LSM Newswire

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Marquis Releases Christina Petrowska Quilico CD of Brazilian Composer Ernesto Nazareth

Celebrating 150th anniversary of Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth

Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, internationally acclaimed as a leading interpreter of contemporary music, swings into a new direction with a new two-CD set of Brazilian tangos.

Released by Marquis, Tangos Brasileiros (MAR 81519) celebrates the sesquicentennial of Brazil’s most famous composer of the dance form, Ernesto Nazareth (1863-1934).  The album features 24 short works by the composer who was greatly influenced by Chopin as well as the variety of music of his native Brazil.  The great pianist Arthur Rubinstein was amongst the earliest champions of his music. Composers Heitor Villa-Lobos and Darius Milhaud were also fans.  Recordings exist of Nazareth playing his own music, but only a few other pianists have recorded albums of Nazareth tangos.

Tangos Brasileiros is available for sale ($19.98).

Petrowska Quilico came to this music through “a love for all Latin music: Argentine tangos, Brazilian sambas, Bossa Nova.  However, I feel a particular affinity for the tangos of Nazareth, which seem to combine the sensual world of the Argentine tango with the quicker Brazilian dance forms.” 

Nazareth’s music presents challenges that are different from the well-known Argentinean tango.  As Petrowska Quilico notes, “His music features the almost imperceptible delay of the downbeat, the languorous breaths, and the required ability to play alternating syncopations with both hands while highlighting rhythms that have pulse but are not metronomic. Nazareth played his own compositions with a gentler touch than the percussive technique of jazz or ragtime – even though the rhythms of ragtime are obvious in the left hand.  Nazareth’s music evokes tropical parties, reflecting the rapidly changing moods and tempi of dancers.”

In the late 1990’s, Petrowska Quilico became convinced that the only way to achieve the subtle rhythmic flexibility was to be able to dance to the music.  She enrolled in tango lessons in Toronto, where she came to understand, as she says, “the harmonious bond between movement and music, feet and hands, and those hypnotic and mesmerizing tango dreams of a bygone era.”  As she gained knowledge and confidence in the dance, her playing improved.  She also entered numerous ballroom dance competitions, placing first often enough to stow away a boxload of trophies. 

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