Chorino Celebrates the Music of Brazil

The title for this release is worded very carefully. “Music for Viola and Piano from Brazil.” All the works are indeed by Brazilian composers. But they’re not all for viola and piano. Some are, and some are for the viola or piano as a solo instrument. 

I don’t think there was any intent to deceive. It’s just a case of accurately describing something in as few words as possible. And I think it makes for a much more effective program. The solo pieces allow each performer to shine. And they provide variety to the sound of the album. 

Both performers are top-notch. Georgini Rossi plays with a clear, warm sound. Her performance of Ernani Aguair’s “Meloritmias No. 5 for solo viola” is especially fine. She articulates the interwoven lines effectively, making them easy to follow. 

Silvie Cheng masterfully performs “Valsa da dor” by Heitor Villa-Lobos. Waltz though it may be, Cheng understands Villa-Lobos’ heritage. She gently distorts the melody — a slight pause here, a little rush there. It brings out connections between the piece and Brazilian dance music. 

I wasn’t familiar with all the composers on this release. But after hearing their music, I’m keen to explore further. All seem to use Brazilian folk music as a starting point. But not all incorporate it to the same extent. Chiquinha Gonzaga’s “Lua branca” is very close to folk music. 

While Brenno Blauth’s Sonata for Solo Viola seems about as far away from folk music as one can get. And yet there are moments when it peeks through. 

An imaginative program of music that, for me, both enlightened and entertained. 

Chorinho: Music for Viola and Piano from Brazil
Georgina Rossi, viola; Silvie Cheng, piano
Navona Records NV 6537

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