Lopes-Graça: Complete Music For String Quartet & Piano, Vol. 2

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The composer Fernando Lopes-Graça (1906–94) was something of a Portuguese Shostakovich: as a committed socialist, he faced repression from Portugal’s rightist military dictatorship; his works were banned and he was stripped of his official positions. Lopes-Graça responded in music, evolving a feisty, wiry Bartókian style that drew on Portuguese folk-music. This recording features Lopes-Graça’s own Bechstein piano, played by Olga Prats, who worked closely with him. Reviewing Vol. 1, Fanfare stated: “… the disc should be heard by 20th c. music lovers… a strong, individual voice”.


Lopes-Graça’s First String Quartet won the Rainier III Composition Prize in 1965 and the composer then began to receive some of the public recognition he deserved. Eventually, some of his symphonic works were recorded. In the 1970s his writings were published and he was honored for his contributions to Portuguese culture. He composed a great many pieces during the last 20 years of his life, one of which is his Second String Quartet. The second movement contains a folk dance that extends into a rhythmic dialogue with dramatic overtones and a propulsive undercurrent. The third movement, “Cavatina,” is an aria with a long melodic line but without the cabaletta that would follow it in a bel canto opera. The finale includes material from the first movement as well as new music in a memorable whirl of interesting textures. This disc is a must for connoisseurs of 20th-century music and those who love unusual string quartets. I really enjoyed it and expect others so inclined will too.

-- Fanfare

Product Description:

  • Release Date: September 11, 2015

  • Catalog Number: TOCC0254

  • UPC: 5060113442543

  • Label: Toccata Classics

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Fernando Lopes-Graça

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Lopes-Graca Quartet

  • Performer: Olga Prats