Heitor Villa-Lobos was one of those rare cats who knew his worth and wasn't falsely modest about it. "I don't use the folklore, I am the folklore" he once famously said, and none dared gainsay him, so powerful was his influence in the world, so much so that it was he who literally invented modern Brazilian music. As Mario Adnet here avers "Villa-Lobos is the fountain, and everyone has drunk from it". He should know, as Adnet's painstakingly arranged, orchestrated, and recorded premier stellar figures like Moacir Santos and Antonio Carlos Jobim over the last several decades.
For Um Olhar, the gent had to pore over, parse, and reconsider Villa-Lobos' musical transcripts, as Heitor had opted to tread the classical path, though Mario understood that a decent percentage of what the master was doing wasn't really entirely fitting within that realm, even the works labeled as 'chamber songs'. A good deal of this CD, then, is interpretation with strong fidelity to the original scores. What Adnet was looking to do was bring out the warmth sometimes hidden in the opuses, which is why he chose Milton Nascimiento, Edu Lobo, Monica Salmoso, and others to tackle the vocals.
The fulsome orchestrations, though, straddle the gap between classical, jazz, and pop worlds, Abril being an excellent example of the success Adnet attained to, a combination of Mantovani, Reich, Nyman, and Riddle. One could almost see it featured in a really high-browed Disney animation score, a literary adaptation, a Fantasia rather than, say, Aladdin. And the Aria cut is quite classical moderne, Nascimiento's vocals monastic though dramatic, almost something that would accompany a Jan Garbarek chamber recital. Um Olhar is a very worthy effort and deserves shelving along with the recent spate of mind-numbingly good releases by—yep, you guessed it: the Zoho label. It's that good.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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