Fine works of art are eternal, or at least they should be. As far as Madeira is concerned, the musical work of its composers has remained in a state of unfortunate social oblivion. What should be done? In the area of visual arts, old paintings and sculptures have been going through a slow and expensive process of restoration, but both historical and artistic values have commonly been recognised. In the field of music, the historical restoration process of old pieces of art is similarly time-consuming and high-priced and its value is not always acknowledged. This implies that so many of those works have gone astray.

The purpose of this collection is therefore the social lastingness of some of the madeiran musical work of the past. The process of restoration – from which the recording of this CD is the final result – has followed the subsequent steps: (1) retrieval of old partiture collections which belong to madeiran families unable to preserve them; (2) a selection of the most relevant pieces of work by madeiran composers, among the various pieces included in the different collections; (3) information research about the above mentioned composers in books and newspapers; (4) digitisation of the musical partitures resulting in a modern and easy reading edition; (5) partiture analysis and information research about the use of this musical genre in the madeiran context; (6) creation of a musical group to perform the restored pieces; (7) audio taping of the musical work; (8) conception of a didactical tool attractive to a wider audience.

We sincerely hope that this first edition – dedicated to Saint Cecily Symphonies – will be useful and valuable to a large number of people according to the principles underlying this project: that it could reach a wide range of public: musicians, that will find a different repertoire for their concerts; historians, that will find a fragment of Madeira History; music teachers, that will for sure enhance their lessons with a new musical product; music enthusiasts, that will appreciate Madeiran music from the past together with some historical data about the concerned composers and their musical works.