On arriving in Portugal by train
Festival FORTE returns to the castle of Montemor-o-Velho this summer

Musical Evenings at the Palace of Pena

Sintra– The “Musical Evenings at the Palace of Pena” is back for its second edition and taking place in the Great Hall between 14th February and 4 March, beginning at 9pm.

The connection between D. Ferdinand II to music was a constant throughout the life of this “king-artist”. In the year commemorating the 200th anniversary of the monarch’s birth, Parques de Sintra and Divino Sospiro – the Centre of Portuguese Eighteenth Century Musical Studies (DS-CEMSP) again bring to the National Palace of Pena a repertoire closely resembling that performed there in the 19th century, under the artistic direction of Massimo Mazzeo.

The “Nature Sceneries” session opens this romantic musical cycle on Sunday, 14th February, with a concert that brings together the Matosinhos String Quartet and Pedro Vares (double bass) and António Rosado (piano). Nature proved a central theme to the great composers of the 19th century – from Schubert to Mendelssohn, from Smetana and Dvorak to Vianna da Motta – and it is the diversity of readings on the theme that serves as the guideline for this program. The concert thus seeks to illustrate this diversity through a varied program of chamber music.

On Saturday, 20th February, the “Alpine Virgins” session draws upon performances by Bárbara Barradas (soprano), Liliana de Sousa (mezzo-soprano), João Terleira (tenor) and João Paulo Santos (piano). This features works inspired on virginal heroines that take the Alps as their inspiration in the search for an identification between individual character and nature. Elise Hensler, opera singer – and later the second wife of King Ferdinand II and the Countess of Edla – would have made appearances in various such performances during her singing career.

On Saturday, 27th February, “The Wonderful Horn of Romanticism” evening applies the title of an important collection of German popular texts and songs from early in the 19th century to convey the role of the French horn as a means of connecting man with nature. Taking to the stage are André Baleiro (baritone), Paulo Guerreiro (French horn) and João Paulo Santos (piano).

Closing the “Musical Evenings at the Palace of Pena” transforms into music the vision held by Eça de Queirós on Sintra in “Chiado’s Supplement: Sintra by Eça de Queirós” session, which takes place Friday 4th March. After the second half of the 19th century, Sintra began appearing in the literature as an alternative public thoroughfare and in addition to the romantic Eden to which it had always been associated. French operetta and zarzuela, then commonly heard in even the smallest theatres across the country, musically reflected this spirit. This concert features Ana Franco (soprano), Ana Ferro (mezzo-soprano), Marco Alves dos Santos (tenor), Mário Redondo (baritone) and João Paulo Santos (piano).

All the musical sessions begin at 9pm. The concerts are preceded by a brief speech by the musicologist Luísa Cymbron on the program’s respective themes.

The “Musical Sessions in the Palace of Pena” project counts upon the Antena 2 radio station as its media partner.


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