Sao Paulo Samba
Conducted by John Neschling since 1997, the orchestra is defined by its emblematic interpretations of Latin American music. Here the orchestra yet again grips the listener with an electrifying selection of Brazilian and Latin American classics including w
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Conductor John Neschling leads a splendid orchestra including saxes, the vocalist Monica Salmaso, and violinist Claudio Cruz playing music by Ginastera, Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos and numerous others.
If you hear it, you will love it.
Sampa provides a framework for the music offered by the orchestra, with strong influences of classical as well as contemporary Brazilian and Argentine tunes.
I lived in Brazil for some years and this concert brought very pleasant memories of great musical moments from a 'musical people'.
The content is classical Brazilian with a Brazilian version of cross-over built in. This description needs some explanation to Western ears. In his 13 minute bonus documentary John Neschling, the conductor of this orchestra for the twelve years before this recording, is at considerable pains to explain that in Brazilian music it is normal for 'classical' composers to make regular and extensive use of Brazilian folk and light music as part of their own work. Equally the folk and light music of Brazil makes regular use of Brazilian 'classical' music. This oneness with each other makes crossover music a redundant term in Brazilian music. There is no middle ground of crossover music such as is found in Western music therefore.
In this concert there is a symphony orchestra, the Banda Mantiquera (jazz inspired?)group of virtuoso musicians, a choir, a popular singer and solos from a clarinettist and the lead violin. This is a serious concert with enormous popular appeal. It contains elements of all the musical ingredients as described briefly in the above paragraph. All the players and singers are able to move freely and express themselves rhythmically which seems completely appropriate to the event and the music. The most known of the composers to Western ears will be Villa Lobos and Ginastera. However these do not outshine the compositions by the numerous other names, mostly unfamiliar.
The bonus interview is very illuminating as it becomes clear that this whole experience is something of a miracle. Twelve years ago the orchestra was in poor state without even a hall in which to play. The answer to the latter was to convert and make use of the railway station which fortunately seems to have good acoustics and is an attractive concert hall in its present form. The orchestra was radically improved by importing musicians of considerable talent and the impressive results of this sustained investment into materials and human resources is here for all to experience and to enjoy. No allowances need to be made for levels of quality. This is simply an outstanding achievement and capable of competing on the world stage without fear of serious challenge.
The recording is presented in DTS 5.1, DD 5.1 and stereo of excellent quality but needs to be played at a relatively high volume setting to have full effect. The camera work is detailed without being invasive and is very involving. The atmosphere of the event is well conveyed.
I suggest that this is a very special disc and is well worth serious consideration as a purchase. There is no comparison to be made as this is a one-off recording (so far!). The only disappointment is that something so outstanding has not been made available in Blu-ray format (yet) - it fully justifies such a level of playback.
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Thank you for this Excellent Review! (U.K. review)