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Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, February 2017

PRADO, J.A.R. de A.: Cartas Celestes, Vol. 1 - Nos. 1-3 and 15 (Scopel) GP709
PRADO, J.A.R. de A.: Cartas Celestes, Vol. 2 - Nos. 4-6 (Scopel) GP710

…Scopel’s pianistic skills are extraordinary but it is primarily his intense identification with this music that makes the performances so great. © 2017 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review



Hans-Dieter Grünefeld
Piano News, November 2016

Aleyson Scopel, a compatriot of the composer, has recorded authorised editions of four of the fifteen cycles he composed for solo piano. …[he] appears fully absorbed in José Almeida Prados’ world for piano and is in complete control of the music’s energy, which occasionally erupts with force. © 2016 Piano News



George Adams
American Record Guide, September 2016

Everything sounds like a stream of consciousness that has in fact been meticulously composed. Melodic gestures are flashy and grand, colorful and expressive, but without falling into tired predictability. This music is clear but not too familiar, amorphous and long-winded but listenable in the moment. …Scopel’s performances are fine. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Remy Franck
Pizzicato, June 2016

This musical cartography of the sky and the constellations uses a very elaborate piano language in which colours and dynamics are used to display a sonic picture of the cosmos. Scopel’s playing is clear and direct, very engaged and full of suspense. © 2016 Pizzicato



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2016

It is music of high modernist adventure, played impeccably and expressively by Aleyson Scopel. Volume one comes through with but four of what appears to be a monumental piano opus, ambitious and dramatic, singular and vividly gestural.

I am much taken with the music and its performance. …Highly recommended. © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2016

José Antônio Rezende de Almeida Prado was born in 1943 and became one of the most prolific composers, his music working within a very personal sound-world. His education was cosmopolitan, starting out in Brazil and completed in France with Boulanger and Messiaen. Notable among his output has been eighteen Cartas Celestes (Celestial Charts), fifteen of them written for solo piano over a period of thirty-five years, the fifteenth completed just months before he died in 2009. This present release contains four of them in a projected complete recording. The whole idea began in 1974 when he was commissioned to write incidental music for a spectacle at the Planetarium of Sao Paulo, the project then taking over part of his life as he sought to depict in music the sky as seen from Brazil, adopting a new harmonic language that he called ‘transtonality’. It certainly is very different to pure atonality, as he here intends to create a series of luminescent pictures that form each work, though one must say that Messiaen had been there before him, and he owes much to his influence, particularly in static moments. Sometimes tranquil and soothing, this often lulls you into a mood that is then challenged and disturbed by a dynamic eruption. To detail each work would make very boring reading, suffice it to say that the sections are usually of different speeds and dynamics so as to create a pleasing experience, though I would not advise playing this disc as a whole or a listening fatigue will very easily set in. Challenging in every way to the performer, they here have a superb advocate in the Brazilian-born, Aleyson Scopel, the dedicatee of Prado’s Fifteenth Cartes Celestes. The sound quality is very good. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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