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Brazilian Portrait: Villa-Lobos & the Guitar Music of Brazil

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 15, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

Brazilian Portrait: Villa-Lobos & the Guitar Music of Brazil. 1988 Recording. Playing Time: 72' 46".
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Product Details

  • Performer: Gerarld Garcia
  • Composer: Luiz Bonfa, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Isaias Savio, Joao Teixeira Guimaraes, Heitor Villa-Lobos, et al.
  • Audio CD (February 15, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0000013MV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,603 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a nice C.D. Fans of the Brasilian Classical guitar style will love it. Purists will probably have a lot of trouble with it. Gerald Garcia is from Canada originally (don't quote me on that though) - it seems there are still strong academic overtones in his playing. However, it's a great collection of Brasilian pieces which spans classical composers to Bossa nova and in between. What I like about this album is the fact that most pieces presented by Garcia are his own arrangements. It's truly a unique recording (which is rare in the classical guitar world). His greatest work is on the smaller, traditional Brasilian pieces. These are really charming rustic melodies which were first harmonized by Isaias Savio and very easy to play. But, Garcia takes them to a higher level - more technically demanding without ever losing the essence of the original works. In fact, with all due respect to Mestre Savio, they are great improvements on the originals.
There is a generous number of tracks here, displaying the wealth of work by a great guitarist. More importantly, the repetoire on the album moves away from the standard Albeniz, Granados, Tarrega, Sor collections that so many classical guitarists feel compelled to release. The pieces are probably familiar to most classical guitarists who enjoy playing Brasilian music, but, for those who've never heard or played the works of Almeida, Baden-Powell, Savio or Machado it will be a pleasant surprise. And for people who just like nice music, it will be a fantastic investment.
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Format: Audio CD
I met the two of them in the past. I saw their shows and I bought their recordings. They never disappointed me, on the contrary: I always was amazed by their style and classy quality of sound. Now they return, together, to make us enjoy life in this way and mode: pleasantness in sound. If this would not suffice, there is a bonus, the performance of Gerald Garcia. Splendiferous! GF
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I am not a guitarist, so I cannot really comment knowledgeably on Gerald Garcia's achievement here, but I feel I must add my voice to those who think this is a splendid CD: Naxos have always been good for a surprise, and I was surprised indeed to find them releasing music like this in 1988! The center of the disc, in more than one sense, is Heitor Villa-Lobos, with Garcia playing all five of his Preludes and his Choro No. 1 (which, due to a printing error on the cover, is accredited to Garcia himself as arranger, but that is not correct, he only arranged the following traditional melodies in the style of Savio). Around this center are arranged pieces by Bonfá, Jobim, Savio, Pernambuco, Almeida, Baden-Powell and Machado - all names that I had never heard of until I purchased this disc out of curiosity. The music is relaxing, only the Villa-Lobos is truly classical, and the sound (the recording was made at a studio in Heidelberg, Germany) is excellent, worthy of a full-price disc. To cap it all, there are Gerald Garcia's own notes giving plenty of background information. You can't go wrong here!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not being overly familiar with the music of Brazil, I really could not say if this recording of purported Brazilian guitar music as played so wonderfully by Gerald Garcia is an authentic representation of Brazilian music or not. All that I can say is that this album is very appealing and it is indeed lovely to listen to mainly, I'm sure, due to the wonderful playing of Gerald Garcia. The music contained in this very full recording (over 70 minutes) consists of music written for or transcribed for the guitar by Luis Bonfa, Carlos Jobim, Isalas Savio, Juao Pernambuco, Villa-Lobos, Almedia, Roberto Baden-Powell and Celso Machado.

I particularly liked the preludes 1-5 by Villa-Lobos which are so full of Latin rhythms and melodies. I adored Roberto Baden-Powell three works which had me in the mood to fall in love (if I were not attached)in Rio De Janeiro because they are filled with beautiful and melancholy Latin melodies and wonderful rhythms. I can see why the album notes said that the music contained in this recording heavily influenced the great jazz musician Stan Getz--for it is indeed filled with many Basso Nova like rhythms and with wonderfully melancholy melodies.

Naxos has done a great job recording the wonderful playing of Gerald Garcia and at a nice low price--buy it you'll love it!
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