Joao Carlos Assis Brasil

Villa-Lobos por João Carlos Assis Brasil

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João Carlos Assis Brasil is a pianist who bridges the worlds of classical and jazz music, which makes him a natural choice for the music of Villa-Lobos. Assis Brasil plays with the approach of a jazz pianist: the key attack is sharper and heavier, and the attitude is more relaxed. The Coral of the Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4 is like a meditative jazz improvisation, while its Dança is a lively jazz improvisation in his hands. The whole work is much grander and more dramatic than most classical performers would play it, but combining that grandiosity with a sense of casualness gives it life and richness. Assis Brasil chose Villa-Lobos' Cirandas as a contrast to the more formally constructed Bachianas. Compared to the first work, these are simpler, more innocent, and folk-like. Assis Brasil clearly sees the multi-dimensional personalities in these children's dances and vividly and energetically brings out their brightness and colorful natures. Again, his approach may seem exaggerated to classical performers, but it makes the dances convincing character studies and scenes. The closeness of the CD sound adds to the depth and immediacy of his performance. The final work is Assis Brasil's own improvisation. It quotes the Bachianas and provides a gentle coda to the disc.