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CHAN 10512
    2 Ratings
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CHAN 10512

Spirit of Brazil: Guitar Works

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2009

Originally recorded in 2008

Artists:

Aquarelle Guitar Quartet



Venue:

Haden-Freeman Concert Hall, RNCM, Manchester



Producer:

Aquarelle Guitar Quartet



Engineer:

Matthew Fairclough



Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Guitar




Total Time - 58:08
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CLARICE ASSAD

(b. 1978)
1 

Bluezilian

3:03
   
 

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS

(1887-1959)
2 

Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5

5:38
  Arranged by Richard Safhill  
3 

Brincadeira from String Quartet No. 1

1:14
  Arranged by James Jervis  
 

CLARICE ASSAD

premiere recording
 

Dancas Nativas

12:15  
4 I Twisted Samba 3:11
5 II Reflective Cancao 5:06
6 III Mad Baiao 3:55
   
 

EGBERTO GISMONTI

(b. 1947)
7 

Palhaco

5:12
  Transcribed by James Jervis  
 

SERGIO ASSAD

(b. 1952)
8 

Uarekena

8:01
   
 

ROLAND DYENS

(b. 1955)
 

Bresils

15:12  
9 I Da Natureza - 1:56
10 II Choro Legal - 2:21
11 III Marchinha do ceu - 2:28
12 IV Modinhazul - 5:20
13 V O Spirito do Joao - 1:50
14 VI Xaxare 1:14
   
 

PAULO BELLINATI

(b. 1950)
15 

A Furiosa

3:33
   
 

EGBERTO GISMONTI

16 

Memoria e Fado

4:06
  Transcribed by Michael Baker and Vasilis Bessas  
‘I’ve had the privilege of watching the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet transform over the years from a thrown-together student group at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester to a highly polished chamber ensemble consisting of mature, experienced and immensely talented players. This disc reveals their capacity to feel and shape music as one and it is a fantastic showcase for their incredible virtuosity. Although tied together by a common geography, there is so much variety in this collection of works as to guarantee many, many hours of wonderful listening.’ So Craig Ogden has written on the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet.

This young group was formed at the Royal Northern College of Music under the guidance of Craig Ogden and Gordon Crosskey. The Quartet has earned a reputation as a dynamic and innovative ensemble, captivating audiences with eclectic repertoire and spell-binding performances. Since its formation it has performed extensively across the UK and abroad to critical acclaim. The two founding members, Vasilis Bessas and Michael Baker, are joined by Rory Russell and by James Jervis who has arranged two of the pieces performed on this recording

This disc is certain to increase the profile of the ensemble and draw attention to the wide-ranging and colourful repertoire available for guitar quartet

This rarely recorded repertoire is linked by Brazil. The group expands on this: ‘Both as soloists and as a group, all four of us have been inspired by the music of Brazil. Far from being just the national property of Spain, the guitar is integral to the music and culture of Brazil and in this record we have endeavoured to represent a breadth of music, from the classical discipline of Villa-Lobos to the improvisational qualities of Gismonti.’ The result is a collection of pieces not currently available on any other recording; Clarice Assad’s Danças Nativas is even recorded here for the first time.

Of particular significance to the group is the work of Clarice and Sérgio Assad. The music of Clarice Assad was first introduced to the group through her father, Sérgio. The Quartet had the honour of premiering Clarice Assad’s Bluezilian in 2006, and Danças Nativas was written for the ensemble. Sérgio Assad’s own Uarekena is also included on the disc. Villa-Lobos is among the most influential South-American composers, and the guitar is inseparable from his oeuvre. The haunting aria from Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 is performed in an arrangement for guitar quartet; the ‘Brincadeira’ originated in the composer’s String Quartet No. 1. The transcription of Gismonti’s Palhaço is by James Jervis, one of the members of the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet.

Roland Dyens
“I urge to convey my warmest congratulations to Aquarelle Guitar Quartet. Not only the best version of my Bresils ever but probably one of the most touching guitar quartet I’ve ever heard. I adored this cd full of musical cleverness and sensitivity.”

Sergio Assad
“I want to congratulate you guys for this beautiful record!!! I thought everything was great, from the sound, the balance, the mixing and your exquisite playing!!! I thought your guys rendition of Uarekena was the best I've heard. Clarice's pieces sounded fresh and live, Villa Lobos very expressive, Dyens really true to his Brazilian trip and Gismonti the closest I have heard to his own playing. Congratulations again for this great, great record!!!”

Clarice Assad
"It is always a thrill for composers to hear their work come to life in ways they had not even anticipated. It was an added element of surprise when I heard the first recording of the piece as it exceeded my expectations on this work. I could not have been more pleased."

With outstanding playing and infectious spirit, this is no mere niche guitar CD, but a luscious and lively general-appeal winner
BBC Music Magazine

This young quartet, formed at the Royal Northern College of Music presents a broad collection of Brazilian pieces. The precision of the playing is outstanding and covers a range of styles and moods, from string quartet pieces transferred to the guitar to ‘A Furiosa’, a piece written to celebrate Brazilian street music. This is a varied n ad extremely enjoyable piece of work encompassing elements of Jazz and blues and incorporating interesting and at times unpredictable rhythms.
Acoustic

Paulo Bellinati
“…great Brazilian flavour…” “Congratulations and thanks for playing my works.”

If one guitar quartet can give a traditional string quartet a run for its money in terms of abundant technique and artistry, it is the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet.
International Record Review




*****
R Huenemann

*****
M Dunn