The work that I'm about to accomplish is not easy, and it is rendered much more difficult by my condition of great fan. I hope that I'll be able to be interesting. From a musical point of view and, in a certain measure, from a thematic point of view, this album is organized in movements, as well as a symphony. The critics which are not familiar with classical music interpreted this organization as a "...loss of creativity...". These are the critics who would label as a "...loss of creativity..." also the repeating of the main theme in the first movement of the V Beethoven's Symphony (this doesn't want to be a comparison at all!). My answer is that in every speech, every concept have to refer to the considerations made before. The first movement is formed by the "Concertino", in which the girl starts her initiation travel wondering if this is her destiny. The second movement is formed by "Os Senhores da Guerra", "Pregão", "O Mar" and "Os Moinhos", in which the girl faces the world as an entity (sea, sun, war). The third movement is formed by the "Três Ilusões", in which the girl meditates about her inner feelings (love, guilt, sadness). The fourth movement, sublime for coherence and strength, is composed by the last four songs, in which the reflections on the ego and on the world interlace in the conclusion of peace of "Ajuda". "O Espírito da Paz" is the most difficult album of Madredeus; not from a musical, but from a conceptual point of view. This work born as a concept album, that is a musical composition which has to carry a message through the narration of a story. In this particular case, the story is simple on the earthly level (a girl which travels and sings to spread a message of peace), but enormously complex on the level of the meditation. So, that's not the story of an event, but the story of a reflection. The words unveiled the themes of this opera only after a long study: the sea, the war, the sun, love, silence, destiny, journey. At this point it seems impossible to find a leit motiv able to carry us to the discovery of the hidden message of this album. The two "commandments", the two unifying elements comes up after one year and a half of passionate listening: the relation between the ego and his unconscious and the relation between the ego and the reality. The extreme novelty of these two apparently known elements is in the extreme deepness of the analysis, which brings to conclusions and considerations of great value. War is not analyzed in it's material effect but in it's origin as a human phenomenon. The most real meaning of peace is searched. Peace, not seen as a state of warlessness, but as the consciousness of being part of a community of "... homens... unidos no destino da terra ...". The sea becomes the earthly incarnation of infinity. The song "O Mar" seems to describe the astonishment of the man who perceive the existence and the concreteness of infinity and his inability to part with it (what is the origin of this affinity of Man for Infinity?). "Vem" seems to contradict my thesis. It proposes an ideal dialogue between two lovers far from each other. Though, the total love emerging from the words "...perdi a luz do teu viver...", merge the two lovers in a unique entity with two souls united by a "...mesma luz...mesmo amar...". In a sense, this song sings the concept so well described by John Donne in his "Valediction - Forbidding Mourning": in that poem the author compares the two lovers as the two linked legs of a compass, which can even get separated, but remains part of the same thing. So, even this song narrates a personal reflection. In all the compositions, the analysis of the most inner ego (the feelings of guilt, sadness and love, the "Ilusões") brings to the discovery of the universal characteristics of humanity, and the contemplation of reality (the sun, the sea, the war: the second movement), brings to the discovery of our most deeper feelings. This is the point which hide the real message of "O Espírito da Paz": the reflections on our ego and on reality is the only instrument that can help us to understand in which way our individuality is part of a universal one. This consciousness of sharing with every man the most inner traits of the soul is the espírito da paz. That's it. Everybody will read his own reflections in those of the girl, and this is the concept which preserve the identity and peculiarity of people. Everybody live and suffer of the same feelings, but the way in which we relates to them, is different from each other. And to complete this interior path, at the end of the composition (Ajuda), the girl says that she is the greatest mystery of his world, but says also that she is in the centre of a World. "O Espírito da Paz" is an enormous album that I think should be listened always in its entirety. It has been certainly undervalued at the first listening by all of us. His strength is hidden in his organicalness and in his extreme autonomy. The lyrics are the most conceptually stimulating part. About the music and about the voice, Her voice, well.... mmm... I can't say and I don't want to say nothing. Now that I have described this opera in the most common way, I would like to express some extremely personal opinion regarding this music. "O Espírito da Paz" is an abstract ... ultramundane composition. The voice of Teresa seems more the voice of our conscience, than that of a person talking us. The music that accompanies her evokes in me images, sounds, colors, scents. This is, I do think, the goal and the main sense of art. If "Ainda" describe with astounding deepness the scent that only Lisboa emanates, "O Espírito da Paz" makes me feel the sensation that everybody who has seen Portugal felt. Those among you who has been there are now perfectly understanding me. This music recalls me that sea, that blue of an unrepeatable sky, that sun, that soil, that warmth. Portugal is an intense land, which gives itself totally and immediately to everybody who touches it, reveals it's secrets,it's wounds, it's jewels; is a land which narrates you the sea you are going to see, and tries to remember it to you even when you're not able to see it. In "O Espírito da Paz" I've found the same characteristics of the land which gave birth to it. It is intense, warm, but peaceful and serene. This is a music and a land which doesn't need to scream in order to be strong and to make you feel the trill of emotion. The most cosmopolitan opera hides the most portuguese soul of Madredeus. This is the true fado overcoming. This is what I feel as a fan, as a "critic", as a musician, as a man. This is my only instrument able to make you understand this beautiful musical flower which gladdens my life. Do not trust the people who use the name of Madredeus to appear as musical acculturates. This is not a music for learned people, but for people who listen with the heart and not with the brain.
from the site Madredeus - O Porto - http://go.to/madredeus