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Pedro António Avondano
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Musique de chambre
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Avondano composed Psalms, Masses, a Te Deum, many sonatas for instruments and harpsichord toccatas. He also wrote comic operas like “Il Mondo della Luna”.
Much of the documentation relating to the early years of the career of Pedro António Avondano was lost in the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake, but by the beginning of the 1760s, he was known to have been one of the most influential musicians in Lisbon. According to José Mazza, a late eighteenth-century biographer who compiled a Dictionary of Portuguese Musicians a few years after Pedro António’s death, states that the latter, “was a violinist in the Royal Chamber and an excellent composer. His music had great harmony and much softness”. Today, Avondano’s keyboard music survives mostly in manuscripts belonging to the National Libraries of Paris and Lisbon, but new sources are still quite likely to appear whenever the existant Portuguese keyboard repertoire of the second half of the eighteenth century is thoroughly surveyed. The works can be seen as typical of a post-Baroque taste, mostly close to the Rococo and the Style Galant trends of European instrumental music in the 1750s and 60s. There are, however, suggestions of an expressive, somewhat “pre-Romantic” mood that nowadays we tend to associate exclusively with the German Empfindsamkeit composers such as Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach, for instance, but which was in fact quite characteristic also for the mid-eighteenth-century Neapolitan Opera, a genre quite familiar to Portuguese composers of the period.