Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 57: Luiz Bonfa "The Composer of Black Orpheus Plays and Sings Bossa Nova" and Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra Rachmaninov Symphic Dances and Stravinsky Jeu de Cartes

Every time I start to think I'm about done with this bag another pack of unprocessed CDs pop up. The themes are staying pretty consistent, though.

Luiz Bonfa
The Composer of Black Orpheus Plays and Sings Bossa Nova

Bossa Nova is somewhere between a successful date with The Continental and a dirty phone call. This might have a lot to do with the fact that I keep listening to this stuff on headphones, But it's that whisper singing that they do, it always gives me the impression that they're telling me something dirty.

I don't speak Portuguese, so maybe they are. Who knows. It is certainly one of the most mellow forms of music out there.

This is kind of a classic LP, I think. For some reason when I think of LPs it's always something like this, like 'so and so plays such and such.'

I know I know Black Orpheus but I can't think of it right now. This certainly provides a different feel to The Hurt Locker.

I'm starting to dread the bossa nova CDs because I didn't really have much to say about them in the first place and now I'm pretty much tapped out as far as insight goes. This recording bounces back and forth between the 'full orchestra' kind of stuff and the more simple percussion and guitar.

Of course I made the whisper sing comment, and the last track actually starts off with them really whispering "bossa nova cha cha" in my ear. Awesome.

This is a really short album, less than 40 minutes. This is the kind of thing where normally they would add bonus tracks to the original recording to fill things out, but not this time.

Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra
Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances Op. 45, Vocalise op 34 no 14 / Stravinsky Jeu De Cartes
This was an especially difficult type of classical CD to file. The Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra wasn't necessarily an in demand orchestra. But then it isn't a single composer CD, so how do I file it so that whoever might be looking for it would find it?

Sony Classical seemed to put preference towards Rachmaninov. But it's not like Stavinsky is a complete unknown.

Ultimately I erred towards the standard I had set. I had laid this out earlier, if it was a single composer it would be filed by composer, multiple composers under the performer. So the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra got a leader card.

I didn't get far enough to do a lot of studying of Russian composers. I know that Charlie Parker was obsessed with Stravinsky and piano players love Rachmaninov.

iTunes has an even harder time with classifying the CD since it attributed the whole CD to Rachmaninov, even the Stravinsky pieces.

This album contains a performance of Vocalise, which somewhere I also have performed on a theremin. Kind of awesome.

I'm as stuck with mainstream classical as I am with bossa nova, I don't really know what to say. I'm guilty of letting classical be background music, but really there's so much that goes on in music like this that it deserves more attention, not less. Somewhere we flipped it, classical became background music and we give attention to simpler, more repetitive music. I understand why that is, but it's still kind of backwards.

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