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Freitas: The Silly Girl's Dance / Cassuto, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

De Freitas / Royal Scottish National Orch
Release Date: 03/26/2013 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8573095  
Composer:  Frederico de Freitas
Conductor:  Alvaro Cassuto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Frederico de Freitas (1902-80) was a Portuguese nationalist composer who wrote some very attractive music, on evidence here. He was best known for his ballets, two of which are included on this disc. The Silly Girl’s Dance is a colorfully scored work about—you guessed it—a silly girl who dances. Okay, it’s not going to win any awards for the thrilling story line, but what matters is that the music really is enjoyable—spiky and rhythmic, a bit like Roussel, or perhaps a sort of Portuguese Copland. The Wall of Love, in contrast, is more lyrical and intimate, while Ribatejo is a brief (eight minutes) but festive tone poem.

Probably the best piece here is the Medieval Suite, a six-movement celebration inspired by, but not based
Read more on, early Portuguese music. Although the tunes are all original, the use of modally inflected harmony adds an evocative feeling of timelessness, and the scoring is particularly sensitive. This is one of those pieces that deserves to become a concert favorite, but probably never will get the chance.

As with previous issues in this ongoing series of Portuguese music, the performances under Álvaro Cassuto aren’t likely to be bettered. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that all four works were recorded in just two days, a “rehearse and record” scenario that’s also a tribute to the professionalism of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. They could not have known this music beforehand, but they play it with impressive confidence. The sonics are a bit dull on top as compared with other issues from this source, but otherwise very good. Worth collecting.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
The Silly Girl's Dance by Frederico de Freitas
Conductor:  Alvaro Cassuto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941 
2.
The Wall of Love by Frederico de Freitas
Conductor:  Alvaro Cassuto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940 
3.
Medieval Suite by Frederico de Freitas
Conductor:  Alvaro Cassuto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958 
4.
Ribatejo by Frederico de Freitas
Conductor:  Alvaro Cassuto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938 

Sound Samples

A danca da menina tonta (The Silly Girl's Dance)
O muro do derrete (The Wall of Love)
Suite medieval: I. Bailia
Suite medieval: II. Serena
Suite medieval: III. Serranilha
Suite medieval: IV. Cantar de Amigo
Suite medieval: V. Cantarcilho
Suite medieval: VI. Jogralesca
Ribatejo

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Wonderful Music!! May 12, 2013 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "I am in complete agreement with David R.'s comments. Here is some of the most infectious, riotously fun music you are likely to run across this year. Laced with vibrant Portugese folk melodies, Frederico de Freitas' 4 ballet scores on this recording (2 written expressly for the ballet and 2 adapted for use on the stage, according to the CD notes) present a whirlwind of orchestral color and flat-out pure listening enjoyment. There are so me pasages in the Silly Girl's Dance which may remind one of Stravinsky's Petrouchka, which in turn should hint at the high quality of this music. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Portugese conductor Alvaro Cassuto delivers a glowing interpretation of these most fetching works, and Naxos' sound quality is top notch. By all means, try this excellent disk; it absolutely won't let you down. Highest recommendations!!" Report Abuse
 Delightful in every way April 25, 2013 By David R. (Pine, CO) See All My Reviews "This collection of rare music by de Freitas is simply delightful in every way. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra plays marvelously for Alvaro Cassuto, who obviously has a real feel and affection for this wonderful music. And topping it all off, this is one of Naxos's very best recordings - superlative orchestral sound in a warm, full, rich acoustic. This is a must-have disc; it is the my disc of the year so far!" Report Abuse
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