Home #Hwoodtimes A Stirring World Premiere Of Andreia Pinto Correia’s Cortejo by the LA...

A Stirring World Premiere Of Andreia Pinto Correia’s Cortejo by the LA Phil

Andreia Pinto Correias
The Premiere of Andreia Pinto Correia's Cortejo at the Walt Disney Concert-Hall

Under the mastery of Gustavo Dudamel, the Portuguese Composer’s new work resonated like two armies amassing before an epic battle, brimming with skirmishes.

By John Lavitt

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 05-09-2024

At the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a new work by Portuguese Composer Andreia Pinto Correia was met with resounding applause. Clocking in at ten minutes, Cortejo is a stirring composition with a martial flair that evokes the convergence of two colossal armies. Guided by the inimitable Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic demonstrated why they are the perfect orchestra to bring Correia’s powerful vision to life. From start to finish, a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation permeated the composition, akin to the inevitable approach of a fierce clash between two armies.

The translation of Cortejo is a procession. Although usually applied in the context of romance, it felt in this instance as the procession to a battle. With a raw instinct that leans toward the dramatic, Correia’s music has an undeniable impact that rattles the bones and pounds in the hearts. Given the dramatic flair, Cortejo sets off the imagination, creating visual images with sound construction. In the mind’s eye, there was a build-up to a battle that could not be avoided. A sense of dread and readiness dominated the preparations before the clash. Minor skirmishes arise between scouting parties before the actual fight, giving an understanding of the horror to come.

As a composer, Andreia Pinto Correia is in utter control of her compositions. She creates a particular atmosphere that is perfectly executed by Gustavo Dudamel’s conducting of the LA Phil. In battle, blood is the lubricant that oils the machine of the armies rising. In the new work, there is a sense of inevitability. Sooner or later, the combatants will clash, resulting in utter destruction.

Commissioned by the LA Phil with generous support from the Esa-Pekka Salonen Commissions Fund, Andreia Pinto Correia’s Cortejo will prove to be a lasting success. There was a sense of relief and happiness when the beautiful composer came on stage for an ovation with Gustavo Dudamel by her side. Does any other creative joy compare to the realization of an artistic project as so much work becomes a vivid reality of compositional success?

Gustavo Dudamel
Gustavo Dudamel Brings Out the Very Best In The LA Phil

In the second half of the performance, with Robert deMaine featured on cello, and Teng Li featured on viola, Dudamel conducted a rousing version of Don Quixote, Op. 35 by legendary German composer Richard Strauss. The 38-minute tone poem for cello, viola, and orchestra was the perfect companion for Andreia Pinto Correia’s Cortejo. After the martial gathering and clash of the two armies, the meanderings and wanderings of Don Quixote’s fantasies felt like a welcome relief.

Although Don Quixote overflows with big plans, he remains, in reality, a hapless knight wandering the fields and backroads of Spain with his hefty sidekick. From the adventure at the windmills to the dreams of martial success, Don Quixote by Richard Strauss proved to be a welcome alternative to the visceral clash of the armies before. Instead, in the realm of imagination, the armies proved to be clouds and the blood flowing only a spring brook in the sunlight.

Once again, a sojourn to see Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil at the Walt Disney Concert Hall was a wonderful experience. With the powerful premiere of Andreia Pinto Correia’s Cortejo, the performance began on a high note and remained there until the end.

Photos Courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic