Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag Brazil - Full Moon 51 - 12/11/00

Maria do Céu
Choros do Ceará

Until now, the work of Francisco Soares de Souza (1905-1986) had been more admired outside of Brazil, particularly in Europe, where an album with some of his choros, waltzes and preludes was released in 1996. Thanks to his nephew's efforts and a Brazilian virtuoso guitarist, Souza's music is beginning to receive well-deserved attention in Brazil.

Francisco Soares de Souza was born in the Brazilian northeastern state of Ceará. An excellent self-taught guitarist and composer, Soares music follows the outstanding guitar tradition in Brazilian music. With almost fifty compositions written especially for acoustic guitar, Soares choros are particularly enchanting. These masterpieces have been hidden for too long. Now, thanks to Maria do Céu's brand new album, Choros do Ceará, we can experience the magic of Soares music.

Maria do Céu worked with Brazilian renowned guitarist Turíbio Santos in Rio de Janeiro. Since beginning her professional career in 1984, she has played with a variety of groups, including the Orchestra of Acoustic Guitars of Rio de Janeiro and the Quinteto Clássico. She has performed throughout Brazil as well as abroad. Together with Rodrigo Sebastian (bass) and Di Lutgardes (percussion), she dedicated this entire album to the choros of Francisco Soares de Souza.

The simplicity and musical richness of these twelve pieces are alluring from beginning to end. Maria do Céu's artistry enhances the quality of this music with unequaled sensitivity. These choros are a perfect hybrid of classic and folkloric styles in Maria do Céu's expert performance. Sometimes playful, sometimes contemplative, Choros do Ceará evokes a world of emotions. Some pieces performed here can be thought of as different movements of a larger classical work, such as Caboré 1 and Caboré 2 and Clipe 1 and Clipe 2. They are not just mere variations on a similar theme, though. They show just how expressive and intriguing the musical world of Soares was. Although most pieces display the vivacity so typical in choros, in the slow pieces you will also find that mesmerizing element of Soares compositions. The frolicsome tone of Samburá, for example, is masterfully contrasted with the meditative mood of Jane, one of the album's waltzes.

What makes this album so captivating is not only the entrancing quality of Francisco Soares de Souza's music. An artist of the caliber of Maria do Céu transforms these choros into timeless masterpieces. Her ease, expertise and skills shine brightly.

For more information on how to purchase this album, you can contact Maria do Céu directly via e-mail.

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