Friday, October 26, 2007

Nicolas Krassik - Caçuá

Caçuá, a word with Tupi (Indigenous Brazilian Language) origins, is a wicker or vine basketused to carry provisions and is transported by beasts of burden in the inland parts of theBrazilian Northeast. It is also an inspired baião by João Lyra and Maurício Carrilho whose name Caçuá baptizes the second CD by French violinist settled in Rio since 2001, Nicolas Krassik.
These words by Luís Filipe de Lima introduce a review of the cd "Caçuá" (Rob Digital, 2007) quoted at the official web of Nicolas Krassik.
I have now had an opportunity to listen to this cd and I highly recommend it to others interested in Brazilian roots music - it's a thrill and an engaging experience to be listening to. Krassik is accompanied by his regular trio: Nando Duarte (7 string guitar), João Hermeto (percussion) and Fabio Luna (drums) - the quartet is expanded with guest performance on some tracks by Carlos Malta, Chico Chagas, Eduardo Neves and João Lyra a.o..
The repertoire of the performed music is a mixture of genres like choro, samba, baião and xote, framed by arrangements that highlight the sound of the quartet. One of the CD’s highlights is the participation of Seu Luiz Paixão, a rabequeiro (= rural folk fiddler) from Pernambuco who dialogues with Nicolas’s violin on the last track of the CD, recreating the atmosphere of a Northeastern fair. The repertoire of "Caçuá" is also the first registration of Nicolas Krassik as a composer in the cheerful "Meu Maxixe" and in the dense and slow samba, "Petite Maman", dedicated to his mother. Among the remaining repertoire is a reading of Jacob do Bandolim's waltz, "Santa Morena", introduced through exerpts of traditional Turkish music. Further, performance of choros like "Murmurando" by Fon-Fon, "Um Choro em Cochabamba" by Eduardo Neves, a baião "Na Casa do Zezé" by Chico Chagas and Noel Rosa's "Último Desejo".
Full tracklist and sound clips available clicking here
To give you an impression of Nicolas Krassik as a performer, I found two short fragments inserted below. The first is from a live-performance with his quartet playing "Ginga do Mané" by Jacob do Bandolim

The secound fragment is from a live concert with singer Beth Carvalho, a performance of "Folhas secas" by Nelson Cavaquinho


Monday, October 22, 2007

César Faria (1919-2007)

On October the 20th, César Faria (Benedito César Ramos de Faria) - one of the most important figures in the choro revival of Brazil, violonista and founder of the Época de Ouro ensemble - passed away, 88 years old. César Faria started as a professional musician at age 17 playing the 6 string acoustic guitar. He joined Jacob do Bandolim in 1939 and later founded the Época de Ouro ensemble in the early 1960s to accompany do Bandolim until his demise in 1969. Época de Ouro dissolved after Jacob do Bandolim's demise, but was reassembled in 1973 by César Faria. Época de Ouro played an important role as a catalyst of the tradition during the choro revival of the 1970s. The group was reorganized with new members several times and has continued performing ever since. As a musician César Faria had a lasting impact on the way the six string guitar participates in a choro ensemble to the benefit of the overall musical expression.
César Faria was the father of Paulinho da Viola and the grandfather of João Rabello.
In memory of César Faria the Choro Music blog wants to share two video-performances featuring Época de Ouro, inserted below.
The first video features singer Marisa Monte performing "DANÇA DA SOLIDÃO" by Paulinho da Viola together with Época de Ouro:

The secound video features Época de Ouro playing "Noites Cariocas" by Jacob do Bandolim


Friday, October 19, 2007

Antonio Adolfo

During the past week I have enjoyed listening to a couple of cds featuring music by Chiquinha Gonzaga and João Pernambuco to celebrate the anniversaries of two important composers who were pioneers in creating and shaping the Brazilian choro. Both Chiquinha Gonzaga and João Pernambuco are still important names in Brazil, their works as composers continue to inspire and challenge contemporary musicians to re-create the music in new versions, which underlines the durable quality of the compositions.
One of the contemporary musicians in Brazil, who has recorded new versions of music by both Chiquinha Gonzaga and João Pernambuco, is pianist Antonio Adolfo (b 1947). In 1983 Antonio Adolfo recorded an album together with the Nó em Pingo d'Agua choro ensemble dedicated to the music by João Pernambuco celebrating the composer's 100th anniversary. I have commented this album in an erlier blog entry. However, I encourage anybody interested in choro to listen to these marvellous renditions of João Pernambuco's compositions. The cd is available in full audio version at Canal Funarte

The secound cd by Antonio Adolfo I have been enjoying this week is his 1997 recording of music by Chiquinha Gonzaga, "Chiquinha com Jazz" (Artezanal/Kuarup ARCD 3002), a contemporary reading of 11 compositions by Gonzaga in a jazz setting celebrating Chiquinha Gonzaga's 150th anniversary. The music is updated with jazz you may say, however, as ragtime in the US was an important element in the evolution of jazz and as such is still a source generating new inspiration in mainstream jazz, so the choros and waltzes by Gonzaga from a bygone era contain material suited well for adding jazz harmony to sound contemporary when taken care of by an accomplished arranger like Antonio Adolfo. All 11 compositions by Gonzaga have arrangement by Adolfo, who performs the pieces on piano together with a skilled trio, Gabriel Vivas (acoustic bass), Ivan Conti (drums), Claudio Spiewak (acoustic guitar). The cd may be hard to find, but it's defintely worth searching, tracklist inserted below:

1) Atraente; 2) Cordão carnavalesco; 3) Lua branca; 4) Angá; 5) Gaúcho (Corta-Jaca); 6) O Forrobodó; 7) A côrte na roça (balada romântica para A côrte na roça); 8) Satan; 9) Ismênia; 10) Faceiro; 11) Ô Abre Alas

Learn more about Antonio Adolfo from his offical website, click headline or here


Friday, October 12, 2007

Immortal choro

In the long story of choro there are several pieces that have become immortal compositions and continue to challenge and be a part of the standard repertoire interpreted and performed by new generations of choro groups. Among these compositions belongs a piece by the great female choro composer, Chiquinha Gonzaga - her "Corta-jaca" from 1897 became an instant success with the public and other choroães and has since been performed and recorded by numerous artists devoting their chops to choro. Originally a piece for solo piano, the "Corta-jaca" some times also is known as "Gaucho", as the music is inspired by and incorporates elements of a dance style associated with rural gauchos dancing. - I found a solo piano reading of "Corta-jaca", here performed by a female pianist, enjoy it!

