A Loving Tribute and Celebration
To celebrate Vinícius de Moraes centennial birthday on October 19, 2013, I spent a month listening to many recordings in his vast career. I heard gems such as his album with Portuguese Fado legendary singer Amália Rodrigues, Bossa Nova perennial albums with Odette Lara, Maria Creuza and Toquinho and countless tribute releases by Cláudia Telles, Quarteto em Cy, Eugénia Mello e Castro, O Mestre Leo Peracchi e a Jazz Sinfônica, Trilha Filme Vinícius, the outstanding Lumiar Songbook series (3 volumes) among several others. There were also album with Vinícius and Dorival Caymmi, Baden Powell, Maria Bethânia herself, Marília Medalha, Ornella Vanoni, Tom Jobim, Miúcha — and the list goes on and on.
It is no surprise that Brazilians affectionately refer to Vinícius de Moraes as the Poetinha (Little Poet). Vinícius brought poetry into the homes of Brazilians and made it as common as coffee and cream (café com leite). Who can forget Vinícius reading his “Sonnet of Fidelity” in the song “Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar”? Timeless!
With nearly 300 songs penned by Vinícius de Moraes (Rio de Janeiro, October 19, 1913 – July 9, 1980), the task of choosing songs for a tribute album is daunting to say the least, especially when a very large number of those songs are well known in Brazil. To celebrate her 40th career anniversary and years of friendship with Vinícius de Moraes, Maria Bethânia delved with all her heart into his work. Que Falta Você Me Faz is a timeless collection traveling along with several of Vinícius’ musical partners, including all the significant names in his life: Carlos Lyra, Tom Jobim, Toquinho, Baden Powell as well as less frequent collaborators such as Chico Buarque, Garoto, Jards Macalé and Adoniran Barbosa.
Que Falta Você Me Faz unites Maria Bethânia’s passion for poetry and music. Known for her ardent live performances interspersing music and poem readings, Maria Bethânia pulls all stops in this lavish production with a full orchestra and plenty of guests, ranging from Daniel Jobim (piano), Antonio Adolfo (piano), Marcel Powell (acoustic guitar), Philippe Baden Powell (piano), Victor Biglione (semi-acoustic guitar) and an array of other incredible musicians. With string arrangements by Jorge Calandrelli — magnificent string presence — and base arrangements by Bethânia’s long-time maestro Jaime Alem (also on guitar), this CD also includes special performances in music and poetry by Vinícius de Moraes himself. Except for the closing number in the album, the Portuguese version of “Nature Boy,” all other songs are, of course, by Vinícius de Moraes.
Maria Bethânia’s voice feels quite at ease in this repertoire. Every word she sings seems to carry the weight of a lifetime. No other Brazilian singer has that power. No matter how you experience her performances — on CD, DVD or live — one thing never fails: she sings to you. You can hear when her voice carries a gentle smile even if you cannot see her. When you see her live, it is a memorable event never to be forgotten. Here she is performing “Tarde em Itapoã.” Watch her relaxed approach to this song, pay attention to her hands, feel the lyrics. Can you feel the ocean breeze?
There is also a podcast with music by Vinícius de Moraes, A Centennial Celebration.
Quanta Falta Você Me Faz
Biscoito Fino BF 571 (2005)
- Modinha (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Morais)
- Poética I (Vinícius de Moraes) / O Astronauta (Baden Powell – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Minha Namorada (Carlos Lyra – Vinícius de Moraes)
- A Felicidade (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Tarde em Itapoã (Toquinho – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Lamento no Morro (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes) / Monólogo de Orfeu (Vinícius de Moraes)
- Mulher, Sempre Mulher (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Gente Humilde (Chico Buarque – Garoto – Vinícius de Moraes)
- O Mais Que Perfeito (Jards Macalé – Vinícius de Morais)
- O Que Tinha de Ser (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Bom Dia, Tristeza (Adoniran Barbosa – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Samba da Bênção (Baden Powell – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Você e Eu (Carlos Lyra – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Eu Não Existo Sem Você (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Encantado (Nature Boy) (Eden Ahbez – Portuguese lyrics by Caetano Veloso)