Radamés Gnattali

Radamés & Aída Interpretam Nazareth & Gnatalli

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Ernesto Nazareth was a seminal composer of the belle époque, having contributed to register the nascent genre of choro through his compositions. In those times, still heavily embedded by European dance rhythms and performing interpretations, the renditions had to be dominated by a romantic orientation, with plenty of rubatos. Later, as the regional (typical choro group) consolidated its form, the choro became a lively, jumpy rhythm.

This album is dedicated to reconstruct the true interpretation of those pioneering years. Radamés Gnattali, a fundamental musician/composer/orchestrator in Brazilian music, arriving in Rio in 1924, used to spend long hours listening to Nazareth in person, as he was a piano demonstrator for Casa Stephan, representative of pianos Bechstein. At that time, there were plenty of unauthoritative musicians playing farfetched interpretations of Nazareth's music, with exaggerated Chopin-like influences and rhythmic liberties that much infuriated the old master. When Gnattali finally got courage to play for Nazareth, he got from him an enthusiastic praise: "At last someone plays the way I like!"

On June 20, 1960, Radamés and his sister Aída, another piano virtuoso herself, soon before a tour through Europe (in the Caravana Humberto Teixeira), got together at Rádio Mec's studios to record this material, which consisted of the same program to be performed in the tour: Nazareth's originals and Gnattali's very modern compositions inspired by the master, faithful to both composers' long life purpose, pushing down the barriers between classical and popular music.

All this inspired production, full of uncanny virtuosity and expressiveness, recorded with surprising clarity given the technical resources of that time, rested forgotten over one of the radio's cupboards, surviving the constant reusing of the tapes. Rediscovered by Lauro Gomes in 1992 under layers of dust, they represent a fabulous treasure put at the listener's disposition.