L’Avventura London and their director Žak Ozmo make their debut on Hyperion with a lusciously saucy album of Portuguese love songs from the eighteenth century. Described by a contemporary visitor as ‘voluptuous and bewitching’, these modinhas have an uncertain genesis, but it is likely they reached Portugal from its overseas dominion of Brazil. Two highly contrasting styles predominate: one melancholic and lyrical, and the other bright and rhythmic, often with syncopated rhythms in the voice. Also interspersed are instrumental works from the period.
The spirited players of L’Avventura London are joined by two Portuguese sopranos, Sandra Medeiros and Joana Seara, who are also early music specialists in their own right.