Os Músicos do Tejo records Almeida’s Il Trionfo d’Amore for Naxos
January 30, 2015
First performed in 1729 at the Ribeira Palace in Lisbon in honour of King João V, Francisco António de Almeida’s stage work Il Trionfo d’Amore has received its world première recording under the direction of Marcos Magalhães, director of the Lisbon-based Os Músicos do Tejo, one of Portugal’s leading early music ensembles. The recording, made in November 2013, will be released on the Naxos label this coming October.
Magalhães explained that the work doesn’t completely fit the description of Baroque opera: “It’s a serenata, which was something more musical, more of a concert for special occasions in the court,” he said. “The music is very festive, the trumpets with their royal connotation have an important role.”
The cast includes soprano Ana Quintans (Nerina), counter-tenor Carlos Mena (Arsindo), soprano Joana Seara (Termosia), tenor Fernando Guimarães (Adraste), mezzo-soprano Cátia Moreso (Giano) and bass João Fernandes (Mirenio).
With the exception of Spanish counter-tenor Mena, all the cast are Portuguese artists who also performed in Os Músicos do Tejo’s 2011 recording for Naxos of Almeida’s opera La Spinalba. The ensemble specialises in researching and rediscovering Portuguese music from the Baroque era.
“Il Trionfo d’Amore is a very beautiful work,” says Magalhães. “We’re happy that it will be finally accessible, thus making our musical heritage available not only for us in Portugal but also for an international audience.