Choro in the Present
Upon receiving New Chorinhos from Brazil, I confess I was a little apprehensive. Choro (literally “cry”) is a Brazilian music form that requires a lot of soul both for performing and composing it. One could say choro is very much like the Portuguese fado in that it evokes feelings. Unlike fado, however, choro (or chorinho, little cry) can be a lively composition or an introspect, sad song.
It is interesting to note that this album was first released on cassette in the centennial year ofPixinguinha’s birthday (April 23, 1897), Brazil’s most notable choro composer. The CD version only appeared a year later. I had my doubts that a contemporary performer could show all the artistry required to perform chorinhos, especially on piano (Arthur Moreira Lima comes to mind). Luiz Simas can and has done an outstanding job! His New Chorinhos from Brazil is by far one of the very best original choro releases out of Brazil in recent years. All titles here are composed and superbly performed by Luiz Simas on piano.
The musical range of material in New Chorinhos from Brazil varies from the sublime to the playful. Clear influences from other choro composers (e.g., Ernesto Nazareth) can be subtly perceived in various numbers. There are also classical influences in some of the music, with Chopin and Bach being very prominent.
To learn more about the artist and hear sample tracks, please visit Luiz Simas on the web.”Chorinho das Comadres” elicits the type of frolicsome activities so prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th century gatherings in Rio de Janeiro’s high society. With “Chorinho com Bossa,” bossa nova influences underline the chord structures and melody. “Saltitante” is animated, whereas “Preguiçoso” is pensive. Feelings and states of mind permeate New Chorinhos from Brazil, and it is exactly in the manner that Luiz Simas chooses to express those feelings that he succeeds most notably. Every time I play New Chorinhos from Brazil, I discover yet another side of Simas’s beautiful music.
New Chorinhos from Brazil
Lydjul Records LJR195 (1998)
All music by Luiz Simas.
- Chorinho das Comadres
- Chorinho com Bossa
- Chorinho Bachiano (For J.S. Bach)
- A Ladeira do Sobe-e-Desce
- Do Coração
- Chorinho do Mar
A modified version of this review first appeared in Luna Kafé in September 1997.