Huelgas Ensemble

Whoever says Portuguese music, says fado! There is no evidence that fate strikes more often in Portugal than elsewhere, but unlike other nations the Portuguese have built a whole tradition on it. A tradition that mightily impressed Paul Van Nevel. During nocturnal field work in the precincts of Lisbon, Van Nevel managed to penetrate into the authentic fado milieu: small eating-places in the shadow of the big tourist attractions. There he discovered Célia Leiria and António Rocha: thoroughbred artists who don’t sing fado, but are fado. Better than anybody else these leading ‘fadistas’ enable you to get steeped in the ‘saudade’ during this concert: the devastating yearning for an impossible love, the destiny of solitude, the painful rejection, but also the hymn to Lisbon. In this programme the fado will be confronted with 16th-century polyphony. From this confrontation it transpires that the fado feel, albeit with other musical means, had its precursors in the renaissance. An exciting combination of two traditions giving free rein to emotions!

António Rocha, fado | Célia Leiria, fado | Paul Van Nevel, artistic direction