Apr 23 2017

Maria Bethânia: Abraçar e Agradecer

A Feast of Recognition

Abraçar e AgradecerIt was on my 7th birthday that Maria Bethânia performed her first serious concert; February 13, 1965. That’s more than 50 years ago, which means that there’s a nice opportunity to create a special event. With a serious repertoire of almost 50 songs, Bethânia opened her celebration tour in January 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, where it all started for the beloved singer. Maria Bethânia (Santo Amaro da Purificação, Bahia,1946) knows how to please her loyal audience. In this case she might have overdone that pleasing a bit too much. Well, at least on this CD-set. Performing so many songs with such a variety in 100 minutes makes it a bit uneasy for the listener at home, who loves to quietly enjoy the art in all its beauty. Being there at the concert hall is different. There you go with the flow; listening to CDs needs a certain concentration. The songs are, of course, well chosen. They cover a wide range of the singer’s discography. It’s a feast of recognition. A song like “Nossos Momentos” immediately brings you back to that same titled fantastic album of 1982, recorded at the legendary Canecão. The variety is striking; Bethânia has an honest taste for music. And the audience loves it. Most of the songs are welcomed by applause. There’s one strangely surprising song in the repertoire: “Non, Je ne Regrette Rien“ (1956), the signature song of Edith Piaf (1915-1963), is hard to perform. It’s so connected to the voice of the French singer that it’s almost impossible to hear it sung by someone else. Unfortunately, Maria Bethânia is no exception in that way. A pleasant surprise is the rendition of “Dindi” (1959, Jobim – Aloysio de Oliveira), the song that was also added as an extra on the album “Meus Quintais” (2014). That album, by the way, is represented here with 8 songs.

Maria BethãniaAs always, Maria Bethânia is surrounded by the finest musicians: Jorge Helder (bass), Tulio Mourão (piano), Paulo Dafilin (acoustic guitars), Pedro Franco (acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin), Marcio Mallard (cello), Carlos Cesar (drums), Marcelo Costa (percussion) and the great Toninho Ferragutti on the accordion. They create the perfect sound for Maria Bethânia’s voice. Abraçar e Agradecer, hug and thank, that’s what she gives the audience. An audience that returns that gesture with the same sentiments. There seems to be a unbreakable bond between the two.

The album was recorded in August 2015 at the HSBC concert hall in São Paulo. It’s packed in a delightful box with a beautiful booklet. All together Abraçar e Agradecer is a welcome celebration of the 50 years Maria Bethânia spent on stage; always barefooted, out of respect for that stage. But now, for once, all the respect is for the masterful performer.



Maria Bethânia
Abraçar e Agradecer
Biscoito Fino DiscMedi DM5248-02 (2017)
Total time: 106’13”


  1. Eterno em Mim (Caetano Veloso)
  2. Dona do Dom (Chico César)
  3. Gita (Raul Seixas e Paulo Coelho)
  4. A Tua Presença Morena (Caetano Veloso)
  5. Nossos Momentos (Caetano Veloso)
  6. Começaria Tudo Outra Vez (Gonzaguinha)
  7. Voz de Mágoa (Dori Caymmi – Paulo César Pinheiro)
  8. Gostoso Demais (Dominguinhos – Nando Cordel)
  9. Bela Mocidade (Donato Alves – Francisco Naiva)
  10. Alegria (Arnaldo Antunes)
  11. Você Não Sabe (Roberto Carlos – Erasmo Carlos)
  12. Dindi (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Aloysio de Oliveira)
  13. Tatuagem (Chico Buarque – Ruy Guerra)
  14. Meu Amor É Marinheiro (Alan Oulman (in a translation by Manuel Alegre))
  15. Todos os Lugares (Sueli Costa – Tite de Lemos) / Text “Depois de uma Tarde…” (Clarice Lispector)
  16. Rosa dos Ventos (Chico Buarque)

CD 2

  1. Até o Fim (Chico Buarque) / O Quereres (Caetano Veloso) / Qui nem Jiló (Luiz Gonzaga – Humberto Teixeira) / Pisa na Fulô (João do Vale – Silveira Júnior – Ernesto Pires) Instrumental
  2. Viramundo (Gilberto Gil – José Carlos Capinam) / Tudo de Novo (Caetano Veloso)
  3. Doce (Roque Ferreira)
  4. Oração de Mãe Menininha (Dorival Caymmi)
  5. Eu e Água (Caetano Veloso)
  6. Agradecer e Abraçar (Abracei o Mar) (Gerônimo – Vevé Calazans)
  7. Vento de Lá (Roque Ferreira) / Imbelezô Eu (Roque Ferreira)
  8. Folia de Reis (Roque Ferreira)
  9. Mãe Maria (Custódio Mesquita – David Nasser) / text “Câmara de ecos” (Waly Salomão)
  10. Eu, a Viola e Deus (Rolando Boldrin)
  11. Criação (Chico Lobo)
  12. Casa de Caboclo (Roque Ferreira – Paulo Dafilin) / text “Candeeiro” (Carmen L. Oliveira)
  13. Alguma Voz (Dori Caymmi – Paulo César Pinheiro)
  14. Maracanandé (canto tupi) (Márcia Siqueira)
  15. Xavante (Chico César)
  16. Povos do Brasil (Leandro Fregonesi)
  17. Motriz (Caetano Veloso) / text “Prece” (Clarice Lispector)
  18. Viver na Fazenda (Dori Caymmi – Paulo César Pinheiro)
  19. Eu te Desejo Amor (Charles Trenet (in a translation by Nelson Motta) / text “Sou Eu Mesmo o Trocado” (Fernando Pessoa)
  20. Non, Je ne Regrette Rien (Charles Dumont – Michael Vaucaire)
  21. Silêncio (Flávia Wenceslau) / Carcará (João do Vale – José Cândido)
  22. Santo Amaro ê, ê (traditional) / Quixabeira (traditional) / Minha Senhora (traditional) / Viola, Meu Bem (Marcio Valverde) / Recôncavo (Chico Porto) / Reconvexo (Caetano Veloso)
  23. O Que É o Que É (Gonzaguinha)