O Porto

Intimate music from the Portuguese quintet

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Every now and then something intrudes into the chaos of the rat race that reminds us why Shakespeare wrote sonnets and not sports. Like the voice of Madredeus' Teresa Salgueiro, an instrument so sublime it requires iambic pentameter to do a description of it justice.

It is a thing of beauty on this exquisite live set, breathing tunefulness and evincing the gamut of emotions, from bittersweet anguish to celestial grace, seemingly without the slightest effort. Director Wim Wenders was so captivated by Salgueiro he made her and Madredeus the stars of his film, Lisbon Story. O Porto is the ideal venue for the charms of Salgueiro and the intimate music of her Portuguese quintet, whose novel brand of chamber-folk, Portuguese fado and Renaissance influences has the air of recital about it.

Salgueiro and company-classical guitars, acoustic bass and synthesizer colorings-seduce with a serene but soulful intensity that spirits you away to a quieter time and place away from the noise, where you just might be able to hear the stirrings of the poet's pen.

FromEscape(July, 1999.) Subscriptions: $18/yr. (4 issues) from Box 462255, Escondido, CA 92046.