Aug 05 2003

Maria Bethânia: Cânticos, Preces, Súplicas à Senhora dos Jardins do Céu



Cânticos, Preces, SúplicasOriginally recorded in 2000 as a limited release for a fundraising effort to the Nossa Senhora da Purificação church, Cânticos, Preces, Súplicas à Senhora dos Jardins do Céu is both typically Maria Bethânia and different from anything she has ever done commercially. It is typical because Bethânia’s performances carry the usual charisma and strength of all of her previous works. On the other hand, what makes this album so different from anything else in her career is that it is a thematic release in which all songs have the one common thread of praising Nossa Senhora. As with any other Bethânia release, Cânticos… is full of fervor and sung from the heart. Bethânia even states in the rich and elaborate liner notes that some songs are sung with errors in the words and notes. That was Bethânia being truthful to herself and singing what her childhood memories remembered.

Even though the religious aura in this album relies on some well known pieces, such as Bach’s “Magnificat” and Gounod’s “Ave Maria,” there is still room for original material. Caetano Veloso, for example, wrote his own “Ave Maria” using the traditional Latin words to that prayer. Nair Cândia’s additional vocals and Reginaldo Vargas and Zero’s cadenced percussion give that track a haunting maracatu touch. Another original composition is the poem “O Doce Mistério de Maria,” from Bethânia’s long-time friend Fauzi Arap, who has worked with her since the beginning of her career. Gilberto Gil also wrote the music for “Mãe de Deus das Candeias” and performed it with Bethânia. Right before closing this very short release with Bach’s “Magnificat” in a resounding arrangement, Bethânia invited her mother, Dona Canô, to read the “Ladainha de Nossa Senhora.”

Cânticos… is contemplative and yet contains unforgettable renditions, such as when Bethânia sings Vicente Paiva and Jayme Redondo’s “Ave Maria” with João Carlos Coutinho on piano. Bethânia’s prayer-like, low voice and serene rendition are very touching.



Maria Bethânia
Cânticos, Preces, Súplicas à Senhora dos Jardins do Céu
Biscoito Fino BF 520 (2003)
Time: 22’26”


  1. Oferta de Flores (DP)
  2. Ave Maria (Caetano Veloso – DP) – w/ Nair Cândia
  3. O Doce Mistério de Maria (Fauzi Arap)
  4. O Doce Mistério da Vida (Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life) (Victor Herbert – Alberto Ribeiro) [incidental music: Gounod’s Ave Maria]
  5. Sancta Maria (Novena de Nossa Senhora da Purificação) (Domingos de Farias Machado)
  6. Ave Maria (Vicente Paiva – Jayme Redondo) [incidental music: Schubert’s Ave Maria]
  7. Feitio de Oração (Wally Salomão)
  8. Totta Pulchra (Novena de Nossa Senhora da Purificação) (Domingos de Farias Machado)
  9. Mãe de Deus das Candeias (Gilberto Gil – DP) – w/ Gilberto Gil
  10. Ladainha de Santo Amaro (Mabel Velloso)
  11. Hino de Nossa Senhora da Purificação (Domingos de Farias Machado) / Salve Rainha (DP)
  12. És Lírio (Novena de Nossa Senhora da Purificação) (Domingos de Farias Machado)
  13. Ladainha de Nossa Senhora (DP) – voice: Canô Velloso
  14. Magnificat (Johann Sebastian Bach)