The music of Andreia Pinto-Correia has been a major contribution to the dissemination of Portugal’s culture and language, perhaps a contribution larger than could ever be imagined.
–Timaeus, Concerto for Orchestra –
A compellingly meditative evocation of the natural world…clouds of sound slowly rolling past and through each other, occasionally erupting in flash and thunder.
Andreia Pinto-Correia, originally from Lisbon, is deeply influenced by Iberian folk music. Her 10-minute “Elegia a Al-Mu’tamid,” an elegy to a forgotten 11th-century poet-king, is like an aural fabric of piercing sustained harmonies, restless melodic bits and gurgling instrumental bursts. Crucial solo lines break through, especially a dark, intense melody for viola.
(A) composer’s colorful imagination.
A reference in the creation of erudite Portuguese music (…)The American press has praised the delicateness and elegance of her music, its harmonic construction and her sound technical mastery, as she collects some of the most prestigious awards.
The sustained sounds are sensual and languid, with gentle percussion, and rivulets of violin bowings, in generally traditional harmonies. It’s a gorgeous, shimmering piece that a German would cite for its Schallklang. And yet it’s as transparent as chamber music, never using all the instruments at once. Clearly, Pinto-Correia has a gift for orchestral colors, and Music Director Carneiro had to look no further than her home bailiwick to find this talent.
This followed a seventeen-minute work by Andreia Pinto-Correia, “Impresiones y Paisajes” (Impressions and Landscapes), a six-part tone poem inspired by the poetry of Garcia Lorca. Here, the famous flamenco dancer Omayra Amaya from Madrid gave a gripping performance using flamenco movements, sometimes as disembodied gestures, and later in more traditional dancing.
It was hard to tear one’s eyes away from this great dancer to hear the haunting music being performed. Dissonant yet lyric, the music was acerbic and solemn, with many static sections comprising orchestral unisons and tremolos accompanied by chants sung by the two sopranos.
Andreia Pinto Correia built her “La Minotauromachie” (2009) around her impressions of Picasso’s Minotaur etchings, which she has imaginatively transformed into a pair of virtuosic movements for cello (Roberto Arundale) and piano (Amalia Rinehart). The music has an energetic, narrative quality, but the work’s most striking element is its use of sharply accented flamenco rhythms in its second movement.
Allan Kozinn is a former music critic and culture writer for The New York Times who lives in Portland.
Andreia Pinto-Correia’s Elegia a Al-Mu’tamid was one of those pieces you could just sit back and take in a range of sounds presented with clarity and mystery and the same time. The thin orchestral texture was a bold move by Pinto-Correia, and allowed the new sounds she presented to sit there for the listener to take in. Ethereal dissonances in the woodwinds were particularly stark and breathtaking. A short melodic theme traded around to different solo instruments gave a unity to the work while exploring diverse sounds. While too many new compositions these days feel like a barrage of “innovation” ad nauseum, Pinto-Correia’s composition stood out for the ways its musical ideas and texture were presented effortlessly with time to be digested.”
Andreia’s piece, like the geographical place, Xántara, that inspired her, is mysterious, elegant, magical. Her delicate textures and transparent orchestration are impressive. In her score, she uses such adjectives as “Floating” to impart the kind of playing she wants from the musicians. The ending particularly I found really breathtaking: quiet, with the kind of presence that demands a moment or two of silence from the listener before any applause would begin.
The work is meant to reflect the “poetic forms and…related ratios” of Arab-Andalusian poetry native to the westernmost region of the Iberian Peninsula (modern-day Portugal). Correia employs an harmonic idiom with a distinctly Eastern flavor, though without exaggerating those to the point of creating an “exotic” feel. The music opens with a melodic line characterized by a high frequency of trilled notes; as the piece progresses, this opening melodic style frequently returns, each time giving way to melodies of varying character. This return to the opening melodic style creates an overall shape which gives the impression of a free-flowing consciousness that always returns to its origin. Hardy skillfully executed the work’s frequent rapid register changes as well as its numerous extended performance techniques
Andreia Pinto-Correia. Remember this name.
Andreia (…) brought a unique freshness and candidness, transmitting cinematographic and poetic atmospheres in her works…