When the Association “A Música e o Mundo” (“Music and the World” Association) invited me to programme a cycle of recitals of works by Francisco Lacerda - and the beautiful microcosm that is his hometown, the Azores - I wondered what my experience as a creator could bring to this cycle; and what would be the best way to celebrate the legacy of the remarkable Azorean composer. Interestingly enough, the answer to both questions was similar: looking to the future with a sense of urgency; creating conditions for his music - important in its own right - to serve also as the catalyst for something new.

Thus, I challenged a group of musicians of excellence to think each of their recitals as a singular event, starting from the two fundamental vectors of the Encounters - Sound and Earth. At the same time, in conjunction with the Association, we sought to ensure that the context and venue of each recital were equally unique. That each of these moments might somehow be unrepeatable - a kind of ecological-musical happenings.

I think the result is an unusual programme of superlative quality. But it is above all a programme open to everyone: we will hear some of the most beautiful pages of the vocal music of Lacerda (the Trovas) and of contemporaries of his; an important cycle for voice and piano of Romanticism (the Wesendonck Lieder); and the delicate meditation of Hans Otte for solo piano (Das Buch der Klänge), all in a stunning natural setting.
We will also have the opportunity to embark on a unique journey, which begins with J.S. Bach, and ends with a transcription for accordion – a world premiere –  of Lacerda’s beautiful Canção Triste. To conclude the programme, we will dedicate (and I say this with particular satisfaction) a substantial amount of time to Portuguese music - with more than a dozen national composers represented –, with an emphasis on new works, including three world premieres (one of which was commissioned for these Encounters by the Association).

Returning to our illustrious past - this reassuring revisitation of lost paradises − is fundamental in order to contextualize and gain a firm foothold on the oeuvre of great masters − who tell us that, at some moment in time, we have been quite extraordinary. But this need for validation can and must coexist with the courage of diving into the unknown.

The artists and creators who share this world with us, and who need our support and our attention to take risks in inventing the future of music, are too important to be neglected. We need them now, as in the past, to secure for the future a singular collective consciousness: the consciousness of now. We need them so that, somewhere in the future, we can also be seen as extraordinary. Because, as Daniel Blum says, “while something exists, it is not yet what it will one day have been. When something is past, we are no longer the one it happened to.”

If these Encounters can - albeit modestly - contribute to this reflection, our mission will have been accomplished.

Vasco Mendonça
July 2021


Filipa Lacerda,
Alexandre Almeida,
António Câmara Manuel

Vasco Mendonça

Francisco de Lacerda
A Música e o Mundo Associação Cultural


Helena Marteleira
Francisca Sobral

Inês von Hafe Pérez
Alípio Padilha
Francisca Alves
Alexandre Almeida


C. M. Calheta, C. M. Angra do Heroísmo, C. M. Ponta Delgada, C. M. Lisboa / EGEAC, Museu de Angra do Heroísmo, Arquipélago Centro de Artes Contemporâneas, Conservatório Regional de Ponta Delgada, Horta Seca, Duplacena, Antena 2, Fernando Rosado Pianos