WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Prado: Complete Cartas Celestes, Vol. 3 / Scopel


Release Date: 02/09/2018 
Label:  Grand Piano   Catalog #: 746  
Composer:  Almeida Prado
Performer:  Aleyson Scopel
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is the third of four volumes comprising the world premiere recording of Almeida Prado's complete Cartas Celestes (Celestial Charts) which depict the celestial bodies visible in the Brazilian night sky. Cartas Celestes (Celestial Charts) is one of prolific Brazilian composer José Antônio Rezende de Almeida Prado’s most important achievements. Exploring every kind of resonance and sound the piano has to offer and using a new harmonic language called “transtonality”, this set of works is described by pianist Aleyson Scopel as “a heroically audacious cycle” that depicts the sky and constellations in “colours, light, darkness and an almost mythological understanding and approach to the universe”. Brazilian pianist Aleyson Read more Scopel is a recipient of the Nelson Freire and Magda Tagliaferro awards, and has also won numerous prizes in international competitions such as the William Kapell, Villa-Lobos, Corpus Christi, Kingsville and Southern Highland International Piano Competitions. Aleyson Scopel graduated with distinction in performance and academic honours from the New England Conservatory of Music, in Boston. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Cartas Celestes No. 9 by Almeida Prado
Performer:  Aleyson Scopel (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: Brazil 
2.
Cartas Celestes No. 10 "The Constellations of the Mystical Animals" by Almeida Prado
Performer:  Aleyson Scopel (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: Brazil 
3.
Cartas Celestes No. 12 "The Sky of Nicholas Roerich" by Almeida Prado
Performer:  Aleyson Scopel (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: Brazil 
4.
Cartas Celestes No. 14 by Almeida Prado
Performer:  Aleyson Scopel (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: Brazil 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Delicacy & intricacy in a vast expanse February 18, 2018 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "As Brazilian pianist Aleyson Scopel continues his traversal of Almeida Prado's huge work for piano, Cartas Celestes, we can begin to see the delicacy of its parts and the intricacy of the relationships within a vast expanse. Stars look to us like points of white light, but this is a multi-coloured canvas; we should think of these star charts as being more like NASA's amazing Hubble Space Telescope photographs than the (admittedly gorgeous) cover art by Tony Price featured on this disc. In the first two volumes of this series I often heard the sound of Heitor Villa-Lobos's piano music, most especially the two books of Prole do Bebe, Rudepoema and As Tres Marias. Almeida Prado, of course, has a much more avant garde palette, which is natural considering his teachers included György Ligeti and Lukas Foss. The four works included here date from around the turn of the century; all but the 14th are World Premiere Recordings, and they're indeed welcome. The Cartas Celestes no. 9 is constructed as a kind of Four Seasons. The episode entitled "The summer sky as seen from Brazil" includes a shout-out to Villa-Lobos's Three Maries from 1939. Each of the sections has its own atmosphere, though they all share the composer's characteristic clusters and the harmonic language he termed "transtonality". At times this music seems like it must be fiendishly difficult to play, but Scopel handles it all with aplomb, and indeed pushes back in the virtuoso passages to exploit their colour and emotional content rather than just flaunting the razzle-dazzle glitter. Almeida Prado has some fun in the 10th work, "The Constellations of the Mystical Animals", and Scopel ensures that we do too, with a light touch in the presentation of this heavenly menagerie enacting scenes from the life of Christ. If these animals are mystical they're closer to St. Francis than anything more abstruse. The 11th work is more arcane, making reference to two paintings by the symbolist painter Nicholas Roerich, including this 1932 work Saint Sophia the Almighty Wisdom, in the Roerich Museum in New York. Almeida Prado doesn't let the extra-musical happenings interfere too much with his musical agenda. When I saw the Roerich connection I listened for Scriabin, but couldn't hear any. Perhaps I don't know the Russian master well enough! The 14th work is, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the whole series so far. It uses a variety of structures from the piano literature, from a Bachian toccata to a disemboweled waltz, a kind of Darmstadt Ravel. It's witty and strange, but also a bit scary. Scopel is really moving along here, at a disc every year; I'm hoping we see the fourth volume before 2018 is done!" Report Abuse
Review This Title