What is a concert of Madredeus? Can we still define that exhibition as a "concert" or we should find a more appropriate word? But "Que palavra?". I'm not here to answer that question but to propose my personal opinion regarding the meaning of a Madredeus concert. It is known that such an exhibition has something magnetic, a mysterious pattern.
I've seen many concerts in my life but the Madredeus' one I participated was different. I didn't understand quickly the origin of that sensation, that skin thrill; I vainly tried in a past time to describe that emotion with a mail to the mailing list, but, reading it now, I discover that something has been left unexplored. Thinking about the Madredeus concert I found that it is an very complete exhibition, made of different species of art. There is the musical art. Music which is like the canvas on which the lights paint their pictures. Music as that form of art which is divided between the "moment" and "eternity": temporary in its manifestation, eternal in its presence. Music as the result of the fight between Man and Time. Music able to alter our consciousness of time. Then the poetic art, made of words which lay on that canvas. Poetry which finds in the music its lens, the way to become understandable. The recitation art, represented by their disposition on the stage, their dresses, their movements. That recitation brings people to a time of the past which is difficult to define. You can say that has some characteristics of the first part of this century, but it has something really ancient: there is something that brings us to the roots of our culture, to periods of time which nowadays we see as a Gold Age. These are the roots that Madredeus defends and shows. But that recitation brings also a kind of authority that you can feel. Authority caused by the respect that they have towards the audience. In most of the concerts of other groups, the musicians holds themselves "away" from the public. There is a kind of fracture between them and the listeners. Sometime they seem to play only for themselves, or they seem only to show their outstanding ability. Well, in a Madredeus concert lives that paradox: while their recitation brings you to a time far from the actual one, their respect brings you much closer to them. You cannot avoid to participate, to express a critic, a judgment. This because they are in that place to make you listen their music.
They are really playing for you. Their music is directed to you. Then, there is also the art of dancing conducted by Teresa. Well, I know that a lot of people would say me that it happens only in "Os Foliões" but you should keep in mind that that song come as a climax of the concert, and so its dance gains importance.
Anyway, even when Teresa is not dancing, there is a form of art displayed by Madredeus which Wim Wenders perfectly understood: the art of showing images. The reason why Madredeus can make a show of two hours without moving resides in that ability. They are able to give to your eyes images of great beauty. In every moment of their concert what you see is a painting, an artful photo. Madredeus are really beautiful to see, also because you can see in their playing the joy, the sensual pleasure of playing; everybody who plays an instrument knows perfectly what I mean. Too many musicians plays as they are racing, with tension in their veins. Madredeus plays with an incredible and relaxed pleasure. And you can feel that pleasure by seeing them playing. As you can see, a Madredeus concert is something complex, made of different forms of art, and this fact reminds me a kind of art that has been lost in the past: the greek theater. In that exhibitions the audience had to participate, the actors had to dance, play instruments, singing texts of great poetry, at the same time. Greeks saw in the theater a place where all the forms of art could exist together. I feel that Madredeus has something in common with that. But there is also another link to the greek tragedy: the saudade. The manifestation of that feeling, which is a consequence of the friction between sadness and hope, reminds me a sort of cathartic effect, a kind of purification. In the greek tragedies the sad stories had the purpose to teach something to the audience. In that tragedies there was, for that reason, an hint of hope, a look to a better future. Well, I think that there is something in common with saudade. Pedro Ayres Magalhães said that saudade is important because allows us to see sadness as a kind of hope, because sadness implies life and feelings in a kind of "Cogito ergo sum". And so, I think that the Madredeus concert, which is an exhibition wet of the water of saudade, has that cathartic effect which has been so well described by poetry and psychoanalysis. This, maybe, is the origin of the magic of Madredeus concerts.
from the site Madredeus - O Porto - http://go.to/madredeus