A Carnival of Songs – Annette Celine – Vol. 3 – CB4834
£9.99 – £15.99
Alberto Nepomuceno (1864 -1920) Cantigas
A song about the pains of love, inspired by an XVIII century Portuguese love song.
As a teacher, composer, and musician with a breadth of vision, and as a director of the Instituto Nacional deMúsica, Nepomuceno made a significant contribution to the musical life of Brazil in the days of the dawn of the republic.
An interview with Albert Nepomuceno in 1917 on the subject of Brazilian folk music revealed the development of his thinking concerning the growing importance of national materials in the composition of art music; “I have never dedicated myself to this study, but I have made, as an amateur, a collection of some eighty folk songs and dances, which I always try to increase. Almost all of these have been studied and classified. In this work I have verified the modality, which is not regional, for it is found in songs collected in Pará, in Ceará, and in the interior of the state of Rio de Janeiro….
This modality, of a melodic and harmonic nature, is produced by the lowering of the seventh degree when the treble tends towards the sixth, as a function of the second or the fourth degrees”.
Alberto Nepomuceno left a legacy of operas, orchestral works, chamber music, music for various instruments, piano music and also some fine songs, but his contribution to the history of Brazilian music far exceeds the body of his works.
Afro-Brazilian Folk Songs
Capim di Pranta
A Casinha pequenina
Two influences are at work in these colourful Afro-Brazilian folk songs arranged by Ernani Braga. There is the influence of the Iberian peninsula, stemming from the Portuguese and Spanish settlers who centuries ago made Brazil their home. There is the balancing influence of the Negro musical talent. In Brazil this heritage of Negro music reaches back to the days of slave trading from Africa. Among the six selections are ballads, work songs, play songs for children, and spirituals.
O’ Kinimba is a spiritual from the province of Pernambuca, sung in an Arncan dialect. In it a woman prays that she may leave the earth and go to heaven.
Capim de Pranta is sung at work by weed pickers from the province of Alagoas. A woman overseer, whom the workers derisively call the Queen, warns them not to be lazy. When her back is turned the workers answer her with an impudent chorus. It is sung in Brazilian and Negro dialect.
Nigue-Nigue-Ninhas is a lullaby song to a baby girl. The words are repetition of “Go to sleep my pretty one”. The song comes from the province of Paraiba do Norte and is sung in a Negro dialect of Brazil.
Säo-Joäo-da-Ra-Räo is a children’s street song coming from the province of Piavi. Two melodies alternate. The livelier of the two is sung in the Brazilian equivalent of pig Latin. The second is a sentimental ballad.
Engenho Novo! is an amusing work song from Rio Grande do Norte in which the workers operating a sugar machine attempt to imitate the sound of that invention.
A Casinha pequenina is a haunting melody deeply imbued with melancholy and romance.
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887 -1959) Bachianos Brasileiras No.5 Aria (Cantilena) Dansa (Martelo)
On an expedition to the interior of Brazil in 1912 Villa-Lobos discovered the rich mines of native Brazilian folk music and this was probably one of the most important steps in his development as a composer.
The present Bachianas Brasileiras is the fifth in a series of suites attempting a fusion of the musical materials native to Brazil and the spirit of Bach. The suites are written for a variety of instrumental and vocal combinations and are among the most successful and popular works of this prolific composer.
“This is a special kind of musical composition,” Villa-Lobos has written, “based on an intimate knowledge of the great works of J.S.Bach and also the composer’s affinity with the harmonic, contrapuntal and melodic atmosphere of the folklore of the northeastern region of Brazil. The composer considers Bach a universal and rich folkloristic source, deeply rooted in the folk music of every country in the world. Thus Bach is a mediator among all races”.
Some fifteen hundred compositions are listed by the composer, in virtually every known form, although a number of them have been lost, since Villa-Lobos was taken up with the task of continuous invention rather than the preservation of his works.
Francis Poulenc (1899 -1963)
Eight Polish Folk Songs La courone (The Crown)
Le Depart (The Departure)
Le Gars Polonaises (The Polish Boys)
Le dernier Mazour (The Last Masur)
L’Adieu (The Goodbye)
Le Drapeau Blanc (The White Flag)
La Vistule Le Lac (The Lake)
These melodies date for the most part from the heroic, romantic and tragic period that became known as the Polish insurrection of 1831 or the November 29th insurrection.
After the short spring of the Napoleonic wars during which many Polish people gave their lives for the great emperor, Russia and the other two enemy empires (Germany and Austria) seized this helpless country which is incapable of living in slavery.
The youth gave the signal for the insurrection on November 29th, 1831. It is the youth that first sprung on the battlefields and sang the poems and melodies to encourage the others and affirmed the joy of a heroic death. This short year shaped a whole new era in Polish literature that was christened “the romantic poetry of the insurrection of 183 T9. The melodic line of these poems is for the most part “popular” or of unknown authors. Every melody has a considerable number of strophes that tell the story of the insurrection.
