Acclaimed instrumental ensemble L'Avventura London is marking the launch of its new CD release on Hyperion records, 18th-century Portuguese Love Songs.
In his journals, the eighteenth-century English novelist and travel writer William Beckford described the most seductive, beguiling love songs he heard during his journey to Portugal; they were called modinhas, ‘an original sort of music different from any I ever heard, the most seducing, the most voluptuous imaginable, the best calculated to throw saints off their guard and to inspire profane deliriums’.
In this groundbreaking programme, L’Avventura London presents Portuguese modinhas and related instrumental music from the eighteenth century. Composed for the era’s virtuoso singers and first-rate guitarists, these popular works mixed the musical traditions of indigenous Brazilian population with that of their Portuguese European counterparts, producing a unique vocal genre characterized by captivating melodies, unusual rhythms and colouristic instrumental effects. Possibly created by Domingos Caldas Barbosa, Jesuit-educated son of a Portuguese man and a liberated Angolan slave woman, the genre was taken up and further popularised by many of the leading eighteenth-century Portuguese composers. The programme will include a selection of beguiling modinhas by António da Silva Leite, Marcos Portugal, and others. Carlos Seixas and Pedro António Avodano will also be represented through their striking instrumental pieces.
'terrifically animated, wonderful energy...gorgeous!' BBC Radio 3
18:30 - 19:00 Pre-concert talk on the fascinating history of Portuguese modinhas by L’Avventura’s director Žak Ozmo
19:00 - 20:00 Concert, Žak Ozmo and L'Avventura London present, 18th-century Portuguese Love Songs
20:00 - 21:00 Reception with complimentary wine and nibbles. (L'Avventura's new CD release, 18th-century Portuguese Love Songs will be available for purchase)