Tune of the Black Swan

Violinist Claudio Cruz and pianist Marcelo Bratke have not too long ago launched their new album with São Paulo (Brazil)-based document label Azul Music: Tune of the Black Swan.

“Tune of the Black Swan” celebrates the assembly of two famend artists on the worldwide classical music scene, on the top of their extraordinary careers. Their paths crossed after they took half in a manufacturing of a TV sequence about composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, performing this composer’s “Tune of the Black Swan”. They instantly observed a uncommon musical affinity between them, and their duo was born.

Concerning the musicians:

Claudio Cruz started his violin research along with his father – luthier João Cruz. He continued to review violin, in addition to music principle and conducting. He has been principal conductor of the Orchestra of the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro and the Symphonic Orchestra of Ribeirão Preto and Campinas. He’s a Latin Grammy award winner, a 2012 Grammy nominee, and has obtained quite a few different rewards. He was the concertmaster of the São Paulo State Symphonic Orchestra (OSESP) for 24 years. He’s presently the primary violin within the Carlos Gomes Quartet, and conductor and musical director of the São Paulo State Youth Orchestra. He performs internationally as a violin soloist and visitor conductor, together with in Brazil, Europe, Asia, and america.

Marcelo Bratke was fourteen when he started his piano research, debuting with the São Paulo Symphonic Orchestra on the age of sixteen. He later studied on the Julliard College of Music in New York, returning to Brazil to finish his research. He has develop into one of the vital outstanding pianists in Brazil, and has been honoured with awards such because the First Prize on the Concorso Internazionale di Musica Tradate in Italy, the Carlos Gomes Prize, the Traditional Discoveries Award in England, and the Brazil in Germany 2006 Award. In 2017, he obtained the Order of Cultural Benefit by the Ministry of Tradition and the Federal Authorities in Brazil. He’s a radio and tv program presenter captivated with selling classical music, together with having produced a sequence of documentaries about Villa-Lobos.

Learn on for the interview!


How was your musical duo fashioned?

  • Marcelo: I had performed with Claudio as a soloist earlier than and the end result was marvellous, so I at all times wished to carry out with him in a piano/violin duo. The chance got here later after I was directing and presenting a sequence of 8 documentaries about Villa-Lobos for TV. I invited Claudio to take part – giving interviews and performing Villa-Lobos with me in one of many episodes. I keep in mind he was travelling and arrived on set to carry out Villa-Lobos’ “Tune of the Black Swan”, however we didn’t have the possibility to rehearse. We went on stage and, with none rehearsal, started to play the piece. This very first take was the one chosen for the TV sequence! With out ever having performed collectively earlier than in our lives, like magic, it was as if we had been performing collectively for our complete lives.

  • Claudio: I’ve identified Marcelo’s work for a few years; I’ve at all times had nice admiration for his work, which was why I invited him to play as a soloist just a few years in the past. After we had performed Villa-Lobos’ “Black Swan”, I turned very a lot concerned about enjoying and recording with Marcelo.

What do you assume are a very powerful components when forming a musical partnership?

  • Claudio: Definitely, an awesome private and musical empathy akin to between Marcelo and I, together with nice and mutual respect.

  • Marcelo: Musical high quality. In the event you admire your associate as a musician, the remaining will occur by itself.

You’ve got each developed profitable musical careers as people; what are a number of the highlights to date in your careers?

  • Claudio: I’ve a well-established profession as a violinist since my teenagers. From the age of 30, I additionally began a great profession as a conductor. One of many highlights has been the awards and nominations from the Grammy and Latino Awards, in addition to numerous excursions carried out within the US, Europe, and Asia all through my profession. With nice private satisfaction, I embody the work carried out as a soloist with the São Paulo State Youth Orchestra since 2012.

  • Marcelo: As a pianist, I used to be very fortunate to carry out at a number of the world’s most coveted levels: Carnegie Corridor in New York, Wigmore Corridor in London, Suntory Corridor in Tokyo, and the Salzburg Competition, amongst others. I created a mission to advertise Villa-Lobos internationally that features contains the recording of the composer’s full solo piano works, live shows in America, Europe and Asia, a weekly radio program broadcasted by Cultura FM and a sequence of 8 documentaries about Villa-Lobos for TV. Twelve years in the past, I based Camerata Brasil – a social mission that professionalises younger musicians coming from underprivileged areas of Brazilian society; this mission has toured 12 international locations. As a TV presenter, I conceived, directed, and introduced the sequence “Música no meu Jardim” about Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin for the channel Arte 1, vignettes with classical music for Band TV, and a brand new mission entitled “Minuto Musical” for TV Cultura. The Federal Authorities of Brazil awarded me the Order of Cultural Benefit as a Commander. I obtained 6 awards in Brazil and overseas in recognition of my profession which started on the age of sixteen as a soloist with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) performed by Eleazar de Carvalho.

How did the “Tune of the Black Swan” album mission come about?

  • Claudio: Within the final decade, I’ve devoted myself to plenty of recordings. For example, this 12 months alone, I had 5 albums submitted to the Latin Grammys. For a while, I had the lengthy need to document an album with just a few choose items – lovely works, a few of my favourites. In that sense, I used to be fascinated with which pianist ought to I document with; Marcelo was, indisputably, a wonderful possibility.

  • Marcelo: Through the pandemic interval, Claudio approached me with the concept of placing collectively an album with essentially the most lovely music ever written for violin and piano. Items by numerous composers from totally different cultures and totally different durations. So, we designed a musical “promenade” collectively, revisiting these crème de la crème works of the violin/piano duo repertoire.

Composer Heitor Villa-Lobos

How did you choose the works recorded for this mission?

  • Claudio: These are items I’ve performed for a few years. The mission contains Brazilian music, which I like for its significance, magnificence, and specificity. I additionally did a tribute to my father, who was an vital violin maker and novice musician.

  • Marcelo: These are items that Claudio has performed for a very long time, however we had by no means experimented on them collectively. The thought was that every piece would converse for itself with none want of rationalization about why they had been positioned in that order on the album. It appears easy, however the secret was to ascertain a musical dialogue between the items to have the ability to create a “narrative” logic.

What was this album creation expertise like – planning, rehearsing, recording?

  • Claudio: We rehearsed rather a lot for a few months! However we ended up recording all the things in just a few days at Estúdio Arsis, which is a superb studio.

  • Marcelo: Like I stated, it was a really attention-grabbing creative expertise wherein, after the curatorial facet of the album had been outlined, the rehearsals occurred easily. We rehearsed rather a lot – greater than I ever did in a duo, however we did that for the pleasure of plunging into the music! It was at all times as if it had been the primary time we performed collectively – which means: no want to speak, simply play, simply let the music information us. I felt (and I suppose Claudio could had the identical feeling) extra like a software or channel – transporting a pure musical expertise to the listener.

Is there a specific observe that you simply loved recording essentially the most?

  • Claudio: The entire repertoire could be very particular to me, however, for apparent causes, my dad’s composition makes me actually emotional.

  • Marcelo: From a efficiency viewpoint, not likely; as I discussed, we sequenced the items with the logic of an even bigger musical line. However, after all, as particular person items, there are some that I miss enjoying with Claudio, items that stayed in my affective reminiscence, akin to: Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Eurydice”, Villa-Lobos’ “Tune of the Black Swan”, Tchaikovsky’s “Andante Cantabile”, or “Memórias de um Luthier” written by Claudio’s father, who was an awesome luthier!

What do you hope listeners will achieve from listening to this album?

What are your plans for the way forward for your duo?

  • Claudio: Marcelo is in London now. However as quickly as he returns to Brazil, we’ll play some recitals. I might additionally wish to current our work as a duo in different international locations….

  • Marcelo: To have the ability to carry out this album dwell with the intention to expertise the alternate of vitality with the general public.

What would you say to somebody who is just not acquainted with classical music however want to get began?

  • Claudio: Classical music is unforgettable! As soon as it connects to the feelings of every interpreter and listener, it turns into transformative. It at all times calls for a deep reflection on our lives within the strategy of existence.

