22 November 2013

Almeida Prado - Cartas Celestes (Estudio Eldorado 66.82.0352)





I hadn´t come across Almeida Prado except as a footnote in some books, but I began to hear a few interesting fragments of his music on Brazil´s Rádio Cultura FM, so when I´ve come across LPs of his music, I buy 'em. He has an interesting biography, studying in Paris with Olivier Messiaen and Nadia Boulanger before returning to an academic life in Brazil.

Here is a substantial cycle of his piano music – Cartas Celestes – that is on the surface a description of the night sky. The percussive sections clearly owe a debt to Boulez, but the deeper and pervasive influence is Messiaen - there are direct quotations from the Catalogue d´Oiseaux and Vingt Regards throughout. Just as the Catalogue is less a literal transcription of birdsong, and more an evocation and transformation of landscape, so the Cartas Celestes moves from description in Book 1 - nightfall, the milky way tracking across the sky, and then dawn - to deeper themes in the later books. The close of Book 5 and the opening of Book 6 are connected and really about time, and perhaps the fabric of space-time itself. Other sections evoke pulsing light and darkness. Some of the themes are very well done – particularly the entry of Orion the hunter in Book 3.

I don´t know much about the pianist, Fernando Lopes, and am hoping that I´ll find more of his recordings, as he´s clearly very capable. The recording is full and luminescent, and I hope the vinyl rip is OK – any tips on how to improve this are gratefully received. With a bit of luck, we´ll see increased interest in Almeida Prado´s music, and some more recordings – there seems to be very little available. Apparently the Estudio Eldorado label was once the main presence for contemporary and improvised music in Brazil, but folded a few years back. I´m trying to find out what else was released on this label. There doesn´t seem to be anything similar operating now, but it would be great to see this recording reissued as it´s a major piece in contemporary piano music that deserves to be much better known.

13 comments:

Tantris said...

RS – Part 1

RS – Part 2

Anonymous said...

Can this be uploaded to something else than Rapidshare? My download of Part 1 is going at 3,4 K/s which should take about 24 hours to complete... Poor Rapidshare.

Anonymous said...

Same thing for me. When I see rapidshare I just say goodbye and leave. It should have been interesting...

Tantris said...

It's similar for me at the other end. What else do you suggest?

rebf942 said...

I too find life's too short to use Rapidshare. I use Mega or Zippy.

Anonymous said...

Has somebody downloaded this? I'm not completely adverse to ultra-slow Rapidshare (it's bearable when you use JDownloader), but here I'm getting the infamous "can only be downloaded by the uploader" message.

Tantris said...

OK, I've converted the files to 320kbps, included only the front and rear cover scans, and uploaded separate parts to Zippyshare - I trust this will work better;

Zippyshare – Part 1

Zippyshare – Part 2

Comments on, and response to the music would be appreciated.

JC said...

I too was curious... Life too short for MP3's though... Zippy will accommodate any format but they often have to be broken down to many parts. Gamefront (used here often) is quite fast (and lacks the malware Zippy tries to send via popup windows).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, and thanks for the faster links too. I haven
't listened to it yet, but I'm looking forward to doing so.

Jezzer

saomusubi said...

Thanks a lot for zippy link!

rebf942 said...

Many thanks for the effort involved in re-uploading. Something completely new to me, and a most interesting composer.

Horst said...

Many thanks for presenting this monumental record in such a fine way. It seems to be one of the very few albums by Prado around, if not the only one. The music requires a careful, undisturbed listening. I still have some way to go to work myself through this huge piece, but it seems worthwile.

kea said...

Following the back cover I split this up into tracks to the best of my ability.

FLAC+CUE, 661.7MB

Link