Canção de Maria – Maria’s Song
Avós – Grandparents
Mentir – To lie
Se te adormeces (Cordeiro Divino) – If you sleep (Divine Lamb)
La Noche Granda (Chabuca) – Granda’s Night
Como se de súbito – As if suddenly
Fas-te deusa de ti – Make a goddess of yourself
No reflexo do tempo – In the reflection of time
Alma minha gentil que te partiste – Gently departed soul of mine
Erros meus, ma fortuna, amor ardente – My mistakes… but fortunately burning love
Amor é fogo que arde sem se ver – Love is an unseen burning flame
In thirteen intriguing songs, Brazilian composer, conductor, pianist João Rocha and Portuguese vocalist Paula Gândara – that together perform as the Duo Rocha Gândara – tell the story of one Maria, with all the vicissitudes, heartbreak, and joys that a life contains.
In music that needs not be pigeonholed, ranging from subtly quoted Mozartian melodies to jazz riffs, to Brazilian-inflected harmonic twists and turns, to delicate melodies, and with lyrics coming from Brazilian and Lusitanian poetic sources, the inspired songs flow out smoothly from Rocha’s creative soul.
The entire song cycle straddles the worlds of the Song Recital and the Cabaret in a mix of gritty chansons and intensely felt utterances that Paula Gândara delivers from the gut and from the heart in a voice now plangently lyrical, now raspy and anguished, all to great effect.
The live recording made in front of an audience offers the immediacy of a live audience at the expense of engineered recorded quality, something that a remastering may correct in the future, along with a much-needed booklet with song texts in both Portuguese and English, and notes that could accompany a cd made by this talented duo in the near future. Meanwhile enjoy No reflexo do tempo on You Tube.
Rafael de Acha © 2023
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