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Brazilian Music

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Author Topic: Brazilian Music  (Read 214 times)
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« on: January 21, 2015, 04:02:09 pm »

Two Brazilian Symphonies Part 3

From the collection of Karl Miller

Gnattali -- Continued.

In that decade, he also worked for Rádios Mayrink Veiga, Gazeta, Cajuti, and Transmissora. Orlando Silva, the precursor of the colloquial way of singing later re-utilized by João Gilberto and the first to record Brazilian music with a symphonic orchestra, asked Gnattali to write arrangements for him. The association produced top-selling results, while the critics deplored the "American chord," as they referred to the ninth chord. At this point, it is important to quote Gnattali himself to solve a lot of confusion surrounding Brazilian music, including the so-called bossa nova. "If the ninth chord was also used in jazz, it was because the jazz composers also listened to Ravel and Debussy."

In 1938, he presented other erudite compositions at the Escola Nacional de Música and in the next year was invited to the New York World's Fair, together with the popular composers Pixinguinha, Donga, and João da Baiana, and the erudites Heitor Villa-Lobos, Francisco Mignone, Lorenzo Fernandez, and Camargo Guarnieri. Also in 1939, Ary Barroso presented his show Joujoux et Balangandans at the Teatro Municipal, with the Rádio Mayrink Veiga and Rádio Nacional's orchestras, conducted by Gnattali. The enormously successful, almost unofficial anthem "Aquarela do Brasil," was modified by Gnattali, which put five saxes playing the counter theme in seconds, originating the all-time classic introduction.

In 1938, Rádio Nacional was created. Initially a modest enterprise, from the very first moment it counted on Gnattali. But in 1940, the radio was expropriated by the Estado Novo, as was known the nationalist dictatorship by Getúlio Vargas. In line with the government's ideals, the radio changed its profile to represent an important asset in the cultural propaganda, which was based on the best production of the country. In those times, there weren't Brazilian music orchestras, only small groups (regionais) and salon dance orchestras. Then, in 1943, the Orquestra Brasileira Radamés Gnattali was created, together with the show Um Milhão de Melodias, which remained active for 13 years. It was a show that presented music from the entire world, but with appropriate Brazilian dressings through arrangements by Gnattali that were executed by the orchestra. At that time, Gnattali used to write nine full-scored orchestrations per week. That show was the first to pay tribute to Ernesto Nazareth, Chiquinha Gonzaga, and Zequinha de Abreu. Under the influence of his friend, drummer Luciano Perrone, Gnattali also changed the way of orchestrating Brazilian rhythms. At that time, the strings, woods, and reeds took charge of the harmonic/melodic conduction, and the rhythms were exposed by percussion. On the orchestra's recorded albums for RCA, there were plenty of rhythmists, but the regular broadcasts counted only with Luciano, who, feeling himself too weak to supply all the rhythmic richness of several percussionists, asked Gnattali to write some of the rhythms to be delivered by the orchestra. In 1941, the show Instantâneos Sonoros was simultaneously broadcast to Argentina, where it was a success, making Gnattali officially decorated in that country. Returning to Brazil, he was also awarded with the Prêmio Roquette Pinto. In 1946, London's BBC purchased the recording rights for "Brasiliana No. 1" for a large sum. At the request of the Chicago and Philadelphia symphonic orchestras, Arnaldo Estrela performed "Concerto para Piano e Orquestra." In 1949, while working for the Continental label, he created the Quarteto Continental (soon transformed to a sextet), which toured Europe in the III Caravana Oficial da Música Popular Brasileira, in 1960. In 1953, he presented at the Teatro Municipal his "Concertino para Violão e Orquestra," conducted by Eleazar de Carvalho. The concertino had been written especially for the great violonista Garoto, who was the soloist. It was the first time in which the violão, an instrument related to low-life sambistas and malandros, climbed such a respectable stage (with the possible exception of a prior Segovia concert there). In 1954. he composed the "Suíte da Dança Popular Brasileira" for electric guitar and piano, dedicated to Laurindo Almeida and executed by Garoto in São Paulo. In the same year, he opened the show When the Maestros Meet Each Other, where Tom Jobim presented himself. Jobim accounted later that he, a novice then, was extremely nervous to be there conducting in front of longtime venerated maestros, but Gnattali, at the piano, was friendly and helped him with some cues. In 1958, during the Festival Radamés Gnattali at the Teatro Municipal, he presented his "Concerto para Harmônica de Boca e Orquestra," with soloist harmonica player Edu da Gaita. That same year, Gnattali composed the "Concerto para Acordeão (accordion) e Orquestra," written for Chiquinho do Acordeon. In 1964, Gnattali formed a duo with Iberê Gomes Grosso (violoncello) and toured Europe. The next year, he presented the "Concerto Carioca No. 1." In 1968, Gnattali was hired by Rede Globo, where he worked as a composer/orchestrator for 11 years. He also composed the soundtracks for several movies, including Bonitinha mas Ordinária, Eles Não Usam Black-Tie, Perdoa-me por me Traíres, and others. In 1983, he received the Prêmio Shell as an erudite artist in a ceremony at the Teatro Municipal, an occasion when he presented his "Concerto Seresteiro No. 3" for piano, orchestra, and "regional" (Camerata Carioca). He continued his extremely active career until he had a stroke a year before his death.

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