Music criticism in Portugal: Towards an overview

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The history of music criticism in Portugal is only slowly emerging as a field of musicological inquiry, owing in part to the lack of a systematic inventory of the relevant source materials, but also, no doubt, to the inherited view of the nineteenth century (if not the twentieth) as a period of decadence following a purported ‘golden age’ of Portuguese music - a view amounting to a foundation myth of Portuguese musicology that has only recently begun to be challenged. A reversal of this perspective was first articulated by the composer, essayist and critic Fernando Lopes Graça, who claimed provocatively, as early as 1935, that the nineteenth century had been, on the contrary, ‘the most fruitful, the one with the strongest and most beneficial consequences’, providing the country with the first outline of a modern musical life, less exclusively centred in the court, the church and - in theory, at least - the Italian opera.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Music Criticism
EditorsChristopher Dingle
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781139795425
ISBN (Print)9781107037892
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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