Daniel Barenboim / Milton Nascimento

Brazilian Rhapsody

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With tangos and Ellingtonia under his belt, this ever-curious occasional crossover classicist takes another break from the Berlin Staatsoper, the Chicago Symphony, and Bayreuth to dabble in an unfamiliar (to him) idiom. Though the results are about as spontaneous as a sunrise, this collection does cover a wide range of brief bits of Braziliana -- from inevitable tunes by Ary Barroso, Luiz Bonfá, and Antonio Carlos Jobim to songs by Milton Nascimento and Caetano Veloso and classical selections by Heitor Villa-Lobos and Darius Milhaud. As the designated pianist, Barenboim doesn't improvise, nor does he sound terribly loose in these cautious, carefully wrought Bebu Silvetti arrangements for piano, three winds, violin, bass, and percussion. But Barenboim's small sextet (which includes some members of the Chicago Symphony) is kicked along by the quietly propulsive percussionist Cyro Baptista's samba and bossa nova grooves. Milton Nascimento gives the set some extra credibility with guest vocals on a song from his youth, "Travessia" (Bridges), as well as Jobim's "Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar." Barenboim himself has his best moments when rendering Corcovado and Sumare from Milhaud's Saudades do Brasil solo as written -- though again, he doesn't display much rhythmic feeling. This CD doesn't sound as if it is meant to be anything other than agreeably exotic background music, a project that looks a lot braver on paper than it actually sounds.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:52
2 3:11
Saudades do Brasil (12), suite of dances for piano, Op. 67
3 2:04
4 4:13
5 4:02
6 4:30
Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, for voice & 8 cellos, A. 389
7 5:20
8 4:35
9 3:49
Saudades do Brasil (12), suite of dances for piano, Op. 67
10 2:30
11 3:42
12 4:39
13 3:01
14 4:44
15 5:27
blue highlight denotes track pick