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Don't Hekel Mr. Tavares

I would compare his work to Anton Dvorak's New World Symphony

Classical Music on a Brazilian Beach.
Classical Music on a Brazilian Beach.

I’ve been making a concerted effort to expand my experience of classical music. In my attempts, I’ve come across some stinkers, such as the opera Der Trompeter von Säckingen by Viktor Nessler. I came across it while reading conductor Karl Böhm’s Wikipedia. This trite opera was his conductorial debut.


Besides obscure operas with unlikely happy endings based on discovering that the forbidden lover is actually an aristocrat, gag, I’ve also discovered some absolute gems. One of the gems is the Piano Concerto No. 2 “In Brazilian Forms” by one Hekel Tavares.


Born on July 21, 1896, in Rio de Janeiro, Tavares was a prominent figure in the Brazilian music scene during the early to mid-20th century. He was a versatile and innovative composer who blended elements of classical music with Brazilian folk and popular music styles. His Piano Concerto No. 2 is an excellent example of this approach.


There are three movements to the piece and each movement references a form of Brazilian music. The three forms are Modinh, Ponteio, and Maracatu. I suppose I could look these up but I’m not that kind of classical music lover. I’m just not that interested in musicology. However, I absolutely adore this piece of music.


From the start to the finish, I was mesmerized. Rarely have I had such an enjoyable first experience of music. 


Not all music is ready to make friends with you on the first date. I tried to listen to Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 at least a dozen times before I finally made it through. I still can’t make it through Claude Debussy’s opera Pelléas et Mélisande, even though I know people who think it is amongst the greatest operas ever written–right up there with Der Trompeter von Säckingen in my estimation.


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If I were to compare this Tavares concerto in terms of instant friendship to another piece, I would compare it to Anton Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”. I can’t imagine anyone hearing “The New World Symphony” and not immediately loving it. I feel the same about “The Concerto in Brazilian Forms”. 


What appeals to me is the inherent entertainment value of the music. This is a necessary aspect of music. Yes, classical music is an art form but it is also an entertainment. I would say that it is an entertainment that happens to require an extreme level of artistic merit to create and perform. Pop music? Not so much. 


It's important to take a jab at pop music every now and again.


I think the word I’m looking for, regarding this composition, is delightful. Tavares delights his audience with this piece of music and I love that. I've never begged for anything in this column but I'm begging you now. Please listen to it. I promise you will love it too.


How great would it be to hear this thing live? I mean, the San Diego Symphony has a South American music director so, maybe?


Video:

Tavares: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2



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Classical Music on a Brazilian Beach.
Classical Music on a Brazilian Beach.

I’ve been making a concerted effort to expand my experience of classical music. In my attempts, I’ve come across some stinkers, such as the opera Der Trompeter von Säckingen by Viktor Nessler. I came across it while reading conductor Karl Böhm’s Wikipedia. This trite opera was his conductorial debut.


Besides obscure operas with unlikely happy endings based on discovering that the forbidden lover is actually an aristocrat, gag, I’ve also discovered some absolute gems. One of the gems is the Piano Concerto No. 2 “In Brazilian Forms” by one Hekel Tavares.


Born on July 21, 1896, in Rio de Janeiro, Tavares was a prominent figure in the Brazilian music scene during the early to mid-20th century. He was a versatile and innovative composer who blended elements of classical music with Brazilian folk and popular music styles. His Piano Concerto No. 2 is an excellent example of this approach.


There are three movements to the piece and each movement references a form of Brazilian music. The three forms are Modinh, Ponteio, and Maracatu. I suppose I could look these up but I’m not that kind of classical music lover. I’m just not that interested in musicology. However, I absolutely adore this piece of music.


From the start to the finish, I was mesmerized. Rarely have I had such an enjoyable first experience of music. 


Not all music is ready to make friends with you on the first date. I tried to listen to Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 at least a dozen times before I finally made it through. I still can’t make it through Claude Debussy’s opera Pelléas et Mélisande, even though I know people who think it is amongst the greatest operas ever written–right up there with Der Trompeter von Säckingen in my estimation.


Sponsored
Sponsored

If I were to compare this Tavares concerto in terms of instant friendship to another piece, I would compare it to Anton Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”. I can’t imagine anyone hearing “The New World Symphony” and not immediately loving it. I feel the same about “The Concerto in Brazilian Forms”. 


What appeals to me is the inherent entertainment value of the music. This is a necessary aspect of music. Yes, classical music is an art form but it is also an entertainment. I would say that it is an entertainment that happens to require an extreme level of artistic merit to create and perform. Pop music? Not so much. 


It's important to take a jab at pop music every now and again.


I think the word I’m looking for, regarding this composition, is delightful. Tavares delights his audience with this piece of music and I love that. I've never begged for anything in this column but I'm begging you now. Please listen to it. I promise you will love it too.


How great would it be to hear this thing live? I mean, the San Diego Symphony has a South American music director so, maybe?


Video:

Tavares: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2



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