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Global launch of Naxos’ Music of Brazil series

May 24, 2019

The significance of Naxos’ extensive project, The Music of Brazil, was reflected in the enthusiastic receptions held during its international launch. These took place at the Brazilian embassies in Tokyo (26 March), London (4 April) and Berlin (9 April), and at the Weill Music Room in New York’s Carnegie Hall (18 April).

The project was instigated and developed by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in association with Naxos to promote Brazilian classical music and its composers. The impressive scope of the five-year, 30-album undertaking involves recording 100 orchestral works by 19th- and 20th-century Brazilian composers, performed by the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, the Minas Gerais Symphony Orchestra, and the Goiás Philharmonic Orchestra; the edition will also include a selection of vocal and chamber music works.

Klaus Heymann

Naxos chairman Klaus Heymann commented: “The project is a continuation of my longstanding interest in the classical music of Brazil. The Naxos catalogue already has more than one hundred albums featuring Brazilian music, including the award-winning “Complete Symphonies of Heitor Villa-Lobos” with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra that were released between 2011 and 2017. It is with great pleasure that we announce this new Naxos project that continues our exploration of Brazil’s great musical heritage.”

The first recording in the series (8.574067) was released in February and featured the Symphony in G minor and other orchestral works by Alberto Nepomuceno (1864-1920). Gramophone declared it “urgently recommended” and selected it as an Editor’s Choice recording in May. The next release, scheduled for September, is a programme of violin sonatas by Leopoldo Miguez (1850-1902) and Glauco Velásquez (1884-1914).

Each reception included a short piano recital of Brazilian music (topped off in New York by pianist Pablo Rossi’s performance of Gottschalk’s Variations on the Brazilian National Anthem) and the events were attended by commentators from some of the world’s leading music journals. Links to reports may be found below.

The respective Brazilian ambassadors spoke at each city’s event with a common enthusiasm that is best captured by the remarks of Ambassador Enio Cordeiro, Consul General for the Consulate of Brazil in New York:

“I believe it could not be more fitting that the release of the Music of Brazil series is happening here at Carnegie Hall, a place … with a rich history of legendary musicians and composers roaming these rooms; one of them was Heitor Villa-Lobos, who is widely regarded as the best South American composer of all time. This project has the goal of showcasing the richness of Brazilian classical music from the 19th century to the present day. It demonstrates that the sheer brilliance of Villa-Lobos was not an isolated case: we have, in fact, a Brazilian school of composers.

“I cannot praise enough this great endeavour to reestablish over 100 classical works by twelve of our most influential composers. Until now, most of these works did not have recordings available outside of Brazil. Many will have their world premiere recordings. So it is an extraordinary leap forward for the preservation of our musical heritage, and it will be done in an extensive and comprehensive manner.”

Ambassador Eduardo Saboia gives the
opening speech at the Tokyo event
Ambassador Fred Arruda delivers his
welcome speech in London
Ambassador Roberto Jaguaribe speaks
at the Berlin reception
Ambassador Enio Cordeiro (left)
with Assistant Consul General
Marco Antonio Nakata at the
Carnegie Hall launch

Links to further coverage of The Music of Brazil launch:


Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group