Beethoven's “absolute freedom” was heard at the end of Thursday afternoon, at the Monastery of São Bento da Vitória, in the first session of the MUSICAL-MENTE cycle, this time inspired by the idea of freedom. Combining art and politics, the Mayor of Porto was the first guest of the initiative promoted by the São João National Theater, which, in the antechamber of the fiftieth anniversary of April 25, seeks a connection to humanism.
"Perhaps like no other art, music is capable of mobilizing people, inspiring movements, changing mindsets, challenging norms", says Rui Moreira, who considers this art "a powerful element of cultural aggregation, socialization and identity construction".
But also "a cry for freedom". Recalling the importance of music in revolutions such as in April ‘25 or in "great social and political transformations" such as May ‘68 or the pacifist, feminist or LGBT movements, the Mayor reinforces that "freedom is not an empty word for the people of Porto and the authoritarian powers have not had an easy life in Porto".
Rui Moreira recalled the "intense and very quality musical programming" in the city in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with several concert halls, diverse musical activity and conductors, composers, and musicians "of great virtuosity", a scenario that has always been gaining new protagonists.
"This special relationship with music cannot be dissociated from the liberal values that the city so well personifies", believes the Mayor, certain that "freedom and music are both embedded in the identity of Porto, in its worldview, in its particular way of thinking, feeling and acting".
In this first concert, the pianist and curator of the cycle Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro joined the German violinist Stephan Picard and the Dutch cellist Quirine Viersen to play two Trios with Beethoven's Piano.
Until March 2024, MUSICAL-MENTE will present two more sessions, inspired by composers in the sphere of the political regimes of their time: the repressed freedom of Dmitri Shostakovich, under the Soviet yoke, the exiled freedom of Erich Wolfgang Korngold as an escape from Nazism. Always with a political prelude.