Os Músicos do Tejo
Baroque Orchestra
Alcobaça Monastery · Fence
July 25, 2020
The natural disorder of things

A peaceful battalion of chairs strategically scattered in the theatre of operations lined up in a motionless march, but ready for the clash, also a peaceful one. Meanwhile, at the front and rear of the platoon, the final preparations are being fine-tuned and the pace is being set on this non-warlike battlefield. The generals prepare the strategies and the sergeants gather the soldiers to create a natural disorder of things.

In the corridors, in anticipation, the musicians of the Baroque Orchestra are also getting ready. Unaware of any combat and with an almost angelic aura. Waiting for the blank shot for the episode for which they have been preparing for a large part of their lives. Breaking the tense atmosphere and focusing only on the mission ahead of them.

In times of war you don't clean your guns. I never quite understood the comparison between fighting the pandemic and an actual war.

But for a long time we have dealt with this comparison. And we dealt with tactics and efforts very similar to those of a conflict larger than ourselves. Us against the virus.

Meanwhile, outside, the spectators, voyeurs, eager for action and excitement, flock in. These pandemic times alter routines but do not erase the essential: the enjoyment of freedom materialised, in this case, by cultural consumption, as necessary as it is luxurious for the human condition.

With all the preparations completed, the time has come. The notes give way to shots, the tones replace the skirmishes and the movements take turns moving forwards and backwards. All in the same place and at the same time. And, in the end, nobody is harmed. And, also at the end, everything is calm, as if nothing had happened. The calm after the storm. As if everything returned to normal. Maybe this is the new normal.

Watch a clip of the show

"Do Barroco ao Fado" is a project centred on Portuguese identity that evokes a particularly important event for the Portuguese, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Amália Rodrigues. Through the group Os Músicos do Tejo, a history of more than eight centuries is synthesized, combining oral tradition and written music and crossing pieces for Portuguese guitar, with medieval, Arabic and Galician music, expressions of the baroque, the fado, the modinha and the lundum, to end in the true exaltation of poetry through music as did Amália Rodrigues and Alain Oulman.

“Despite the pandemic situation, the maintenance of the Festival is wholesome and worthy of praise. I would like to acknowledge the organisation for the way in which they prepared all the logistics of the Festival and maintained a high quality programme. I am very happy to be here and, on behalf of DG Artes, the Festival deserves public recognition”.

Helder Bruno
Pianist, Composer and Evaluator at DG Artes

“It has been a pleasure to return, after several concerts we have already performed at this Festival, to see people passionate about art and music. It is one of the most well-intentioned passions: music is human and it is a certain form of humbleness, a value that is so important for us to remember today, in the face of the pandemic and in the face of the climate emergency. We have to know how to change and music also teaches us how to be able to change”

Marcos Magalhães
Director and Conductor of Os Músicos do Tejo