Brazilian Sentiments / Roncaglio

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What name comes to mind when you are asked about the essence of the Brazilian music? I am sure that some of you will say Villa-Lobos; others will think of Jobim. In Brazil, classical and the popular music are not far apart. They are more like two cities on the same plain and the present disc travels between these two cities while visiting a few towns on the way. What will carry us along this road? Obviously, the wings of song, as Portuguese is the singing language par excellence. The disc contains a selection of Brazilian songs written over the span of fifty years.

Christiane Roncaglio has a beautiful voice. With its dark smoky notes it sounds more mezzo than soprano. There are sharp corners too and the singing is intense. For these reasons, the album is probably not for repetitive and relaxed “evening listening”, but energises and stimulates. The diction is very clear. The accompaniment is divided between guitar and piano, a solution that provides lightness and diversity.

Jobim’s “Big Four” (Corcovado, Desafinado, One Note Samba and The Girl from Ipanema) are all here and need no introduction. His other songs are also memorably melodic and infectiously swinging in his unique affable way. Roncaglio’s performance of Jobim’s standards is a long way from the classical Astrud Gilberto’s shyness and mystery; her singing is more open and glossy. I like how she colours the long notes so that they are never plain or even, which is important for tracks like Eu sei que eu vou te amar.

Villa-Lobos’ songs from Floresta de Amazonas are all very beautiful and melodic. Roncaglio’s performance of them is alluringly mystical, like the singing of sea sirens. Songs from Santoro’s cycle Canções de Amor are sensual and expressive, and all distinctly Puccinian, especially the gloomy and intense Amor que partiu.

There are tender lullabies like Henrique’s Tamba-Tajá and sad cinematic ballads like Miranda’s Retrato. Some numbers, like Minha Terra, resemble operetta. Others, like Uirapuru, are more cabaret-style. Several tracks glorify Brazil and everything Brazilian. Roncaglio shows good control, plays with her voice and enjoys the process, yet never turns it into vulgar “cabaret singing”.

The two accompanying musicians play with sense and sensibility. Sometimes extra-musical squeaks are noticeable when the guitarist moves his fingers along the strings.

Overall, this is a very fine album with solid performances of beautiful songs. It is full of the colourful, carefree spirit of Brazil.

– M usicWeb International (Oleg Ledeniov)

Product Description:

  • Release Date: April 30, 2013

  • Catalog Number: C5159

  • UPC: 845221051598

  • Label: Capriccio

  • Number of Discs: 1