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Maria Bethania


Brazilian Music
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music + poetry

Produced by Maria Bethania and directed by Jaime Alem, Brasileirinho begins by joining together a song by Gerônimo and Ildásio Tavares, both from Bahia, Salve as Folhas, with poetic interventions by Ferreira Gullar, from Maranhão, reciting O Descobrimento (The Discovery) by Mario Andrade, from São Paulo, and with the music of the group Uakti, from Minas Gerais. Yayá Massemba, by Roberto Mendes and Capinam, both from Bahia, traces the roots of the samba, “born in the dark whom of the basement” of a black slave ship from Africa to Brazil, and its inheritance and development. This inheritance is pictured in Capitão do Mato (by Vicente Barreto, from Pernambuco, and César Pinheiro, from Rio, in Cabocla Jurema and Ponto de Janaína with participation by Miúcha.

Denise Stoklos, from Paraná, interprets O Poeta Come Amendoim, also by Mario Andrade, opening the way for Santo Antônio, by Jota Velloso, honoring with musical synchrony the Italian saint is famous in Brazil as the wedding saint (“Love that is lost is born again in another nest.”) The choro group, Tira Poeira, that unites Rio, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul in its group, accompanies Padroeiro do Brasil: “Let´s sing happily with pleasure because St. George is the patron saint of Brazil,” in the verses of the song by Monteiro and Ivany de Oliveira, honoring April 23rd, but also Ogum and Oxossi (African gods): “Those who are devoted just pray / that the warriors always answer giving their protection.”

São João Xangô Menino is a composition by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil made for the group Doces Bárbaros (that joined Bethânia and Gal, as well as the song´s authors), in the 70´s. With Afro-Roman-Brazilian syncretism, Xangô, the African fire deity, connects with the parties for Saint John because of the association between the Catholic saint and the campfires typically set in June. Bethânia cites, Saint John of the Lamb, from Luiz Gonzaga, leading up to the African ritual that honors Xangô and John.

From the back country of Pernambuco of Luiz Gonzaga, comes Boiadeiro by Armando Cavalcanti and Klecius Caldas. Cigarro de Palha, from the Minas Gerais of Guimarães Rosa is recited by Bethânia: “Happiness is found in carefree moments.” Also from the author of Diadorim, is the text: “Any love is a little bit of health, a rest in craziness”, is a prelude to the duet by
Bethania and Nana Caymmi in Sussuarana.

Like a “Sebastião” indian, the warrior of O Senhor da Floresta disappears into the River Chuí “full of arrows shot from afar” by another Tupi (Indian), to reappear in Tupã. Among the ancestral inhabitants of Brazilian lands and according to the national flag are “the risks that these dark people run” in face of the “horror of empty progress,” as in the poetic cadence of Purificar o Subaê, samba by Caetano Veloso, prayer for the ecological diversity and religion of the “Recôncavo“ of Bahia (the large, fertile coastal area of the State of Bahia). Pátria Minha, by Vinicius de Moraes, and also the lyricism of all Brazilians, resonates in Villa Lobos in Melodia Sentimental do Brasileirinho, by Bethânia. --Biscoito Fino

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