Guerra-Peixe Symphonic Suites Celebrate Brazil

Naxos’ Music of Brazil series continues to yield musical gems. The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is spearheading the project. 

Over 100 orchestral works by Brazilian composers will be released. And what a great way to enhance Brazil’s stature in the world (OK, perhaps just in the world of classical music.)

This release features two symphonic suites by César Guerra-Peixe. Although he doesn’t enjoy the international reputation of countryman Heitor Villa-Lobos, Guerra-Peixe is one of Brazil’s most important and influential composers. 

Guerra-Peixe was a violinist, composer, and conductor. And he was also an enthusiastic ethnomusicologist. He was vitally interested in Brazil’s folk traditions, particularly those of the northeast.

These symphonic suites present native dance music recast as orchestral works. Guerra-Peixe adds complexity and depth to these tunes while retaining their original character. 

The two suites were composed in 1955. Symphonic Suite No. 1 “Paulista” features dance music from the São Paulo region. No.2 “Permanbuana” showcases music from the Pernambuco region. 

The Goiás Philharmonic Orchestra knows this material well. Not only is Guerra-Peixe frequently performed by Brazilian orchestras. And the players know the folk traditions behind Guerra-Peixe’s music. 

That additional knowledge gives these performances an added lift. These are dance suites that could have you dancing! 

César Guerra-Peixe: Symphonic Suites Nos. 1 and 2
Roda de Amigos
Raul Menezes, flute; Públio da Silva, oboe; Patrick Viglioni, clarinet; Felipe Arruda, bassoon
Goiás Philharmonic Orchestra; Neil Thomson, conductor

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