Once again we are Brazil bound! I wish. Oh, well, music can take us there, too. Here is a pair of wonderful pieces by masterful 20th century Brazilian composers Antônio Carlos “Tom” Jobim (1927–1994) and João Pernambuco (1883-1947), performed by the great Canadian guitarist Jeffrey McFadden.
From what I can tell, Jobim’s Eu sei que vou te amar (“I know I’m going to love you”), with lyrics (not heard here) by his frequent collaborator Vinicius de Moraes, was a hit for Brazilian actress/singer Maysa Matarazzo in 1959, appearing on her album Maysa É Maysa… É Maysa, É Maysa!, which also contained versions of Jobim/Moraes’ A Felicdade and Luiz Bonfá and Antônio Maria’s classic Manhã de Carnaval (both now a classical-guitar standards).
João Pernambuco (born João Teixeira Guimarães in the Pernambuco region of Brazil) is regarded as one of the early 20th century masters of the folk-based choro sound, as well as many other styles native to Brazil. A fine guitarist, he composed hundreds of dance pieces, ballads, and more. His Sons de carrilhões (“Sounds of chimes” or “bells”), released in 1926 on the Odeon label as a collaboration featuring Pernambuco on guitar and cavaquinho player Nelson Alves, became one of his best-known works and has been played by many classical guitarists through the years. Most seem to favor this sort of brisk arrangement, but the slower pace adapted by Brazilian virtuoso Carlos Barbosa-Lima may be closer to Pernambuco’s original intention.
Ontario native McFadden is perhaps best known for his superlative Naxos recordings of works by Sor, Coste, and Giuliani, but this extremely versatile player’s repertoire has also included Bach, Brouwer, Ponce, Barrios, and so many others; a consummate interpreter and craftsman. As always, Drew Henderson’s sound and video work are outstanding! —Blair Jackson