The following are short details on the authors that were partisans and soldiers:
- La Couronne (The Crown)
Stefan Kowalski, 1799-1862, Lieutenant in the Wolyrien and Lithuanian legion in 1831. This melody is titled 4<The young girl and the Krakouss”，it tells the story of the fiancee crying at the departure of her lover for the army in Lublin. Krakouss indicates a soldier of Cracow.
- Le Depart (The Departure)
Stefan Witwicki, a very popular poet of this period. The melody also is very popular. It is on the same subject but with a different melodic line than the one Chopin did in his Polish melody entitled t4Le guerrier”（the warrior)
- Les Gars Polonais (The Polish Boys)
It was perform at the Warsaw National Theatre on February 8th, 1831, by the enthusiastic crowds feting General Chlopieki.
- Le dernier Mazour (The last Masur)
This melody was created during the departure of the troops of General Chlopieki-future dictator. It was revived as is during the great war and was the favourite song of the Polish people of Pilsudski.
- L’Adieu (The Goodbye)
Maurice Goslanwski, born in 1802, a Russian officer who fought against the Turks under General Dyhiez 1828 – 1829.Upon hearing of the insurrection, he deserts the Russian Army to become an member of the Podolic Legion. He died in a Stanislawow prison in 1834. This melody contains almost twenty strophes full of enthusiasm and hope.
- Le Drapeau Blanc (The White Flag)
Raymond Suchodolski, more of a soldier than a poet, more rebel than soldier, but with much heroism and dedication to the notion of freedom. Killed during the siege of Warsaw in 1831, he was barely 28.
- La Vistule
A very popular “Cracowian”, sang in Poland by all children.
- Le Lac (The Lake)
Popular Polish melody sang by the peasants in Upper-Silegie.
Pablo Esteve (d.1794)
arr. Arne Dorumsgaard (b.1921)
A sad love song of how the soul suffers.
Spanish composer Esteve arrived in Madrid in 1760 and the following year appeared as the writer of a tonadilla, or a short comic intermezzo, Fortunita, which was followed by many more. He was one of the most highly regarded composers in this short-lived genre, composing more than 400, and also wrote the texts for many of them. An upright and independent man, he took great pains to maintain his own and his colleagues’ dignity, and above all that or his art. He often ran into difficulties with impresarios and singers, notably with the soprano Maria Antonia Fernandez, ‘La Caramba’, the leading tonadillas, he was also jailed for allowing satires against society women in his tonadillas. He retired in 1790.
Maurice Ravel (1875 -1937)
- “Chanson Espagnole”
- “Chanson Française”
- “Chanson Italienne”
- “Chanson Hébraïque”
The accompaniments to these folk melodies are indicative of Ravel’s broad empathies. The guitarlike accompaniment of the Spanish song effectively captures its bitter irony, while the french song is elegant and charming. The Italian song, dealing with the pangs of unrequited love, is the shortest and perhaps least successful of the group, and the Hebraic song, a dialogue between father and son, is in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Aramaic. It alternates a dance like section (the father’s questions), with recitative (the son replies), in a simple, tasteful manner.
- Spanish – Good bye, and good bye, my man! you smile as off to war yow，re taken: but never forget who’s waiting，
lonely weeping, all forsaken! La La La. Castilla sends her sons to war, and vows they’ll come back heroes! they go off as fresh as roses, back if at all, as gaunt as scarecrows La, La, La.
- French – Jeanneton, where shall we pasture today? Jeanneton, where shall we pasture today? where find an hour for pleasure? Lan-La! where there’s a hedge to the meadow is best, there are such lovely shadows, Lan-La! there he flung down his mantle trim, seated her there beside him, Lan-La! with such delight did Jeanneton play, all else forgot that day Lan-La! duty and sheep melted away!
- Italian – I lean beside my window, to watch the river, I only feel my sorrow deeper ever, in vain I call my love, he’ll answer never.
- Hebrew – “Myerke, my son. Who is it thou standest before?” “before him who is king of all kings, father mine”，“for what art thou asking him?” “for children，long life and daily bread”. “Myerke my son，but why for children dost ask?” “in sons his law yet liveth father mine”，“O Myerke，my son, but why should life be so long?” “while I live to sing his praises father mine”，“but why ask for bread?” “to give thee, sustain and bless thee,” TATUNIU
The Brazilian soprano Annette Celine began her musical studies with her mother, Felicja Blumental. She studied voice in Milan with Mercedes Lloport and Elvira de Hidalgo. She made début at the Teatro Reggio di Parnia in a programme of Mozart concert arias. Her appearances have included the Barcelona, Taormina and Camden (London) Festivals, the Stanford University Mozart Festival and the international Festival de Música, Torroella de Montgri, Spain.
Annette Celine has been soloist with Belgian Radio in Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Bruckner’s Te Deum. In France she has sung in the Mozart and Fauré Requiems, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and the Verdi Requiem under conductor Pierre Der vaux. She recorded Verdi’s Luisa Miller for Decca with Luciano Pavarotti and Montserrat Caballé, and has also recorded various song recitals with her mother.