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Ralph Graves
WTJU, June 2019

The Brazil Guitar Duo perform both works with a firey precision. They understand the traditions behind these works and incorporate them into their playing. It’s a perfect match of music and musicians.

I especially loved the perfectly shaped tones they coaxed out of their guitars in the slow, lyrical passages.

The Delaware Symphony Orchestra does a credible job as well.
 
Whether you enjoy classical guitar music, Brazilian music, Cuban music, or just well-written classical music, there’s plenty for you here in this recording. © 2019 WTJU Read complete review


Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, September 2018

The Brasil Guitar Duo is the perfect ensemble for these works, especially the Bellinati—they have this music in their veins. And they are certainly among the finest guitar duos currently performing—absolute virtuosity, perfection of ensemble, a broad range of timbre and dynamics, and exquisite taste. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), July 2018

A crucial figure in the global promotion of Brazilian rhythms for the guitar, Paulo Bellinati deploys luxurious harmonies and brilliantly effective techniques to pay tribute to the country music of Sao Paulo State in Concerto Caboclo. Both works [Concerto Caboclo, The Book of Signs] feature the Brasil Guitar Duo of João Luiz and Douglas Lora, who are equally at home in classical and world music. © 2018 WFMT (Chicago) Read complete review



Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, June 2018

Brouwer has produced a large oeuvre across all genres and is probably best known today for his many movie scores. These include the highly acclaimed one for the award-winning Mexican film Like Water for Chocolate, which appeared in 1992.

His music for the concert hall comprises an ever-growing number of guitar concertos (at least twelve as of a few years ago), and the one here known as The Book of Signs was his tenth. A three-movement work dating from 2003, the soloists are accompanied by a string orchestra. © 2018 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review




James Manheim
AllMusic.com, May 2018

…The double-guitar concerto, The Book of Signs by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, written in 2003, is not a common item. This release by the Brasil Guitar Duo is worth your time and money for that reason alone. …Proceed to the overall movement structure of this concerto, which, perhaps uniquely, begins with two separate variation sets. The first, “The Signs of Memory,” is a set of 18 variations on the theme of Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C minor, WoO 80. (This is as close as we come here to an explanation of the biblical title The Book of Signs for the concerto as a whole.) Delve into the extraordinary complexity of this movement beneath its easy-to-listen-to, chaconne-like surface. The work, unlike most of Brouwer’s, poses technical challenges, which the players of the Brasil Guitar Duo surmount. © 2018 AllMusic.com  Read complete review




Steven A Kennedy
Cinemusical, May 2018

Bellinati’s work has an almost pops-like quality to it and certainly should find its way into concert repertoire with its engaging melodies and accessible harmony. Its displays for the soloists also helps increase attention and the beautiful orchestral writing draws the listener in to this wonderful little work for guitars and orchestra. …The music is simply gorgeous and the Delaware orchestra responds quite well with a fine accompaniment and well-captured sound.

In many ways, the entire album is an exploration of theme and variations which helps tie the pieces together quite well. Hopefully some of Bellinati’s other orchestral music is on the way and certainly listeners will want to seek out further recordings of the outstanding Brasil Guitar Duo. © 2018 Cinemusical Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, May 2018

The Brasil Guitar Duo have all the technique and all the sweeping lyrical sense to make their parts soar. And the Delaware Symphony under Amado do what they should and do it with spirit and beauty. © 2018 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, April 2018

This CD features Leo Brouwer’s Book of Signs, a substantial composition from 2004, as well as Paulo Bellinati’s Concerto Caboclo… The performances are of a very good quality. © 2018 Pizzicato



Records International, April 2018

Brouwer’s 2003 work is his first for two guitars, a double concerto of great virtuosity, with a majestic, songful theme in its central movement. A crucial figure in the global promotion of Brazilian rhythms for the guitar, Bellinati deploys luxurious harmonies and brilliantly effective techniques to pay tribute to the country music of Sao Paulo State in his 2011 concerto. © 2018 Records International



David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2018

Two Twenty-first century concertos written for guitar duos from Latin America’s foremost composers, the Cuban, Leo Brouwer, and from Brazil, Paulo Bellinati. Almost an octogenarian, Brouwer has been hugely prolific in his supply of music for guitar, and in the past I have been rather ambivalent towards his deluge of scores that include twelve guitar concertos. His first concerto for two guitars, named The Book of Signs, was completed in 2003, and I would unhesitatingly describe it as the finest work I have heard from him. Rather unusual in construction, and relying on Beethoven’s piano work, 32 Variations in C minor, for the first movement’s thematic material, his skill in creating the complexity in interweaving the two instruments is continually intriguing. Enclose this in Latin American rhythms and a pro-active string orchestra, and the score certainly needed a slow movement to reduce the radiant temperature. With more than a passing relationship to a romantic Hollywood film sound-track, it leads to a final Allegro in the form of a tricky Rondo with a sentimental central section. In total, the work plays for around three quarters of an hour, and more than twice the length of Bellinati’s Concerto Caboclo. Completed in 2011, and with a full orchestral accompaniment, it is just one step away from the world of ‘pop’ music, with tunes you will think you have heard somewhere before in the opening movement, and in direct descent of Rodrigo in the finale. The Brasil Duo is technically superb in the complex passages from Brouwer, and suitably smooth in the smoochy Bellinati. Very effective orchestral participation from Delaware and their conductor, David Amado. The recording quality is outstanding in every aspect. © 2018 David’s Review Corner





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