There has been and continues to be a whole world of music being written and performed in South America’s largest nation, and NAXOS jointly with the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has committed to recording a series of CD’s featuring the music of Brazilian composers.

The enormously ambitious initiative began with a recording of the music of Alberto Nepomuceno, reviewed in our blog last year:


It now continues with a CD (8 574118) of music for violin and piano featuring sonatas by two Brazilian composers: Glauco Velásquez (1884-1914) and Leopoldo Miguez (1850-1902).

Velásquez authored two of the three sonatas featured in this recording at a moment in his tragically short life when he had attained full musical maturity. His style is reminiscent of the French masters writing at the turn of the century but also redolent of the Brazilian salon music of the time: deeply melodic and harmonically unfettered.

Velásquez was thoroughly committed to employing the piano as an important partner in the two sonatas: number one, composed in 1909 and number two, composed in 1911. Both are traditionally structured: Allegro/Adagio or Largo/ Finale at a fast tempo.

Miguez by contrast enjoyed a better life than his younger colleague even though he came of age during his country’s challenging transition from Empire to constitutional democracy. His musical training, and career encompassed mentoring in Europe, earning a national conservatory seat as a composition professor, and the honor of being selected as winner of a competition to author Brazil’s national anthem.

His music: sober, well-structured, contrapuntally complex is yin to Velazquez’ yang.

Violinist Emmanuele Baldini and pianist Karin Fernandes master all three compositions, playing throughout with panache and faultless technical command. Ulrich Schneider is the fine producer and engineer for this worthy project.

*** Very Good

Rafael de Acha