The earlier version of our Naxos weblog centered on two symphonies that Brazilian composer Cláudio Santoro composed within the Fifties – the Fourth and Fifth – the latter written to mark the founding of the nation’s new capital, Brasilia.
Santoro (1919–89) was a member of the Brazilian Communist Social gathering, which introduced him main issues throughout his inventive life and compelled him into exile for prolonged intervals. Persecuted by Brazil’s army dictatorship, he lived in Germany as a political refugee within the Seventies, throughout which era he served as professor of conducting on the Heidelberg-Mannheim Staatliche Hochschule für Musik.
Santoro returned to Brazil in 1978, when he was invited to arrange the orchestra of Brasília’s Teatro Nacional; he subsequently grew to become its first principal conductor. In tandem with this, he resumed his actions as professor of composition and conducting on the College of Brasília. Each the orchestra and his instructing work could be of central significance to him over the last ten years of his life.
This month sees the discharge of a brand new album that includes Santoro’s Eleventh and Twelfth Symphonies (8.574406), written throughout that decade, that are showcased on this weblog. The Eleventh Symphony is among the densest and most dramatic of Santoro’s 14-symphony cycle; the Twelfth is an uncommon ‘sinfonia concertante’ for 9 soloists and orchestra.
Written in 1984, the Eleventh Symphony was given its first efficiency in 1987. It’s a compact 3-movement work lasting lower than 20 minutes. The primary motion contrasts an air of desolation with extra vibrant passages. Right here’s the motion’s gradual introduction that includes a plaintive oboe solo.
Eleventh Symphony 1st motion (8.574406)
The second motion is a brief, energetic scherzo, wherein the flamboyant writing showcases the woodwind, brass and percussion devices. The involvement right here of the whole orchestra is available in placing distinction to the linearity of the primary motion.
Eleventh Symphony 2nd motion (8.574406)
The finale reproduces all the weather featured within the first two actions – the chromatic, desolate introduction, each the dense passages and agile unisons within the strings, the angular strains, the ostinato rhythms within the percussion, the fast brass calls. All these overlap till the dramatic ending, when the orchestra abruptly disappears after a passage on pounding timpani that appears to recall the opening of Brahms’ First Symphony (Brahms was certainly one of Santoro’s favorite composers). Possibly it was no coincidence, nevertheless, because the closing bar of the manuscript is adopted by the inscription: ‘Brahms Home, 12–6–84, Baden-Baden, with anguish and longing …’.
Eleventh Symphony third motion (8.574406)
In 1983, Santoro had been invited to put in writing the competitors items for the second Sul América Younger Musicians of Brazil Competitors, held in Rio de Janeiro. This fee led to a sequence of 15 Sul América Fantasias for solo devices (‘Sul América’ refers to not the continent however to the insurance coverage firm that sponsored the competitors). Santoro additionally wrote an elective orchestral accompaniment for every fantasia, in all probability in order that the finalists or winners may carry out them in that format.
Later that yr, Santoro accomplished his Fantasia Concertante, which basically introduced collectively components of these solo works, with orchestra, utilizing transitional bars to permit the music to stream with out a break. By no means carried out as Santoro had envisaged it, this work ultimately grew to become the premise for his Symphony No. 12, accomplished in 1987 and subtitled ‘sinfonia concertante for eight devices and orchestra’ – the ninth soloist, the trombone, was added later.
Utilizing the competitors items as thematic materials, Santoro expanded the orchestration, and certainly the entire position of the orchestra within the work. The opening motion begins with the solo violin and cello, that are heard collectively at first, then alternate with each other. Flute and clarinet observe the identical process within the following part. The recapitulation of the primary theme is entrusted to the viola, which is the place our extract picks up.
Twelfth Symphony 1st motion (8.574406)
Subsequent comes a really brief, energetic, reasonably martial-sounding scherzo for only one solo instrument – the trumpet. We be a part of the motion part-way by way of.
Twelfth Symphony 2nd motion (8.574406)
The third motion begins with the oboe solo which, initially upbeat, turns into essentially the most lyrical episode within the symphony with a discreet orchestral accompaniment. A cadenza introduces the horn solo, which opens the second a part of this motion. The final soloist, the trombone, returns to the horn’s preliminary materials, however develops it in a extra assertive and vibrant fashion.
Our two extracts respectively highlight these oboe and trombone contributions.
Twelfth Symphony third motion – oboe (8.574406)
Twelfth Symphony third motion – trombone (8.574406)
Sadly, Santoro by no means heard his Twelfth Symphony carried out. The work needed to wait till 2019 to obtain its premiere, which was given by the College of São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, beneath Catherine Larsen-Maguire, as a part of the occasions organised to mark the centenary of the composer’s start.
The works on this new Naxos album are carried out by the Goiás Philharmonic Orchestra beneath Neil Thomson, the orchestra’s principal conductor and inventive director since 2014. Along with the symphonies already mentioned, the programme contains two different works: Santoro’s Concerto Grosso (1980), and his Three Fragments on B-A-C-H (1985). I’m going to play out with the final motion of the previous, which is scored for string quartet and orchestra and was one of many first items he wrote following his return to Brazil in 1978. Though the work is comparatively standard in construction and design, sure features corresponding to using tone clusters and aleatory components are harking back to earlier phases in his profession. In the meantime, the version of Santoro’s full symphonies, fourteen in all, continues inside the Naxos Music of Brazil sequence, which we hope you’ll take pleasure in exploring additional.
Concerto Grosso third motion (8.574406)