“Nada Para O Carnaval” is the title of the latest album of guitarist Luca Boscagin´s brilliant band of jazz musicians named Almanaque. It blends Brazilian and African sources to produce a dynamic rhythm of “vibey music”. Camille Bertault sings beautifully two chorinhos (titled Rush Hour and Pra Mim) composed by Luca while Milton Nascimento has influenced several tracks including the final “Lilia”. Catalogue No: UBU0147CD.
“Amazonia” is a tribute to the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Boas paid by the Philharmonic Zurich orchestra conducted by Simone Menezes who guides the musicians and soprano Camila Provenzale through a sympathetic interpretation of the symphonic poem Floresta do Amazonas. The work has been performed internationally and accompanies an exhibition of pictures by environmentalist/ photographer Sebastião Salgado some of which are projected to show the forest and water resources associated with each musical phrase or song. The recording is concluded by an excerpt from Philip Glass´s suite Aguas da Amazonia. C.N. ALPHA990.
“Raizes – Portuguese Chamber Music” was released in February 2023 by the ardent young players of the Matosinhos String Quartet. Drawing inspiration from the landscapes, dances and melodies of their heritage in northern Portugal, Eurico Carrapatoso and Fernando Lapa produce a work with verve and conviction. This is followed by an interpretation of Telmo Marques´s Ilhas Afortunadas which alludes to the myths and mists of the Azores and Madeira. Finally, composer Sergio Azevedo pays homage in his Popularuskia I to the memories of Fernando Lopes-Graça, Béla Bartók and Joly Braga Santos and their many recordings of Portuguese folk music. A most enjoyable and relaxing CD! C.N. Naxos 8579114.
“Portuguese Tributes to Beethoven”. The Quartet Lopes-Graça, assisted by the talented musicians Katharine Rawdon, Paulo Gaspar, Luis Pacheco Cunha and Taissa Poliakova Cunha, play most convincingly this combined tribute of three composers to the debt of inspiration which they owe to the great Beethoven. João Domingos Bomtempo: Piano Quintet Nº 1 in E flat, Cesar Viana: Laberinto del Oido and Jaime Reis: Sangue Inverso. Over an hour of great enjoyment. C.N. TOCN0021
Last but not least, I recommend that you spend 79 minutes listening (by fire or candle light if possible) to the highly competent Artur Pizarro playing these works by Lopes-Graça: (1) Nove Danças Breves, (2) Variações sobre um tema popular português Opus 1, (3) Piano Sonata Nº 2 Opus 26 and (4) Ao Fio dos Anos e das Horas. Sublime! C.N. C5196 Label Capriccio