A New Soundtrack By Bernardo Sassetti

Published by Trem Azul, the newest release by Bernardo Sassetti (a personal hero of late) is a soundtrack to Mário Barroso’s Um Amor De Perdição. I can’t tell you anything about the movie – I just managed to find the time to watch the hard-to-get DVD of Marco Martins’ Alice, whose commentary constitutes one of Bernardo’s absolute masterpieces together with the film itself – but the music reflects, as usual, that kind of indefinable spirit which aliments the most poignant orchestral works, an unpolluted poetry comparable to the imagery of a world discovered by perceptive children, their eyes wide open, their soul ready to be affected by an unexpected turn of events or, if you will, a harmonic passage which sounds regal and touching at once.

A knowledgeable use of the instrumental capabilities of the Sinfonietta De Lisboa, the non-invasive presence of reciting female voices (including Sassetti’s partner Beatriz Batarda) and the emblematic awareness demonstrated by the Portuguese composer throughout the course of his career do the rest, once again achieving the aim of sticking the listener to the seat in attentive response to an unremitting progression of scenarios: dramatic to delicate, surprising to obvious, and even the “obvious” appears magnificently delivered. This artist’s name might be relatively unfamiliar in proportion to an undeniable talent yet one wonders if sometimes it’s better that way, similarly to those well-kept secrets we don’t want to share, afraid of ordinary people not understanding the real value of something perceived as essential.

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