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The Permanent Seminar of the research group Historical and Cultural Studies in Music of INET-md intends to be a forum where all its members (integrated and collaborators), as well as other invited researchers from the academic, cultural and artistic circles, may present their work and discuss ongoing projects and research.
2023-06-05 | 18:00 | National Library of Portugal | Amphitheatre Hall

On 24 June 1923, the amateur singer Emma Santos Fonseca da Câmara Reys (1897-1968) began her "Divulgação Musical" project, with the presentation of a concert dedicated to the music of Erik Satie and the "Six" group.

From 1923 until 1940, Emma da Câmara Reys organised 142 concerts as part of the initiative "Divulgação Musical", which had as its main stage the hall of her own house, at nº 41 Rua Bernardo Lima in Lisbon, but which quickly found a grateful reception in other spaces such as the Universidade Popular Portuguesa, the Hall of the National Conservatory and the Academy of Music Amateurs, among others, with some of the concerts being broadcasted through Rádio Renascença and Emissora Nacional.

This cycle of concerts aimed at introducing unknown musical repertoires to the Portuguese musical environment, using the "conference-concert" format and privileging the interpretation of vocal music works from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, modern chamber music and "folk"/popular music. The introductory lectures had the purpose of providing a historical-biographical context of the composers and the works. In this way, they tried to arouse the public's curiosity for the appreciation and enjoyment of new music, guiding their listening. With very innovative programmes for the time, the reception to the concerts was not always unanimous, giving rise to some scandals, as was the case of the first audition of Pierrot lunaire by Arnold Schönberg.

Among the guest speakers are Luís de Freitas Branco and Fernando Lopes-Graça, as well as many members of the Seara Nova circle such as António Sérgio, Bento de Jesús Caraça and Luís da Câmara Reys, the singer's husband.

The value and relevance of this singular project motivated Emma da Câmara Reys to publish the lectures, the concert programmes and the respective reviews in a collection in 5 volumes, entitled Divulgação Musical. This important documental corpus not only synthesizes the titanic work undertaken by the singer, but also demonstrates the important patrimonial value that she bequeathed to the Lisbon musical milieu, having sent copies of the collection Divulgação Musical to the most diverse libraries in Portugal and abroad.

Considering that the estate of Emma Santos Fonseca da Câmara Reys is in the National Library of Portugal - Music Area, this concert aims to recreate the entire first programme of the "Divulgação Musical" initiative in order to mark the commemoration of her centenary.

This activity is organised under the scientific coordination of Alejandro Reyes-Lucero in the context of the Permanent Seminar of the Group for Historical and Cultural Studies in Music of the Inet-md.

Source: National Library of Portugal