Music for the Soul
Nothing can be more pleasing than when a new artist has a great debut and follows it with another high quality album. Dois Corações leaves no one unsatisfied. It maintains the same quality in repertoire, arrangements and, above all, Fernanda Cunha’s delivery. This is a repertoire that she seems to be very familiar with and can perform it with excellent professionalism.
In her second album, produced by in collaboration with Jorjão Carvalho, Fernanda Cunha picked two iconic examples of what makes Brazilian music stand out in world music. The classic Bossa Nova master Johnny Alf and the heart and soul of Brazilian Popular Music songwriter Sueli Costa comprise the essence of Dois Corações. Together these two composers receive one of the best tributes ever dedicated to their music. The songs blend in so well and are so elegantly produced and arranged that this album instantly becomes a mark for other past and future productions honoring Johnny Alf and Sueli Costa.
Let us begin with the musicians who work with Fernanda Cunha here. Arranger and pianist Cristóvão Bastos arranged five of the magnificent music you hear. João Carlos Coutinho (piano, accordion) was in charge of four pieces. Camilia Dias (piano) and Jorjão Carvalho (bass) each arranged two songs. The one track not credited, “Luz Eterna,” was probably arranged by Johnny Alf himself, who divides vocals with Fernanda and plays the piano, too. Other musicians who participate in the album include Jurim Moreira (drums), Zé Carlos (acoustic guitar) and Marcelo Martins (sax) among others.
I don’t know what I like best about Dois Corações: Fernanda’s commanding voice, Cristóvão’s masterful arrangements or the various solos in all songs. For example, the title track, “Dois Corações,” features Marcelo Martins’ excellent soprano sax solo with the other musicians completing this most captivating arrangement. The tracks in the album pretty much alternate between Johnny Alf’s and Sueli Costa’s. However, the listener sometimes cannot really tell from the arrangement whether a particular song is Johnny’s or Sueli’s. Due credit must be given to all arrangers for so well creating this perfect musical environment. Though the repertoire is entirely classic music, one will likely end up finding some tracks as completely memorable. In addition to the two duets with the composers — “Luz Eterna” with Johnny Alf and “Bóias de Luz” with Sueli Costa — you should prepare yourself for the following renditions. In “Ilusão à Toa,” the basic trio piano/bass/drums is joined by cello, viola and violin creating a very intimate arrangement, especially in the solos. For “Cão sem Dono,” the accordion introduction sets the tone for the immense beauty of this song. This is one of those Sueli Costa’s compositions that marks you deeply. Whether performed by Elis Regina, Eduardo Conde, Leila Pinheiro, Dori Caymmi, Lucinha Lins or anyone else, the music is perfect. Fernanda’s rendition here joins those previous performances side by side in their quality. “O Que É Amar” is presented here simply with Fernanda’s voice and Camilia Dias on piano. With a song such as this, a simple arrangement is all that is needed.
Dois Corações is an unforgettable album. The care taken in the arrangements coupled with Fernanda Cunha’s solid performances and charming voice make this an excellent album and solid follow-up to her debutO Tempo e o Lugar.
You can visit Fernanda Cunha to learn more about the artist and this album.
Dois Corações: Fernanda Cunha Interpreta Johnny Alf e Sueli Costa
Independent FCCC0002 (2004)
- Dois Corações (Johnny Alf)
- Vamos Dançar (Sueli Costa – João Medeiros Filho)
- Céu e Mar (Johnny Alf)
- Cinema Antigo (Sueli Costa – Cacaso)
- Ilusão à Toa (Johnny Alf)
- Amor Amor (Sueli Costa – Cacaso)
- Olhos Negros (Johnny Alf – Ronaldo Bastos)
- Cão Sem Dono (Sueli Costa – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- Luz Eterna (Johnny Alf) w/ Johnny Alf
- Nuvens de Cetim (Sueli Costa – Abel Silva)
- O Que É Amar (Johnny Alf)
- Bóias de Luz (Sueli Costa – Abel Silva) w/ Sueli Costa
- As Labaredas (Sueli Costa – Cacaso)
- Fim de Semana em Eldorado (Johnny Alf)