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Brazilian virtuoso pianist Marcelo Bratke performs a celebration of Latin classical piano music exploring 20th-century musical dialogues between Europe and Brazil. Bach’s iconic Partita No. 1 in B Flat Major is juxtaposed with Bachianas brasileiras No. 4, one of the great masterworks of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, fusing Baroque counterpoint with Brazilian rhythm and spirit. Villa-Lobos stands as one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century, an ‘enfant terrible’ to the establishment who, like Bratke, is renowned for his exuberant and colourful visionary landscapes. To mark the 150th anniversary of Villa-Lobos’ contemporary, seminal Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, the concert also gives a taste of Nazareth’s ‘Brazilian tangos’ and how these provided a direct influence on the piano music of French composer Darius Milhaud.
Marcelo Bratke is one of Brazil’s pre-eminent pianists, performing in major halls all over the world from Carnegie Hall to the Salzburg Festival, from the Konzerthaus in Berlin to Suntory Hall in Tokyo, amongst others. Born almost blind, at 14 he discovered the piano and his talent was quickly recognised. In 2004 his sight was restored by pioneering eye surgery. With his heightened sense of the contrasts in society he saw how engagement with the arts could address injustice and this spurred him to create Camerata Brasil, a musical ensemble formed of young musicians who came from impoverished areas of Brazilian society. Marcelo Bratke is currently also engaged in the “Villa-Lobos Worldwide Project”, an international campaign designed to promote the music of Villa-Lobos. His CD Le Groupe des Six was voted by Gramophone magazine as one of the greatest classical recordings of all time.
Johann Sebastian Bach Partita No. 1 in B flat, BWV. 825
Heitor Villa-Lobos Bachianas brasileiras No. 4
Darius Milhaud Saudades do brasil
Ernesto Nazareth Pássaros em festa | Ameno resedá | Brejeiro | Batuque
‘One of the world’s greatest classical pianists’ The Daily Mail
‘A revelation’ The Independent
Claudio Santoro Love Songs
Heitor Villa-Lobos Bachianas brasileiras No. 5
Carlos Guastavino Milonga de dos hermanos
Carlos Gardel Por una cabeza
Astor Piazzolla Los pájaros perdidos | Oblivion | Balada para un loco
‘Fabulously hot-blooded’ The Times