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The Joly Braga Santos Piano Concerto (1973) and its pivotal role in the evolution of his pianism

Ferreira, Ana Beatriz 2022. The Joly Braga Santos Piano Concerto (1973) and its pivotal role in the evolution of his pianism. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Joly Braga Santos (1924-1988) is widely recognised as one of Portugal’s most important composers of the second half of the twentieth century, yet his music remains little known in the UK. While his reputation rests chiefly on his orchestral works which include the four early symphonies (1947-1950) that launched his international career, Joly Braga Santos also composed a large body of chamber music as well as three operas and concertante works which include the 1973 Piano Concerto, a work of originality, lyricism, and virtuosity. Dedicated to the Portuguese virtuoso Sérgio Varela-Cid, the Piano Concerto represents Joly Braga Santos’s most significant contribution to the piano repertoire but has received little critical attention. Comprising six chapters, this thesis aims to rectify this omission. In order to provide an appropriate frame of reference to the Concerto, Chapter 1 places Joly Braga Santos within the context of the Estado Novo, provides an overview of his oeuvre, and explores the influence of his teacher Luís de Freitas Branco. Chapter 2 investigates Joly Braga Santos’s approach to pianism in his complete output of fourteen solo piano works; Chapter 3 explores the Concerto’s genesis, musical language, and structure; Chapter 4 analyses the pianism of the Piano Concerto, outlining its main novelties and highlighting its pivotal role in the evolution of his pianism; Chapter 5 analyses the recording of the Concerto’s premiere at the Teatro Municipal São Luiz, in Lisbon, on 10 January 1981 by Helena Sá e Costa and the Orquestra Sinfónica da Radiodifusão Portuguesa under the conductor Silva Pereira. Finally, Chapter 6 offers some observations on Joly Braga Santos’s approach to articulation in the Piano Concerto, his piano writing after 1973, and his personal library of scores, as well as contextualises the Concerto within the Portuguese music scene.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 January 2023
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 16:43

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