Freitas Branco, Luís de

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Freitas Branco, Luís de

Freitas Branco, Luís de, eminent Portuguese composer, pedagogue, musicologist, and music critic; b. Lisbon, Oct. 12, 1890; d. there, Nov. 27, 1955. He was a student of Tomás Borba, Désiré Pâque, Augusto Machado, and Luigi Mancinelli in Lisbon, of Humperdinck in Berlin, and of Grovlez in Paris. He taught at the National Cons, in Lisbon from 1916, and also was active as a musicologist and music critic. He also held government positions, but lost these in 1939 for his outspoken criticism of the treatment of musicians in Germany and Italy; it was not until 1947 that these positions again became available to him. Freitas Branco was one of the most significant figures in Portuguese musical life. As a composer, he introduced impressionism and expressionism to Portugal.

Works

ORCH Manfredo, dramatic sym. for Soli, Chorus, and Orch. (1905); 5 symphonic poems: Antero do Quental (1908); Os paraisos artificias (1910); Vathek (1913); Viriato (1916); Solemnia verba (1952); Violin Concerto (1916); Balada for Piano and Orch. (1917); Cena lirica for Cello and Orch. (1917); Suite alentejana No. 1 (1919) and No. 2 (1927); 4 syms. (1924, 1926, 1943, 1952); Variagoes e fuga triplice sobre um tema original for Organ and Strings (1947); Homenagem a Chopin: Polaca sobre um tema de Chopin (1949). CHAMBER: 2 violin sonatas (1907, 1928); String Quartet (1911); Cello Sonata (1913); piano pieces; organ music. VOCAL: Sacred choral works; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire