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(Lisbon, 1884-1887, 1890-1898)

Prepared by Luisa Cymbron and Mariana Calado
Introduction by Mariana Calado
Online only (2021)

Amphion was one of the most important music periodicals published in the last decades of the nineteenth century in Portugal, alongside A Arte Musical (1873-75), Gazeta Musical (1884-86) and A Arte Musical (1890-1891). The journal's subtitle changed following the publication suspension; the original subtitle Amphion. Chronica quinzenal, bibliotheca musical, agencia de teatros e artes correlativas. Revista musical e de theatros (1884-1887) was simplified to Amphion. Revista quinzenal de Musica e Theatros (1890-1898).

Published and edited by Neuparth & Ca., a publishing and commercial house in the instrument and sheet music trade, before the release of Amphion Neuparth published scores periodically and by subscription. This separate publication, generally referred to as Amphion Musical, coexisted after 1884 with the textual Amphion which published articles and literature about music and the musical life. Amphion was published fortnightly in four numbered series comprising the years 1884-87, 1890-94, 1895-96, and 1897-98. Publication was suspended between July 1887 and January 1890 due to the death of Augusto Neuparth, the director.

During Amphion’s relatively long life—when compared to other Portuguese music periodicals of the period—the journal went through certain transformations while maintaining its identity. Despite the enumerated four series, one can divide the twelve years of the journal into two major periods, pre- and post-1895, according to the graphics and content. On the first of January 1895, Amphion revealed a new graphic layout, largely preserved until the journal’s end, including more pages per issue, three columns per page instead of two, illustrated rubrics and portraits of the personalities described in the biographical articles, and a variety of texts and subjects. While the journal consistently published reviews, musical news, articles on music history, organology and theory, in 1895 Amphion introduced short biographies of musicians, composers and of singers employed by the opera company of the Teatro de S. Carlos. The addition of a column by the engineer, writer and journalist Lino d’Assunção, later by the journalist Afonso Vargas, generated discussions of different topics ranging from politics, to exhibitions, literature, and theatre, including a section of curiosities and anecdotes. These transformations certainly made Amphion more attractive to the general public.

Several topics related to the Portuguese musical life were addressed in articles and reviews. These included the situation of the national opera house (Teatro de S. Carlos), the reception of symphonic music, music education and national music. Composers Alfredo Keil (composer of the Portuguese national anthem), Augusto Machado, José Viana da Mota (mostly regarded and celebrated as a pianist), the Russian born Victor Hussla (composer of a series of rhapsodies on Portuguese popular themes) and Ciríaco Cardoso (operetta composer) were among the contemporary Portuguese composers whose works were discussed in the journal.

Amphion reported on musical life outside of Lisbon thanks to the dedication of its correspondents. Although most of the connections were irregular, they demonstrate a desire for broader reportage and likely indicate where the journal was read within Portuguese territory. The most regular correspondence came Porto signed with the pseudonym Alfio, A. de F. or simply F., which reviewed the opera season at the Teatro de S. João and concerts promoted by Orpheon Portuense, an artistic society directed by the violinist Bernardo Moreira de Sá. The frequency of letters from Porto demonstrate how professional music activity developed and increased in the last decades of the nineteenth century in Porto. To Amphion’s offices also arrived news and comments about concerts (mainly of amateur groups) in villages such as Santarém, Tomar, Coimbra, Lamego, Faro and Funchal. Occasionally, Amphion received correspondence from Leipzig, Milan, Paris, Madrid, London and Brussels. While in Berlin, Viana da Mota wrote long reports about the concerts he attended. In 1896, Amphion published a feuilleton about personalities from Salvador da Baía in Brazil by J. Barreto Aviz. Unfortunately, he died in that year, thus suddenly interrupting the feuilleton.

Musical and theatre criticism constituted an important part of the journal. Symphonic and chamber music, opera, theatrical comedies and dramas, operetta, revista and other genres of musical theater, and circus shows were reviewed by various collaborators. The news section was also relevant, reporting and translating events, information and curiosities from Portugal, or about Portuguese artists abroad, including Spain, France, Belgium, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Long, serialized essays published in Amphion focused on subjects such as Portuguese music history, the study by Platon Lvovitch de Waxel with by notes and comments by Ernesto Vieira, interpretation and teaching of a music instrument, music theory, a study of musical notation by Ernesto Vieira, music in mythology by Silva Pereira, and opera and art by Angelina Vidal, one of the very few female writers to contribute to Amphion.

Amphion published writings from some of the most notable Portuguese musical and theatrical personalities of the time, including journalists, writers, musicians, music teachers and some of the pioneers of Portuguese musicology, namely Joaquim José Marques, Júlio Neuparth, Ernesto Vieira and António Arroio. Júlio Neuparth (1863-1919) also served as Amphion’s director from 1895; a prolific writer, he also worked as a violinist, professor of harmony in the Conservatório Nacional and music critic in the newspaper Diário de Notícias. A significant number of articles, news and reviews were not signed or were identified only by an initial or by a pseudonym. While some of these are possible to identify, unforunately the majority remains unknown.

In June 30, 1898, Amphion announced a temporary suspension, however, that would be the last published issue. No further reason is given for the journal’s demise.


The following is a list of pseudonyms and initials identified:

A. G.

 Augusto Gerschey

A. M.

 Adriano Marêa

A. Darston

 Alexis Rostand

E. L.

 Emílio Lami

E. V.

 Ernesto Vieira


 António Arroio

G. M.

 Greenfield de Mello

H. D.

 Henri Dupont

J. B. F.

 Júlio Bettencourt Ferreira

J. C. M.

 Júlio César Machado

J. N. 

 Júlio Neuparth

J. R.

 João Ribalta

B. F., Julius, Julius (B. F.)

 Júlio Bettencourt Ferreira

C. de M.

 Carlos de Melo


 Alexis Rostand

Mar. Mellus

 João Maria Galvão de Melo


 Victoriano Franco Braga


 José Joaquim Garcia Alagarim


 Júlio Neuparth

Chico Redondo

 D. Francisco de Sousa Coutinho

E. da D.

 E. da Silva


 Abílio de Campos Monteiro

V. F.

 Victor Freire