Scenes from Brazil
Three vibrant and attractive concert pieces that draw their influences from the Brazilian Bossa Nova jazz song ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ and Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos, the Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera and Brazilian guitarist Sergio Assad.
Scenes from Brazil is recorded by Gary Ryan on the CD Visions and Vistas.
Sugarloaf Mountain ‘reflects… the 1960’s jazz scene, notably the guitar style of Antonio Carlos Jobim, who played alongside Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz on the famous Girl from Ipanema. A bossa-like rhythm underpins… the movement…’ which has ‘occasional harmonic references to the great Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’.
In contrast Junglescape is a beautiful programmatic piece which evokes ‘an imaginary dawn where fragile sounds start to emerge from the silence’ building to a ‘wide array of different sounds for the performer to juggle… to reflect the forest canopy’ which then ‘subside into the evening… to represent the memory of a lost rain forest.’ The piece ends with ‘a more optimist, celebratory dance-like section’. Junglescape ‘explores many extended guitar techniques’ to represent an imaginative sound-world influenced by Toru Takemitsu and Alberto Ginastera in which birds and insects can be heard in the stillness and silence of the forest.
Rio Bay (from the Corcovado) is inspired by the famous Corcovado mountain which ‘towers over Rio de Janeiro with the statue of Christ the Redeemer at the summit looking out over… one of the greatest vistas in the world’. The piece opens with a slow, improvisatory feel of which the ‘opening melodic material is then taken up tempo in a rhythmically vibrant section… partly inspired by the guitar writing of Sergio Assad.’