What makes the Brasil Guitar Duo great?

My top four are fresh invention, crisp rhythm and articulation, authentic Brazilianness (Brazilianity?), and outright speed and power.

Friday 7:30PM, Bates Recital Hall (UT).  Tix ($25) online or 300-ACGS.

Invention

The BGD does their own thing.  Friday their program is largely music of their native Brazil – 7 of the 9 selections.  Of the 9 pieces, 4 of them are new arrangements by the BGD including one I’m particularly excited to hear: a baroque gem by the great, expressive French master Jean Philippe Rameau.  While a video of them playing the Rameau is not yet available online (you’ll just have to settle for the real thing!), you can get a taste of their baroque interpretation in this performance of the ">Gigue from Bach’s French Suite No. 3.  I will now jump the gun and say that, if you watch this video, pay special attention to the crisp Rhythm and Articulation (I know, next topic area) in this performance – it’s fantastic! – it makes the performance really pop.

Rhythm and Articulation

As you now know, I’d recommend starting with a good listen to the Bach performance above to get a sense of their drive, their fastidious articulation… Wait, what do I mean by articulation?  I mean the length of the notes they play, the manner in which those notes are attacked, and how that affects the rhythm, stress, and cadence of their music-making.  Listen to the very first two melody notes of the Bach performance about 3-4 times.  Just the first two notes.  What do you hear?  The first note is exceptionally short and the second feels longer and heavier.  The second feels longer and heavier in part because of its volume, accent and length, and in part because we hear it relative to the short note that precedes it.  The result?  Rhythmic clarity!  And they do that, intentionally, all the time!

Authenticity

These two rock the Brazilian!  Over 130,000 have watched this phenomenal performance of ">Egberto Gismonti's Sete Aneis.  It just makes you feel so good.  Anyone who saw Yamandú Costa’s unbelievable performance for us in April will recall the humor, the drive, the energy, the beauty – all coexisting, indeed thriving, in his Brazilian selections.  On Friday, the BGD will present a range of Brazilian selections from relatively formal to relatively pop.

Speed and Power

That was certainly a hallmark of Yamandú’s concert.  In fact, every guitar concert is made just a touch better with a healthy dose of speed and power, wouldn’t you agree?  Check out this exciting tango performance of ">Astor Piazzolla’s Zita that’s been enjoyed by over 90,000 music-lovers online, and you’ll get a sense of what these guys can do!

We’re in for quite a ride, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Our presentation of the Brasil Guitar Duo is in collaboration with the Austin Chamber Music Center – in the middle of their award-winning summer chamber music festival – and is generously sponsored by Michael and Carol Fields.  Our summer series media sponsors are Time Warner YNN and KUT 90.5.  Our hotel sponsor is the Radisson Town Lake.