Tango Brasileiros

The Music of Ernesto Nazareth

This 2-CD set presents the tangos of Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, performed by pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico.

Heitor Villa-Lobos once said, "Nazareth is the true incarnation of the Brazilian soul." Ernesto Júlio de Nazareth (1863-1934) was a Brazilian pianist who began composing in the 1870s, nearly two decades before North American ragtime developed. He introduced Afro-Brazilian rhythms to European musical genres. The result was a piano music that bounces with offbeat accents employing alluring syncopations. His music is a poetic invitation into an urban, pioneering landscape of Rio de Janeiro.

Christina says: "I feel a particular affinity for the tangos of Ernesto Nazareth, which combine the sensual world of the Argentine tango with the quicker Brazilian dance forms. Nazareth’s music features those hypnotic and mesmerizing tango dreams of a bygone era."

Christina Petrowska Quilico, the internationally known Canadian pianist, turns her elegant and perceptive musicianship to the music of this great composer. She plays with both joy, and attention to the deeper aspects of Nazareth's fine sensibility. Her performance confirms how Nazareth's natural talent to combine Brazilian dance rhythms in new ways transformed his piano works into classics of Brazilian music. The twenty-four pieces on this recording cover a wide range of motifs. From the cunning Escovado to the danceable and most famous Fon-Fon, the beauty of Petrowska Quilico's piano brings a distinctive touch to all these Brazilian music gems.

CD 1
         1. Rebolico
         2. Nove de Julho   
         3. Garoto  
         4. Escovado (Listen)            
         5. Carioca
         6. Fon-Fon               
         7. Perigoso – Tango Brasileiro
         8. Matuto                 
         9. Ranzina                
         10. Escorregando – Tango Brasileiro
         11. Ouro Sobre Azul               
         12. Pierrot

         Total playing time: 47:52

CD 2
         1. Esta Chumbado                
         2. Myosotis             
         3. Brejeiro                
         4. Digo       
         5. Ferramenta – Fado Brasileiro
         6. Odeon – Tango Brasileiro
         7. Remando            
         8. Mandinga            
         9. Sarambeque      
         10. Ramirinho           
         11. Cutuba
         12. Sagaz    

         Total playing time: 48:12

“Ernesto Júlio de Nazareth (1863-1934) was a Brazilian pianist who began composing in the 1870s, nearly two decades before North American ragtime developed. He was ahead of his time already playing ragtime and other music such as foxtrot and did in fact introduce Afro-Brazilian rhythms and mixed them with European musical genres. The result was piano music that reflected offbeat accents.

“Christina reflects Nazareth's creativity. You hear the first song in the first CD and you say, "Wait a minute. There's something wrong here. The timing is off." Well, that's Nazareth for you, and Christina mirrors his style with these ‘tangos brasileiros’.

“That's what makes the Brazilian style of tango different from the Argentinian: it's quicker and has a mixture of different music genres. … Christina Petrowska Quilico, an internationally known Canadian pianist, plays to the tune of dance. In fact, she says that the only way to feel the rhythm is to dance to the music.”

- Ed Farolan, ReviewVancouver (reviewvancouver.org)
#6 of the Top 30 albums
CD was #6 of the Top 30 albums of January 13-19, 2014 on CKCU-FM Ottawa

- www.ckcufm.com
Wholenote Magazine
“Equally world-renowned and the 2007 winner of the Friends of Canadian Music Award, pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico performs the tangos of Brazilian composer/pianist Ernesto Júlio de Nazareth (1863–1934) in the two-CD release Tangos Brasileiros.

Touches of salon music and the romanticism of Chopin are evident in these tangos, which are quicker in tempo than their Argentinean relatives. There is so much heartfelt joy in the pianist’s performances of 24 of the composers’ piano works. In her liner notes titled “My Personal Tango Journey,” she attributes her agility in style, musicality and placement of downbeat to her years in the dance studio learning how to dance the tango.

I agree completely. The famous Fon-Fon is driven by a zippy right hand melody which is partnered by a two-feet-grounded-on-the-floor pulse. The more traditional Perigoso – Tango Brasileiro is a swaying, sultry and steady performance with intriguing brief yet breathtaking silences. Most fun are the left hand low-pitched lines in Myosotis. Deep and rich in tone, they act as a perfect mate to the jovial salon music-like right hand melodies.

Throughout, Petrowska Quilico’s well-contemplated rhythmic placements and gentler finger attacks create the sense of melodic spontaneity so important to tango music.”

- Tiina Kiik, WholeNote Magazine
Published on 30 October 2013
Category: Pot Pourri
LSM Newswire - Oct 23
Celebrating 150th anniversary of Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth


Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, internationally acclaimed as a leading interpreter of contemporary music, swings into a new direction with a new two-CD set of Brazilian tangos.

Released by Marquis, Tangos Brasileiros (MAR 81519) celebrates the sesquicentennial of Brazil’s most famous composer of the dance form, Ernesto Nazareth (1863-1934).  The album features 24 short works by the composer who was greatly influenced by Chopin as well as the variety of music of his native Brazil.  The great pianist Arthur Rubinstein was amongst the earliest champions of his music. Composers Heitor Villa-Lobos and Darius Milhaud were also fans.  Recordings exist of Nazareth playing his own music, but only a few other pianists have recorded albums of Nazareth tangos.

Petrowska Quilico came to this music through “a love for all Latin music: Argentine tangos, Brazilian sambas, Bossa Nova.  However, I feel a particular affinity for the tangos of Nazareth, which seem to combine the sensual world of the Argentine tango with the quicker Brazilian dance forms.”

Nazareth’s music presents challenges that are different from the well-known Argentinean tango.  As Petrowska Quilico notes, “His music features the almost imperceptible delay of the downbeat, the languorous breaths, and the required ability to play alternating syncopations with both hands while highlighting rhythms that have pulse but are not metronomic. Nazareth played his own compositions with a gentler touch than the percussive technique of jazz or ragtime – even though the rhythms of ragtime are obvious in the left hand.  Nazareth’s music evokes tropical parties, reflecting the rapidly changing moods and tempi of dancers.”

In the late 1990’s, Petrowska Quilico became convinced that the only way to achieve the subtle rhythmic flexibility was to be able to dance to the music.  She enrolled in tango lessons in Toronto, where she came to understand, as she says, “the harmonious bond between movement and music, feet and hands, and those hypnotic and mesmerizing tango dreams of a bygone era.”  As she gained knowledge and confidence in the dance, her playing improved.  She also entered numerous ballroom dance competitions, placing first often enough to stow away a boxload of trophies.

- LSM Newswire