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Performed with assurance and flair

BBC Music Magazine, Anthony Burton

Reviewing the Galliard Ensemble’s debut disc in May 2001, I was struck by the imaginative sonorities of Autumn Wind by Luis Tinoco (b1969). That piece also finds a place on this disc devoted entirely to Portuguese music, together with two more, equally inventive, quintets by the same composer, a Ligeti-like suite called Light Distance and O Curso das aguas, a pair of studies in movement and stasis.
The influential Fernando Lopes Graca (1906-94) is represented by a colourfully varied suite of Seven Remembrances, and his pupil Sergio Azevedo (b1968) by Aspetto, a bold exploration of a motiv from the last Rememberance (though oddly placed nearly half the disc away.) Closer to traditional perceptions of the wind quintet are Scherzino by Joly Braga Santos and five Milhaud-like Miniaturas by Eurico Carrapatoso.
For contrast, there are solos for clarinet, three nicely turned Fragments by Antonio Pinho Vargas, and for flute, the virtuosic The Panic Flute by Alexandre Delgado. Even if there are no word-shaking pieces here, the programme adds up to a valuable snapshot of recent Portuguese music, vividly recorded and, for some lapses of tuning apart, performed with assurance and flair.

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15/07/2020