Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger:

Carlos SEIXAS (1704 - 1742)
Harpsichord Concerto in A Major [8.06]
Symphony in B flat Major [8.08]
Overture in D Major [7.54]
Harpsichord Concerto in G Minor (anonymous) [16.42]

Ferenc Liszt Chamber Orchestra/Janos Rolla
Janos Sebestyen/harpsichord
rec: 1982 (symphony/overture), 1984 (concertos).
STRAUS SP 4154 [41.45]

Carlos Seixas was a prolific Portuguese composer who wrote more than 700 keyboard works. Many of these pieces were lost in the great earthquake of 1755 that destroyed the musical library of the Royal Palace. However some one hundred keyboard sonatas, in addition to the works on this disc, are extant.

Seixas's music belongs to the transitional period between baroque and classical music, and these works contain elements that recall the former and fit naturally in the latter. There is a predominance of strings, and a clear Mozartian sound in the symphony and overture. The music is light and lively, and marked by a strong rhythm reinforced by trumpets and timpani.

The harpsichord concertos are more interesting, with an agreeable interplay between the harpsichord and the orchestra. They nevertheless recall some of the least interesting Mozart concertos. The second, anonymous harpsichord concerto is similar in form and style to Seixas's works, but it, too, lacks depth. Yet this disc is essentially a disappointment. The music sounds like many other composers of the period, without any uniqueness to set it apart. The recording is also poor - the sound of the orchestral works is flat, and there is little emotion to be felt from this performance. Both listening on speakers and headphones gives the same effect; there is little space in the recording, and all the instruments sound like a mass playing together in the centre.

The harpsichord works are recorded slightly better, although the harpsichord itself sounds too weak in comparison with the orchestra, often drowned out by the other instruments (although this is too often the case with harpsichord concertos). This 41-minute disc is of little interest, other than to those especially interested in Portuguese music of the 18th century.

A disappointing disc containing unremarkable orchestral music from the pre-classical period.

Kirk McElhearn


The prices are: UK pounds 6 and US dollars 10 (freight not included).
The transport costs are :
For UK----- 1 or 2 CDs ------UK£1.60; 3 CDs ----£2.50
Freight --- till 3 cd's --- not registered --- £2.40;registered---- £3.50
For USA---- 1 or 2 CDs-----US$3.50 ; 3 CDs --- $5.50
Freight --till 3cd's -- not registered ---$5 ;registered ---- $6.80
Orders can come by fax to
fax number 351 1 7141723,
by e-mail to:
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Rua Adelaide Cabete, 3C,
1500-023 LISBOA
Credit cards (Visa and Amex) are accepted with the name of the buyer, credit card number, validity date and type of card.
Orders and enquiries for this disc to
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phone 01 7151151 - 7143490
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