Little is known about the life of Francisco António de Almeida, but he occupied a central position in Portuguese life in the first half of the 18th century and was able to learn the Italian style in Rome thanks to the ambitions of King João V. The rarely recorded La Spinalba ovvero Il vecchio matto (Spinalba, or the Mad Old Man) is a comic opera which follows the buffa tradition of intrigue and romantic complexities, and is filled with superb cantabile arias as well as a rich variety of original and dramatic orchestral effects. The cast is led by Ana Quintans, a much-in-demand soloist on the early music scene, and the highly regarded Portuguese ensemble Os Músicos do Tejo is directed by its co-founder Marcos Magalhães.
Henrique De Almeida holds a Masters Degree in Music Performance from The University of Southern Mississippi. He is a graduate of The Berklee College of Music in Jazz Composition. Henrique is the owner and music director for the Percussion Institute of Colorado (PIC.) He is the leader of his own group, The Brazilian Jazz Project. He is a Yamaha Drums, LP Percussion, Vic Firth Sticks, Paiste Cymbals, HQ Pads, and Evans drumheads Artist. A published author, and producer, he has educational materials available on Carl Fischer Publishing.
Music of Spanish composer Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) is interpreted on this CD by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra (Bavarian State Philharmonic created in 1946) directed by French musician of Portuguese ancestry Antonio de Almeida. Turina was a Spanish composer whose essentially moderate number of compositions focused primarily on chamber music and piano. Of the five works originally composed for orchestra only one of them is outside the repertoire of this recording.