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Album Review

In his second album, Elias Belmiro devotes himself to a restoration of the choro tradition. Nine classics of the genre, like "Magoado" (Dilermando Reis), "Abismo de Rosas" (Américo Jacomino), and the classical/popular hybrids "Mazurca-choro" and "Choros No. 1," by Heitor Villa-Lobos, are infused with a character truly faithful to the romantic tradition of the choro, a term that is also used to designate music played by amateur and professional musicians in the open; this is a warmly nostalgic celebration of that doleful music. The character of this music is realized in Belmiro's openly Brazilian Belle Époque guitar style, in which the canons of romantic playing are intertwined with the aggressive rhythms so dear to the popular choro musicians; this is in opposition to classical guitarists who have made these simple, immortal jewels misunderstood tours de force. On the other hand, this commendable effort of reading the classics turns itself against the composer, who had six originals included in this work. As he himself hints through the songs' titles, Belmiro wrote each one of them inspired by a particular composer and/or composition. As a result, passages of works by João Pernambuco, Ernesto Nazareth, Villa-Lobos, and others emerge throughout the pieces that remain dedicated to their memory. While it is enjoyable in itself, Belmiro's compositional work is weighed down by his rigid adherence to the past. With this proviso, Influências is still a recommended item for choro lovers.


Born: Vitória, Brazil

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Elias Belmiro, virtuoso violonista (acoustic guitarist), has been dedicating his career to the choro tradition and to the violão works by Heitor Villa-Lobos. His first solo album, released in 1996 and dedicated to Villa-Lobos, had two of its tracks included in a compilation launched by Time-Life magazine that also had works by Julian Bream and John Williams. Born to a family of musicians, his father was a trombonist of the Military Police Band of Vitória, Espírito Santo, Belmiro's home city. Also...
Full Bio
Influências, Elias Belmiro
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