“Times and Modes of the Portuguese Sitar” by Pedro Caldeira Cabral, Festival CriaSons – Tomar

    “Times and Modes of the Portuguese Sitar” by Pedro Caldeira Cabral

    The Portuguese zither has been arousing the growing interest of the public attentive to the enjoyment of musical genres different from the popular use of this instrument in the accompaniment of fado. Its presentation in the context of classical music festivals is increasingly frequent. Since the 1970s, we have contributed to the creation of a new extended solo repertoire, consisting of original compositions and transcriptions of pieces of music from the past, originally conceived for plucked string instruments of the European tradition (zither, lute, viola de hand) or keys (harpsichord and pianoforte) whose timbral identity approximates. Since its origin in the 16th century, this chordophone was known among us by the name of the zither and played in aristocratic circles, covering its repertoire in various genres: singing accompaniment, performance of dance pieces, transcribed versions of polyphonic songs , simple or glossed and instrumental solo costumes. He also frequently integrated vocal and instrumental ensembles, performing a harmonic and rhythmic function, along with violas, harp, harp and organ. In the second half of the 18th century, the zither was renamed guitar, being socially revalued in England and Portugal and used in a domestic solo context and in small chamber music groups (harpsichord, violin, cello or horns, etc.). In the 20th century in Portugal, after the creation of radio and phonographic publishing, the popular musical tradition of using the zither in fado and folklore made us forget the previous musical practice of written tradition. Concert solos and chamber music were also ignored until the 1970s. One of the contributions of my current musical practice is the diversity of compositional styles and instrumental combinations, having the Portuguese zither as a solo instrument. The chamber format in trio, quartet or small string orchestras has been regularly practiced by me based on a repertoire that crosses classical works with popular pieces and with my original compositions. Since the 1970s, my performances and recordings with the Emisora ​​Nacional Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, the Lisbon Sinfonietta, the Centro Chamber Orchestra or the Chamber Orchestra da Madeira demonstrate the ability and interest in integrating the Portuguese zither in these instrumental ensembles, albeit occasionally. The 20th century witnessed the social and musical requalification of the instrument, however elevated to the category of identity symbol, often included in erudite pictorial representations (from Mário Eloy, Cândido da Costa Pinto to Júlio Pomar and Graça Morais), cited by the most famous poets (from Fernando Pessoa and Sophia de Mello Breyner Andersen to Manuel Alegre). Today’s Portuguese zither has definitely entered the category of concert instrument, appreciated internationally, represented by a wide range of performers, committed to the dissemination of the various aspects that make up its repertoire, well illustrated in the program of this concert. The authorial presence of Alejandro Erlich Oliva in this program is another step in an artistic complicity of decades. His Bithematic Variations for string quintet and “our” Fantasia Bicéfala respectively open and close the evening, both in the first absolute audition.

    Pedro Caldeira Cabral – Portuguese zither
    Duncan Fox – Double bass

    Lopes-Graça Quartet:
    Luís Pacheco Cunha – Violin
    Eliot Lawson – Violin
    Isabel Pimentel – Violet
    Catherine Strynckx – Cello

    Org: Festival CriaSons / Musicamera Produções
    City of Tomar

    M6 | 1h | free entry with prior ticket collection

    @ CM Tomar

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