Armando José Fernandes was one of the most important composers of 20-th century Portugal. He was an integral member of the ‘Grupo dos Quatro’ – alongside Jorge Croner de Vasconcelos, Fernando Lopes-Graça and Pedro do Prado – which exerted substantial influential over Portuguese music in the mid-1900s. His musical language, based on an extended tonality, is influenced by Ravel and Debussy, with occasional hints of expressionism and even a touch of moody Shostakovich. Nevertheless there is a southern vitality in the basically romantic heart of this fascinating composer, whose works we hear for the first time on CD.
Violinist Carlos Damas made his solo debut aged just 15 with the Portuguese National Broadcasting Radio Symphony Orchestra. His successful career brought him all over the world, and his recordings won universal praise. Among his more recent achievements is the release of an hugely successful CD featuring the works of Fritz Kreisler, which has been praised by The Strad as one of the best Kreisler discs on the market.