Francisca Edwiges Neves Gonzaga, known as "Chiquinha", (1847-1935) was the first important female composer and performer of popular music in Brazil. Gonzaga was the first female to be allowed attending the social and musical fraternity of choro musicians, helped by her friend Joaquin Calado - the first composer of music in the choro style. Chiquinha started composing in the choro style too and had success with the piece "Corta-jaca", as mentioned above. Later she would be engaged in composing and arranging music for the popular theater. By the time of her death in 1935, her musical works included a great number of theater pieces as well as sacred music, besides popular music including maxixes, marches and choros. Her legacy as an important composer of Brazilian popular music continues today.- Learn more about Chiquinha Gonzaga at the official website devoted to her legacy, click here

Let's celebrate the 160th anniversary of Chiquinha Gonzaga on October the 17th by enjoying a performance of two more of her compositions. I found two video fragments featuring pianist Talitha Peres recorded in concert. The first video is a performance of Gonzaga's "Atraente"

The secound video featuring pianist Talitha Peres from the same concert is a performance of the piece "Faceiro"

João Teixeira Guimarães (1883-1947), known as João Pernambuco, is another immortal choro composer, especially renowned among guitarists for his delightful pieces for the violão. His composition "Sons de Carrilhões", a choro-maxixe, has become a standard with guitarists exelling in playing choro solo guitar. Let's remember the 60th anniversary of the passing away of João Pernambuco on October the 16th by enjoying two different versions of the immortal "Sons de Carrilhões", inserted below. - More info on João Pernambuco is to be found in a recently uploaded website, devoted to his legacy (- in Portuguese and Italian language only, unfortunately), click here
The first performance of "Sons de Carrilhões" features classical guitar by Carlos Barbosa-Lima and Berta Rojas in a duo version of the piece

The secound performance features the Diego Figueiredo Trio in a 'hot' version of "Sons de Carrilhões" - hope you to enjoy!


Friday, October 05, 2007

Som de Bandolim - Jorge Cardoso

Today there are so many accomplished bandolinists excelling their tallents and devoting their skills to playing choro. Last night I listened to the shown cd,´'Som de Bandolim' by Jorge Cardoso (1996), an excellent example of the high level of performance in contemporary choro. The cd was recorded 1996 under the musical direction of Mauricio Carrilho and was later nominated as best instrumental album for the prestigous Sharp price. The music on the cd has mainly compositions by Jorge Cardoso (see tracklist below) and he is accompanied by a choro ensemble featuring Maurício Carrilho (violão); Tony (violão 7 cordas); Luciana Rabello (cavaquinho); Jorginho (pandeiro); Paulo Sérgio Santos (clarinet & sax soprano); João Lyra (viola 10 cordas & percussão). Arrangements by Cardoso and Carrilho.

Tracklist: 1.Gingando no chôro (Jorge Cardoso), 2. Modulado (Jorge Cardoso), 3. Quanto dói uma saudade (Garoto), 4. Melancolia cigana (Emile Proudome), 5. Uma rosa para ela (Jorge Cardoso ), 6. Espinha de bacalhau (Severino Araújo), 7. Para eu ser feliz (Amador Pinho), 8. Trocadilhando (Jorge Cardoso), 9. Impressões digitais (Jorge Cardoso), 10. Moto perpétuo ( Paganini), 11. Quando me lembro (Luperce Miranda), 12. Perna de alicate (Jorge Cardoso), 13. Lembranças do Recife (Rossini Ferreira), 14. Minha Terra (Jorge Cardoso)

Jorge Cardoso (Jorge Antônio Cardoso Moura) (b 1969) started to play the guitar and the cavaquinho at 14, then took up the bandolim at 15. During the commemoration of the 60 years of the Pernambucan Conservatory of Music (Recife, Pernambuco), in 1990, he was the soloist on Radamés Gnattali's "Retratos" suite, accompanied by the Orquestra Sinfônica do Recife. In the same decade, he performed Gnattali's "Concerto for Bandolim and Orchestra," dedicated to Jacob do Bandolim. Cardoso recorded for the first time on the 1993 CD Pernambuco's Music. He made his debut on record as a bandolinist in 1994, with the CD Viagem Musical Pelo Nordeste do Brasil. He has participated in CDs and shows of several artists of Brazilian Popular Music and in 2001 he won the Rio de Janeiro’s Choros Festival promoted by the Museum of Image and Sound of Rio de Janeiro with his composition entitled "Balançadinho", written for bandolim and group set. Cardoso has taught cavaquinho at Raphael Rabello´s School of Choro (1998 until 2000) and he was a professor of Brazilian popular bandolim in the Brasilia’s School of Music (2002 until 2004). Since 2004, he lives in Italy and has performed in Italy, France and Germany.
Sound clips from the shown cd available in mp3 available following the link in headline. On YouTube you have the opportunity to view a TV presentation of Jorge Cardoso, below I insert a part of it featuring a performance of Nazareth's "Odeon"