Today afternoon, anyone who was at the Maquinez auditorium in Panjim was in for not one but two veritable treats.

The first was a piano recital by the excellent pianist Marouan Benabdallah. Here’s a clip of playing Haydn (although it did not feature in today’s programme). 

Today’s programme was dedicated to French music, especially the composer Saint-Saens. This year just happens to be the centenary of a great cinematic event, in which Saint-Saens played a pivotal part. He was the first major composer to write music especially for film. He was commissioned to write music for an 18-minute silent film L’Assassinat du Duc de Guise (The Assassination of the Duke de Guise), in 1908. The film was first screened in Paris on 17 November 1908. 

I’ll write more about the programme in my next post.

The next delight was the documentary film Art of Amalia; a documentary on the life of Amalia Rodrigues . Here’s a clip:

It was Nostalgia Central for people of a certain age; just the sound of her voice, those familiar melodies, the plaintive wail of the Fado, of which she was the undisputed Reina (Queen). All my favourites, Uma Casa Portuguesa, Coimbra, Estranha Forma da Vida, Foi de Deus, featured in the film.

This 90-minute documentary was extremely informative, and gripped the viewer da capo al fine. However, it seemed to steer clear of the more controversial, turbulent periods in her life and career.

One expected to find the auditorium a little fuller; it was less than half full.

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