10 APR 2022 - 15:30


Sé Catedral Castelo Branco, 15H30


The probability of MAAC / Flores de Mvsica, Ensemble Stradivaria and Aria Voce Choir coming together to collaborate in a common project was made possible by a mutual friend of Daniel Cuiller and João Janeiro, the directors of both structures. From this encounter ‘Baroque Atlantique’ has emerged as a mid-term project 2020-2023 that started in October 2020, with the Concerto Ibérico – Baroque Orchestra Artistic Residence in the roman-visigotic village of Idanha-a-Velha (Portugal).

The partnership that Stradivaria and MAAC have established aims to bring together the two important artistic structures to collaborate in several projects. This way, synergies were already start to develop, cultural and professional relationships between Portuguese and French ensembles and musicians could be expanded.

Within ‘Baroque Atlantique’ — a project labelled after the fact that Nantes and Oeiras both have the Atlantic Sea in their shores — the artistic complementarities of both structures, activities, repertoires and research could be amplified. This will potentiate the exchange experiences and mobilities of musicians and ensembles, disclosing French and Portuguese Baroque repertoires and musical practices in both countries as a common and unique European historical heritage.

The music program that will be worked on ‘Saison’ has never been recorded in CD before. In this program we could find unexpected musical relations, if we consider that baroque Portuguese music has been mostly orientated towards Italian music, even if Portuguese kings tend to emulate the cultural models of the French Court. On the other hand, apart from the harpsichord repertoires, French music from the baroque period never has been very much cultivated in Portugal compared to Italian or German music. Therefore, in order to contribute to disclose both repertoires, we have chose a composer, Francisco António de Almeida, whose work could represent music traditions of both countries within the European context, since Almeida has assimilated Italian, French, German influences, and still kept some matrices of Portuguese polyphony tradition.

The project will be centred in Almeida’s F major Mass for soloists, choir & orchestra. Almeida went to study in Rome in early 1720s and quickly became famous as a composer and singer, as can be testified by an engraving of Pier Leone Gezzi. Then he went to Dresden. There, Almeida composed works for the royal chapel orchestra. The F major Mass represents something completely unique in Baroque music being an anticipated parallelism of Josef Haydn Symphonie des Adieux. This work, structured in sixteen movements according to the golden section rule, It opens with a short Intrata that enters directly to Kyrie section with the tutti. From Gloria onwards, Almeida gradually cuts instrumental parts with each new movement, and the soloists participation is also limited after Credo section to concertato sections. We arrive to Agnus Dei with a texture reduced to the minimum number of four voices and organ. This way, Almeida creates an extraordinary rhetorical effect of anti-climax. This surprising compositional logic naturally evoke, for us, today, the famous Josef Haydn symphony, known as Les Adieux, making this work rather unique in the context of the late European Baroque. The concert presentation project of this work at Saison Croisée France-Portugal will precede the subsequent audio recording for the production of a CD of Almeida’s Mass

The participation of Flores de Mvsica and Stradivaria artistic structures in this project is structured as a real partnership. Both will have the same number of musicians participating musicians. Aria Voce will play his part as the choir for the project in the concerts in France. Bringing together musicians from the highest level of historic performance, allows the sharing of experiences and different approaches to the performance that could potentiate the emergency of other projects and the deepening of professional relationships between French and Portuguese professionals.

The activities planned within Baroque Atlantique surpass the time span of Saison IF, clearly representing the will of Stradivaria and MAAC to pursue the creativity of artistic cooperation and development that should inspire the next generations of musicians dedicated to the performance and research on early music and Europe Music Heritage.

Having considered this French, Portuguese but also the European dimension of Baroque Atlantique and Almeida’s work as well, we have already started to look for possible partners in the cities where Almeida worked: Rome, Dresden and Lisbon. We believe that taking this project to these cities will strongly amplify the impact of this repertoire within the European public.


10 Apr 2022
15:30 BARROCO ATLÂNTICO: A Europa no Barroco Musical de França e Portugal
Sé Catedral Castelo Branco