Eurovisão – dos ABBA a Salvador Sobral (2018)


Into the books departament, I’ll be giving my opinion on a recently released book (4th May 2018 to be precise). And since we’re almost getting into the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 week, why not giving some opinion on one of the first two portuguese languaged books concerning the contest (the other one, titled “Portugal 12 pts – Festival da Canção”, was released in late April)? Here’s Nuno Galopim (creative supervisor of ESC 2018, as well as creative consultant of the last two Portuguese ESC NF‘s (Festival da Canção) and the portuguese co-commentator for ESC since 2016)‘s ESC related book “Eurovisão – dos ABBA a Salvador Sobral” (“Eurovision – from ABBA to Salvador Sobral”)

It all starts with a short preface by the winning artist of last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Salvador Sobral in which he talks about how he first met Nuno Galopim and his first talk with him as seen in this translated excerpt:

Right on that first converstation, two curious things popped out: first one, the love he had for music. Any music. One minute, we’d talk about Bob Dylan – then we’d move on with Surfjan Stevens and then he’d tell me about the singer that represented Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 (Rona Nishliu). Everything with the same enthusiasm!

And second, the admiration he had for my sister (Luísa Sobral)’s song. Keeping his professionalism and impartiality, it was noticable – from the way he’d listen to and talked about the song – that it was special to him. Like it was, alas, later on to all Europe

After a prologue by Nuno Artur Silva, as well as a brief introduction by the writer himself, the book moves on with the theme in four different parts:

PART I: titled “Operação Kiev (Operation Kyiv): 2017″, it starts with a brief explanation of the moment they started the NF‘s reorganization back in 2016 up to Salvador‘s victory in the NF back in March 2017. And then goes on with the portuguese delegation’s journey to Kyiv, the most important content of this part: from the moment Salvador first showed up in the city during the Red Carpet ceremony up to his 1st Semi-Final and Final performances, culminating with Portugal‘s first win in the Eurovision Song Contest and its aftermath in Lisbon with the apoteosis of hundreds of people who came to see him at the airport

PART II: titled “Festival da Canção”, the focus is on the history of the portuguese preselection (from 1964 to 2017), resuming the several formats it had up until nowadays as well as its importance throughout the years in the portuguese general and music history (from its glory moments in the first few decades to total oblivion at some point in the mid 90’s up until last year)

PART III: titled “O concurso que narra a história da Europa (The contest that narrates the history of Europe), the writer narrates the history of the contest alongside some links to general international history and international music history. Right in the middle of the book, there’s also the book’s only coloured pages (16 in total, with photos from several artists that participated in the contest throughout the years)

PART IV: titled “1956-2017 / O Festival da Eurovisão: ano a ano (1956-2017 / The Eurovision Song Contest: year by year), each and every ESC edition gets an article on its own (maximum two-three pages) with a good deal of information. There’s also some kind of trivia after this part, listing the winners of the contest + the Marcel Bezançon Award winners (note that in Part II and Part III, there’s also some trivia lists (such as the list of the portuguese ESC entries, as well as thematic lists such as “best debut placings”, “returning artists”, etc…)

The book ends with a two-page conclusion that narrates the forthcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest‘s planning and the meaning of the edition’s theme “All Aboard!” + an epilogue written by Gonçalo Madaíl (creative manager of ESC 2018, as well as current deputy head of programs at RTP and the creative consultant of the Portuguese ESC NF since 2017)

All in all (and despite a few slight errors (for example, the writer stated The Netherlands got 3rd in 1972, when it was actually 4th), it’s quite a well-written informative book with a pretty good research as well as good writing. I’d reccomend the book to both hardcore ESC fans and those who have just begun to admire the contest and want to know more about it. It’s also reccomendable to general culture and history followers

A final treat – the second part of the documentary “Sem fazer planos do que virá depois”, first shown on RTP 1 back in 26th and 27th December 2017 as a two-part documentary (the program in question is mentioned in the book as Nuno Galopim’s inspiration for making it come true):

Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)


Posted on 5 de May de 2018, in Books. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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