Câmara launches festive concerts

LISBON Câmara kicked off its third annual round of Christmas concerts last Thursday with a programme of traditional Brazilian ‘Modinhas’.

With their sweet lyrical quality, the early 19th century Modinhas are a little-known fusion of Portuguese classical salon music with a Brazilian infusion, influenced by the black African slaves working in the sugar plantations in Brazil at that time. They were performed by a trio from the National Conservatory, comprised of sopranos Susana Gaspar and Júlia Vilaverde, backed by Samuel Pereira on the viola.

This year’s 15 concerts will take place in various parts of the city until December 19. Tonight (Friday, December 10) at 9pm, organ and flute music by Manuel Rodrigues Coelho, Martin de Olagué, Cabezón and Diego Ortiz, among others, will be performed at the Igreja da Madalena (Baixa). Tomorrow (Saturday, December 11), from 7.30pm, at the Igreja de São Nicolau (Baixa), the Lisbon Symphony Orchestra will perform extracts from Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Divertimento in F Major, as well as Saint Paul’s Suite by Gustav Holst.

On Sunday (December 12), from 4pm, at the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda, the Lisbon Cantat Choir will perform Mendelssohn’s Drei Motetten and Bruckner’s Ave Maria. Also on Sunday, at 5pm, at the Igreja de São Miguel (Alfama), music lovers can hear Vivaldi’s Concerto for Violin, Bach’s Sonata (number three) in F Major, the Judas Macabeus Oratorio Choir performing Handel’s Concerto Grosso and various Christmas carol pieces, including The First Noel, Gloria, and Adeste Fideles.