, Os Pauliteiros (The Pauliteiros), intends to portrait a traditional dance from the "Terra de Miranda", the Dance of the Pauliteiros. The piece portraits also the context of traditional fairs in the country's interior, through elementslike the aproximation of the timbre of the bagpipe by the clarinet, the timbre of the fiddle by the violin, the sound of bourdons in the Cello and Piano, and of some percussive elements executed by several instruments (including the mimicking of a traditional bass drum rhythm usual in these fairs).