I post the music above not because it is some sort of lost masterpiece. The piece has some dull patches and cliched utterances. But it also has some gorgeous moments and memorable themes and, overall, is well put together. I’m quite taken with it. Give it a listen, see what you think.
Luis de Freitas Branco (1890-1955) was a Portuguese composer. His Symphony No. 1 was written in 1924. As you will hear, the work is clearly modeled on Franck’s Symphony in D minor, and is rather conservative in style (especially compared to what else was being written in the 1920s). I had never even heard of Freitas Branco before I came upon this work, which is the type of piece we never hear in the concert hall these days because we seem afraid to stray beyond certified masterpieces and great composers and box office imperatives.
Anyway, I don’t want to make too big of a deal about this piece. It’s interesting and enjoyable. I’ve listened to it twice and parts of it are sticking in my ears.
I see no mention of Lang Lang at all…
I have not heard of this composer either. Can’t say I found it terribly compelling. For me, nothing in it was that memorable. But glad to know of another new composer…Portugal has not been a hot bed for classical composers.