Nem de faca, nem de alguidar: melodramas!

Nem de faca, nem de alguidar: melodramas!
Voice and Piano Recital with Rita Blanco and Nuno Vieira de Almeida
CCB . 14 April. Friday. 19:00 . Luís de Freitas Branco Room


  • Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
  • Farewell to Earth (translation by José Ribeiro da Fonte)
  • Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
  • Daisy on the wall (translation by João Barrento)

Science lesson

  • Erik Satie (1866-1925)
  • dried embryos
  • d’Holothurie
  • d’Edriophthalma
  • of Podophthalma
  • Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
  • Farewell to Earth (translation by José Ribeiro da Fonte)
  • Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
  • The Story of Babar – The Little Elephant

In fact, these melodramas are neither a knife nor someone else’s. They are only working for narration and piano although the melodrama title can be misleading.

Poulenc’s images with his fox terrier, and other dogs, are well known. The love of great composers and performers for animals is known and notorious. Poulenc is not alone.

The Story of Babar – the little elephant is written to tell Jean de Brunhoff’s text musically to his young cousins, tired of listening to him work the piano and in need of something more illustrative. At the time (1940), the composer improvised according to the narrated situations, but this improvisation would result in one of his most perfect works. After a period of maturation and writing, Babar was premiered by Poulenc and his inseparable Pierre Bernac, in 1946.

Whether an elephant or a dog, the love for animals is perfectly reflected in The Story of Babar – from frantic animation to the sweetest melancholy (those who have animals know these two facets well). And the music is by a mature composer at the height of his potential.

From here it was not difficult to imagine a script that would illustrate the world of human sensations populated by animals and the Scientific Lesson on a species of marine mollusk invented by Erik Satie’s sardonic humor was a very logical choice. The three small Embryons desechés can be performed without the narration, but Satie’s explanatory text at the beginning of each piece gains much in being narrated as well as the heteroclite and hilarious indications to the pianist. Rita will be my guide.

Wagner and the intensity of Goethe’s text, which the music serves so well, add another dimension to our proposal, and finally Schubert, Schubert must always be with us such is the delicate melancholy of the only melodrama he writes for narration and piano. At the beginning of the program it can generate expectations, at the end, it will be, I hope, a different feeling. The genius of geniuses. – Nuno Vieira de Almeida

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