This is Volume 14 in our Music of Brazil series that goes from strength to strength. Carlos Gomes (1836–1896) was Brazil’s leading operatic composer, hailed by European critics of the day as the equal of Rossini and Verdi. These recordings of his opera overtures and preludes are the first to be made available for an international audience. They feature conductor Fabio Mechetti and the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra, who build on the success of their three previous releases in our Music of Brazil series.
‘Carlos Gomes was one of the most original and successful composers in Italy during the second half of the 19th century, whose powerfully dramatic operas caused a sensation at the time. Since then, however, his music, even in his native Brazil, has not received the same kind of enthusiasm and response as he enjoyed during his life in Europe. I believe that this recording will open a new musical horizon for those willing to try something new and immensely beautiful.’
– Fabio Mechetti
Carlos Gomes was not only Brazil’s leading operatic composer, but he also helped pave the way for Italian verismo during the latter part of the 19th century. The preludes and overtures from his operas chart a course from early experimentation with orchestral sonority to a new conception of atmosphere and tension in his historically based dramas. In Alvorada (‘Dawn’) from Lo schiavo his descriptive writing comes close to the status of a symphonic poem. The music from his greatest artistic triumph, Il Guarany, weaves themes into an organic whole, while his final opera, Condor, is reminiscent of French orchestral music in its employment of whole-tone scales.