Mar de Setembro (2011) Program Note
When I first encountered the work of the great Portuguese poet Eugénio de Andrade (José Fontinhas), I was struck by the direct lyricism of his language, his bold depictions of the natural world's sensuality. Andrade's translator of 25 years, Alexis Levitin, introduced me to his heir Gervásio Oliveira Moura, who generously approved my use of the poems. Throughout the daunting and humbling task of setting Andrade's work, it was comforting to know that the songs would be performed by Luciana Souza, Jeffrey Kahane, and the wonderful musicians of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
I wish to express special thanks to Luciana for her sensitivity and attention to detail; the collaboration with her has been nothing short of joyful. I would also like to thank many people who helped along the way, including Junia Flavia d'Affonseca, Clarice Assad, Jeff Myers, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Rafael Montes, Wendy S. Walters, and Mark Statman, as well as the Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores, the Sacatar Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study, Peermusic Classical, and of course Andrea Laguni and the wonderful LACO staff.
-Derek Bermel, April 2011