DE ALMEIDA PRADO (1943–2010)



“The second volume of my survey of Cartas Celestes features numbers 4, 5 and 6. These were originally intended to be the last ones, as it was not until 15 years later that Prado would go back to the form. Thus, they close a first cycle, painting with sounds the remaining planets from our solar system, including the Earth in all its majesty in Cartas Celestes No. 6, and magically reintroducing all of them as heard in previous volumes in a Ciranda around the Sun. I remain constantly enchanted and intrigued by Prado's soundworld, who kept an innovative, scintillating and spellbinding approach to the instrument, achieving effects not previously thought or heard of.”

Aleyson Scopel

Listen to an excerpt from Cartas Celestes No. 5


About this Recording

Cartas Celestes (Celestial Charts) is a colossal 18-movement cycle of works depicting celestial bodies to be seen in the Brazilian sky, for which Almeida Prado, one of Brazil’s most prolific and best-known composers, invented a new harmonic language called “transtonality”. Dense and rhythmically charged and saturated in the richest colours, Nos. 4, 5 and 6 complete the composer’s portrayal of the planets.

CARTAS CELESTES NO. 4 (1981) (30:22)
Rumo às estrelas da Galáxia NGC 5194/95 = M 51
(Journey towards the stars of Galaxy NGC 5194/95 = M 51) 00:00
Chamado extragaláctico I (Extragalactic Call I) 03:30
Aglomerado globular Messier 41 (Globular Cluster Messier 41) 04:45
Perséfone, o décimo planeta? (Persephone, the 10th planet?) 07:15
Netuno (Neptune) 07:37
Asteróide Ceres (Asteroid Ceres) 11:20
Constelação I – Auriga (Constellation I – Auriga) 11:30
Constelação II – Cão Maior (Constellaton II – Canis Major) 12:42
Constelação III – Cão menor (Constellation III – Canis minor) 13:00
Buraco da Fechadura – Nebulosa escura (Keyhole – Dark nebula) 13:20
Plêiades Austrais, diamantes celestes IC 2602 (Southern Pleiades, celestial diamonds IC 2602) 14:30
Plutão, o planeta mais distante do Sol (Pluto, the furthest planet from the Sun) 15:51
Chamado extragaláctico II (Extragalactic Call II) 20:05
Aglomerado globular Messier 35 (Globular Cluster Messier 35) 21:20
Constelação IV – Lepus, o Coelho (Constellation IV – Lepus, the rabbit) 22:30
Chamado extragaláctico III (Extragalactic Call III) 23:07
Luz Zodiacal (Zodiac Moon) 24:19
Sirius e Capella (Sirius and Capella) 24:50
Buraco Negro (Black Hole) 25:51
Além do Universo visível (Beyond the visible Universe) 27:29
CARTAS CELESTES NO. 5 (1982) (24:03)
Júpiter, o planeta gigante (Jupiter, the gigantic planet) 00:00
O Silêncio da noite I (The Silence of the Night I) 08:00
Via-láctea, o Caminho do Grande Céu
(Milky Way, the path of the Grand Sky) 08:37
Constelação I – Leão (Constellation I – Leo) 10:54
Constelação II – Hydra, a serpente do mar
(Constellation II – Hydra, the water snake) 11:54
Galáxia espiral na Constelação da Ursa Maior NGC 5457 = M 101
(Spiral galaxy at the Great Bear Constellation NGC 5457 = M 101) 13:30
Constelação III – Ursa Maior (Constellation III – Great Bear) 15:22
O silêncio da noite II (The Silence of the Night II) 16:37
Constelação IV – Cruzeiro do Sul (Constellation IV – Southern Cross) 17:16
Constelação V – Mosca (Constellation V – Fly) 18:46
Sigma octantis (Sigma Octantis) 19:20
Nebulosa Planetária NGC 3242 (Planet Nebula NGC 3242) 19:58
Saturno, o planeta dos anéis (Saturn, the planet of the rings) 21:15
CARTAS CELESTES NO. 5 (1982) (21:40)
Prelúdio – A Terra, vista do seu mais profundo abismo, em toda sua trágica realidade (Prelude – The Earth, seen from the most profound abyss, in all of its tragic reality) 00:00
A Terra, o planeta azul, vista da Lua em todo seu esplendor e majestade (Earth, the blue planet, seen from the Moon in all of its splendour and majesty) 00:48
Interlúdio – A Lua vista da Terra (Interlude – the Moon seen from the Earth) 05:09
Constelação I – Virgem (Constellation I – Virgo) 06:00
Constelação II – O Boieiro (Constellation II – the Herdsman) 06:50
Constelação III – Coroa Boreal (Constellation III – Corona Borealis) 08:06
O Sol, sua glória e poder – Eclipse solar (The Sun, its glory and power – Solar eclipse) 09:04
Interlúdio – Aglomerado circular NGC 5822 (Interlude – Open cluster NGC 5822) 12:22
Ciranda dos planetas ao redor do Sol (Ciranda of the planets around the Sun) 14:58
Postlúdio – Um novo Céu e uma nova Terra (Postlude – A new Sky and a new Earth) 19:41



Brazilian pianist Aleyson Scopel is a recipient of the Nelson Freire and Magda Tagliaferro awards, and has also won numerous prizes in international competitions such as the William Kapell, Villa-Lobos, Corpus Christi, Kingsville and Southern Highland International Piano Competitions. His performance of the first set of Cartas Celestes by Almeida Prado was thus received by the composer: “It came straight from heaven! Meteor Showers, radiant constellations, glowing nebulae and a transcendental vitality marked the genial interpretation of this colossal pianist.” Prado would later dedicate to Scopel the fifteenth set of the series. Aleyson Scopel graduated with distinction in performance and academic honours from the New England Conservatory of Music, in Boston. During his years at the conservatory he studied with Patricia Zander and was also awarded the Bl├╝thner prize. He then furthered his studies in Brazil with Celia Ottoni and Myrian Dauelsberg.

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