Friday, April 06, 2007

Evocação a Jacob

In 1969, Jacob do Bandolim had a co-operation with the composer and zither player, Avena de Castro, who had transcribed some of Jacob's compositions for zither and prepared recording this and some other material as a tribute to the bandolim master. Jacob participated in the recording of "Três estrelinhas", a composition by Anacleto de Medeiros, but his sudden death in August prevented him to learn the result of de Castro's planned recordings, which was released later on a LP for RCA Victor, 'Avena de Castro relembra Jacob Bittencourt'.

One of the compositions by Avena de Castro featured on the LP was "Evocação de Jacob", which was composed and recorded a few days after Jacob's death. I found a solo performance by an accomplished bandolimist, Albenez Carvalho, playing this tune

Avena de Castro (Heitor Avena de Castro, 1919 - 1981) is regarded a Brazilian master of the zither. He started his career in the 1930s after studying the instrument at conservatory composing and transcribing classical repertoire to be performed on the zither. In the 1950s he recorded pieces by Ernesto Narareth and Zequinha Abreu a.o. and he was later to be involved in the founding of the Club de Choro of Brasilia and was actually elected as the first president of the orginasation. He recorded more LPs, both as a soloist and participating in recordings by others, i.e. Waldir Azevedo (1973).

The zither is a musical instrument composed of a flat sound box with about 30 to 40 strings stretched over it and played horizontally with the fingertips or a plectrum. In entertainment, the zither is perhaps most famous for its role in providing the soundtrack and opening scene of the classic film noir "The Third Man". The soundtrack was played by the Austrian master of the zither, Anton Karas, and he will forever be remembered for this contribution, also known as "The Harry Lime Theme". As I was unable to find a filmed live performance by Avena de Castro, I hope you to forgive me posting a seldom recording of Anton Karas playing the zither instead. Enjoy this performance from a London Café



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks jo for sharing this great fragments. I like the nostalgic zither performance very much.

07 April, 2007  

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