The son of Portuguese parents, Ivo Cruz was born in Brazil but naturalised Portuguese and started his musical studies in Lisbon with Tomás de Lima and Tomás Borba. After having graduated in Law, he left for Germany in 1925, where he took classes in Composition, Orchestra Conduction, Aesthetics and Music History.
He showed an early interest for pre-classical Portuguese music both in the pieces he composed as well as in the creation of the Duarte Lobo Choral Society in 1931. He was greatly responsible for spreading this repertoire among the wider public. Six years later he formed Lisbon’s Philarmonic Orchestra, with which he took Portugal’s musical repertoire all over the world.
In 1938 he replaced Vianna da Motta as the head of the National Conservatory, having held the position up until 1971. He collaborated throughout his life in various publications and published an autobiography in 1985.
Product Description: This groundbreaking recording features the Australian mezzo-soprano Amanda Cole in a program of fascinating and evocative Portuguese art songs. Now based in Dunedin, New Zealand, Cole conceived the project after discovering the little-known songs in music archives during a trip to Portugal in 2007. Using her gift for languages, she researched the literary, historical and cultural background to the songs, securing support from the Jack Straw Foundation in Seattle, USA and the CamÃµes Institute in Portugal in order to perform and record them. She is joined on the album by the noted New Zealand pianist Sandra Crawshaw. As the extensive album notes explain, saudade is a wistful melancholy caused by the absence or disappearance of people or things to which one has become emotionally attached. It also describes a sense of deprivation of pleasant experiences previously enjoyed. We might call this feeling yearning longing or nostalgia in English, but the Portuguese concept has a deeper cultural significance. Many of the poems from which the featured composers derived inspiration are representative of Saudosismo, an early 20th century nationalist movement that was closely linked to a revival of the Portuguese Golden Age. For the poets of this movement (the saudosistas), saudade was proclaimed as nothing less than the spiritual lifeblood of the Portuguese race: at once a sentiment, an idea and an emotion where all existence, body and soul, pain and happiness, love and desire, heaven and earth become one. It is a concept that still defines the Portuguese temperament. Cole brings her own interpretation of saudade to the album. The cover, also designed by the singer, depicts a painting she bought on the streets of Lisbon on her first extended trip to Europe as a student in the 1990s. Cole s voice dark, sensuous and suggestive captures the yearning quality of the music and the hopes and longings of the Portuguese soul that animate it. Saudade: a Portuguese Songbook is not only a musical tour de force. It is also groundbreaking in musicological terms, linking the exploration of cultural and historical themes to performance in a way that enriches the enjoyment of the listener. The result is an original and deeply moving evocation of a little known poetical and musical tradition that is sure to surprise and delight.