Pablo Rossi

Brazilian concert music is sadly underrepresented in the repertoire of symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles outside South America’s vastest nation.

Vocal and chamber music connoisseurs might be familiar with the Bachianas Brasileiras of Heitor Villalobos, and those familiar with the richly melodic operas of Carlos Gomes will hopefully recall some of the highlights from O Guarany and Lo Schiavo recorded by Plácido Domingo, and Enrico Caruso before him. But the mention of Alberto Nepomuceno or Camargo Guarnieri will draw a blank look from most music lovers.

The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been developing the series Brasil em Concerto with the intention to promote music by Brazilian classical music composers, some dating back to the 18th century.

Over the next five years NAXOS plans to release a series of CD’s featuring orchestral works, chamber music and vocal music by Brazilian composers. The Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra, the Goiás Philharmonic Orchestra, and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra are among the participating institutions.

In order to give this immensely important project the sendoff it deserves, the good people of Naxos jointly with the Brazilian Consulate of New York hosted an informal gathering on Thursday April 18th in one of Carnegie Hall’s more intimate spaces.

Words of welcome were spoken by Ambassador Enio Cordeiro, Consul General of Brazil in New York. Raymond Bisha, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Naxos of America & Canada spoke about The Music of Brazil.

A video presentation by Fabio Mechetti, conductor of the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra offered insightful information on the first CD release of Brasil em Concerto: the music of Alberto Nepomuceno (reviewed on this blog earlier this year).

The highlight of the morning was a piano recital by the superb Pablo Rossi. Winner of the first Nelson Freire National Competition for New Brazilian Talents, the young pianist played an all-Brazilian program that featured excerpts from Heitor Villalobos A prole do bebê, and several short pieces by Camargo Guarnieri, Henrique Oswald, and Alberto Nepomuceno.

We look forward to the next release on this much anticipated series.

Rafael de Acha

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