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NX 2815
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NX 2815

BRAGA SANTOS, J.: Alfama Suite / Symphonic Overture No. 3 / Elegia a Viana da Mota (Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Cassuto)

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2012

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master


Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Cassuto, Alvaro

Alvaro Cassuto



RSNO Centre, Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 72:37
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BRAGA SANTOS, J.: Alfama Suite / Symphonic Overture No. 3 / Elegia a Viana da Mota (Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Cassuto)

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Symphonic Overture No. 3, Op. 20


Elegia a Viana da Mota (Elegy in memory of Vianna da Motta), Op. 14


Alfama Suite (arr. A. Cassuto)

3 I. Introduction 3:00
4 II. Dance of the sailor 3:11
5 III. Pas de trois 3:47
6 IV. Dance of the fishwives 1:18
7 V. Dance of the fishwife and the longshoreman 2:20
8 VI. Dance of the girls of the neighbourhood 2:12
9 VII. Dance of the boys and girls who fill the square 2:30
10 VIII. Dance of the girls around the fire 2:08
11 IX. Final dance 3:58

Variations for Orchestra, Op. 49


3 Symphonic Sketches, Op. 34

13 No. 1. Allegro 2:51
14 No. 2. Lento 4:31
15 No. 3. Allegro 3:27
 Alvaro Cassuto Conductor
 Cassuto, Alvaro

Joly Braga Santos composed in a wide variety of forms, faithfully mirrored in this selection of his highly appealing music. The Elegy was written for his famous compatriot, the pianist Vianna da Motta, whilst the Symphonic Overture No. 3 utilises his own brand of folkloric material. Braga Santos’ Three Symphonic Sketches offer colouristic virility, full of supercharged rhythmic energy. The Variations for Orchestra reflects a compositional change, more elusive but highly subtle, and Alfama is a delightful ballet score. ‘Don’t miss this one!’ wrote ClassicsToday of Álvaro Cassuto’s recording of the Second Symphony

"...Cassuto knows and understands Braga Santos’ music well. He thus conducts impeccable and committed readings of these often quite beautiful works. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra respond with equally committed playing. So, if you have been hooked by Cassuto’s recordings of the symphonies, this generously filled release is for you. It may also be safely recommended to anyone new to Braga Santos’ music, were it only because it offers a fair survey of this composer’s stylistic evolution over the years. I hope that Álvaro Cassuto will continue recording other works by Braga Santos for there are two other overtures, a piano concerto and a handful of shorter orchestral works that still await professional recordings..."

Hubert Culot - - February 2012

"...The Royal Scottish National Orchestra is a step up from some of the other orchestras used in this series—not that any of them were bad, but Braga Santos’s later scores need the refinement that they receive here. There’s no question that Cassuto is committed to this music, and he has the ability to put it across. Excellent engineering is just another reason to give this disc strong consideration ..."

Raymond Tuttle - Fanfare - May 2012

"...Cassuto, Braga Santos’ greatest advocate, has an intimate understanding and sympathy for the composer’s idiom and has the Scottish orchestra playing as if they have more than a bit of Latin blood in their veins. Naxos’ sound is a good match: bright, forward, nicely detailed. This is an excellent place to start exploring the music of Portugal’s finest composer. If you’re like me, you won’t want to stop here..."   ****

Lee Passarella - Audiophile Audition - March 2012

"...this is a high quality disc displaying an impressive range of musical styles."

Nick Barnard - - 2 April 2012

"...Do not overlook Braga Santos but be ready to encounter his two personas: triumphantly lyrical melodist and searingly intense modernist."

Rob Barnett - - 12 March 2012

This latest disc from Naxos neatly encompasses Braga Santos' stylistic changes through his lifetime. The earliest pieces, Symphonic Overture and Elegy, date from the late 40s and early 50s, the time when the first four symphonies were completed. They share the very approachable, catchy melodies and rhythmically vital approach to composition – very accessible and often exciting music. The Elegy is necessarily a more sober and restrained piece, written in memory of fellow countryman, composer and pianist Viana da Mota. The ballet, Alfama, was apparently dismissed by the composer shortly after its first performance on the grounds that it was unworthy of him. The conductor, Álvaro Cassuto, has performed an excellent service by editing and arranging the score into a very attractive suite. The Symphonic Sketches and Variations date from the composer's later style and are by no means as immediately accessible, perhaps in the same mould as Copland's or Lilburn's late works which too depart from the easy tunefulness of the earlier years. All the same, important and rewarding pieces which round off this very well played and recorded disc. Strongly recommended.
S Southam