  • Marcelo: Simply take pleasure in. Nothing else!

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Monitor-by-track breakdown

Claudio: This music offers me a sense of hope.

Marcelo: Musically, it’s when Brazilian music crosses its borders to open a dialogue with the French like Saint Saëns. However the DNA of the piece takes the Brazilian soul underneath my pores and skin.

Claudio: I keep in mind my childhood, starting of my music research; my father had some recordings of this piece with legendary violinists.

Marcelo: For me, it suggests an ideal Viennese encore!

Claudio: Milstein made a wonderful adaptation of this piece (initially for solo pinao) for violin and piano.

Marcelo: One of the vital touching melodies created by Liszt. Romanticism in its ingredient.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Claudio: I performed the unique model for string quartet just a few occasions and in addition recorded the model for cello and strings, it is a very particular piece, like a prayer.

Marcelo: Considered one of my favourites! It interprets the deepest facet of Tchaikovsky.

Claudio: That is additionally one of many items I beloved to listen to in my teenage years, I significantly appreciated the recording by violinist Ruggiero Ricci.

Marcelo: After I watch Claudio enjoying the violin throughout this piece, I see the gypsy soul that exists within him!

Claudio: Mignone’s “Valsas de Esquina” reminds us of the melancholy that permeates the atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro. They’re initially for solo piano; on this adaptation made by the composer himself, I spotlight the very excessive register of some passages for the violin.

Marcelo: That is the “deep Brazil” translated into the violin and piano custom.

Manuel de Falla

Claudio: On this piece we search to develop a really Spanish interpretation.

Marcelo: Spicy!

Claudio: I performed this piece in one of many first recitals I carried out in my adolescence, at Teatro Municipal de São Paulo! I at all times have many recollections of enjoying it….

Marcelo: That is when music can cease the passage of time.

Claudio: I made a decision to carry out a comparatively traditional interpretation of this piece. It’s performed many occasions with an extra of freedoms…

Marcelo: We determined to convey this piece, which has been a lot too distorted when it comes to its musical language, again to its unique type and integrity.

Christoph Willibald Gluck

Claudio: The primary time I heard this piece was in a recording by the legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz. It touched me deeply; I nonetheless really feel emotional enjoying it in the present day.

Marcelo: I realized to play this piece in its piano model with the nice Brazilian pianist Guiomar Novaes and tried to move this expertise to the violin and piano language.

Claudio: I performed and performed these Slavic dances a number of occasions within the orchestral model. On this association for violin and piano, we imprint the precise traditions of orchestral performances.

Marcelo: A tough piece to translate from its orchestral model. This was the problem we plunged into to attempt to render this piece in the way in which it deserves.

Claudio: Villa-Lobos was a very good composer, and, above all, an awesome melodist! We show this on this improvisation.

Marcelo: That is Villa-Lobos exploring the language of improvisation. And, as Gershwin stated: “Life is like jazz. It’s higher in case you improvise!”

Frédéric Chopin

Claudio: On this nocturne, I really feel an awesome introspection; within the interpretation I attempted to diversify the sound and the dynamics.

Marcelo: I attempted to convey to the piano half a little bit of Rubinstein’s straight musical language which, in my view, makes Chopin a translation of reality. This additionally helps the violin to fly freely in its idiom.

Claudio: On this Cantabile we are able to see the professionalism of Paganini when composing for violin.

Marcelo: A high-quality instance of how the piano ought to behave to offer the violin freedom of expression.

Claudio: Fritz Kreisler was a wonderful violinist and an attention-grabbing composer; his compositions remind us of Austrian traditions.

Marcelo: The problem right here is to get the subjective flavour of the Austrian watlz – exposing its true and unique format and motion.

Claudio: I grew up listening to my father play this music; he tried all his new violins enjoying this piece. Later, he requested me to play it…. it brings me good recollections.

Marcelo: This quite mysterious piece jogged my memory the ability of music – bringing me to the world of an individual who devoted his complete life to music and the violin. And all with just some, however very expressive, notes!

The album is accessible on all main streaming platforms.

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