Recording an album is a complex task. The technical side, selection of takes, microphones and volumes adjustment, there are a lot of details that can drive one crazy – and sometimes, it really does. The last step is choosing the order of the playlist, but oddly enough, it’s the very first that affects the listener. If he is a traditional person, who opens the booklet and inserts the CD in the device, he will dim the lights, sit in his favorite chair and try to delve in the universe with which he was presented. He will not think of the microphone’s brand or if the studio had wooden floors: he will listen. He will then hear the final act of a long lasting process that started when Cecilia and Fernando found a “renegade” arrangement of Granados’ Valses Poeticos by Sérgio Abreu. Sérgio said he had never been fully satisfied with that work, that there were issues he deemed insoluble, a complete discouragement. He tried to dissuade them, but it didn’t work: they insisted, and at one point he agreed that there could be a minimal chance of success. Then there was a reasonable chance, then a strong conviction, until it became this recording, in my opinion, definitive.
Time will tell – definitive also because of sound engineer Ricardo Marui’s work, an outstanding professional. But this song was just the beginning, the album began taking shape, Fernando de Lima made a pioneering arrangement for Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas 4 – until then, only partially transcribed – and other pieces were slowly added, all with the same degree of care and forming an incredibly homogeneous body. Listening to this CD in the order it was recorded sounds, to me, like a Rossini opera: a triumphal ouverture, followed by drama, and when we think it comes to an end, the drama resumes and it finally ends in an apotheosis.
The Duo Siqueira Lima consists of two perfectionists. One who knows them closely, knows that conversations don’t last long. If there are guitars around, they’ll go from “how are you” and “the weather is good” to “May I pick your guitar please?” in a few seconds. They’ll start playing and will continue to do so for hours, which explains their almost supernatural rapport. Nothing is ever good. I’m sure that Cecilia and Fernando will spend their entire lives thinking about changes they could have made every time they listen to this album. We, in turn, when listening to it, will thank them for having left it just the way it is.
Better than this, however much they disagree, is impossible.
Ricardo Dias – Luthier and Writer English Translation: Daniel Escudeiro
Cecilia Siqueira (Uruguai) and Fernando de Lima (Brazil) met during the 2º Concurso Internacional de Violão Pró-Música, held by the Brazilian cultural organization SESC in Caxias do Sul (2001). Fernando and Cecilia tied first place. But the competition also marked another milestone in their lives: the beginning of their partnership, and later on the Duo Siqueira Lima. Acclaimed by public and critics, the duo dilutes the frontiers between popular and classical music through impeccable virtuosic powers, capable of captivating the audience immediately.
For their premiere on GuitarCoop, the duo presents an eclectic repertoire combining popular and classical music, focusing on the theme of nationalism, a musical movement from the middle of the XIX century, which advocated the incorporation of regional elements that were common to each country’s music. It flourished amid political movements for independence and defied the European musical supremacy. Its aesthetical principles are based on the appropriation of popular manifestations and symbolic elements of folklore, using rhythm patterns and melodies from imagination and popular culture.
Composed by Enrique Granados Campiña (1867-1916), one of the representatives from the Spanish nationalistic movement, the duo presents Valsas Poéticas, originally composed for piano during Granados’ youth. Dedicated to the Spanish composer and pianist Joaquin Malats, this version is a two-guitar transcription by Sérgio Abreu.
According to Villa-Lobos, Henrique Oswald (1852-1931) is our “most admirable composer” from the beginning of the XX century, but was nearly forgotten after the “Semana de Arte Moderna” (“Week of Modern Art”), due to his strong European stylistic tendencies. Il Neige was originally composed in 1902 for piano and is featured here in a two-guitar transcription by Fernando de Lima. Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) is our most idiomatic composer, creator of a musical language that is particularly Brazilian. His influence on both classical and popular music continues to the present day and his works for guitar are among the most important in the history of the instrument. The duo presents Lenda do Caboclo (1920), originally composed for piano, in an arrangement for two guitars by João Luiz, which preserves its integrity, but with a new flavor. The new transcription of the Bachianas Brasileiras nº 4 for two guitars, by Fernando de Lima, makes its debut on this album. Originally composed for piano (1930-1941) and orchestrated in 1942.
Brazilian composer, arranger and instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal (1936), presents a strong Brazilian music language merged with jazz. Bebê, recorded in his first Brazilian LP “Música Livre de Hermeto Pascoal” (1976), is presented by the duo in an arrangement by Sérgio Assad.
The Quatro Estações Portenhas, by Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), also known as “Quatro Estações de Buenos Aires”, is composed of four tangos and even though they are independent pieces Piazzolla used to perform them in an ensemble as a kind of popular suite. As it is a highly pictorial work, it gives us the impression of experiencing the four seasons in the Argentinean capital.
The duo presents two of such tangos, which date from 1970: Inverno Portenho, in an arrangement for two guitars by Sérgio Assad, and Primavera Portenha, transcribed for two guitars by Fernando de Lima. In such a plural theme as nacionalism, the Duo Siqueira Lima presents a masterful demonstration of expressivity. Beyond technique, this requires an explosion that is perhaps only found in love. The love between the guitars of Fernando and Cecilia surpasses the accord and transforms itself into chord. It is a dialog of souls and cultures, united by the universal language of music. And it seeks a significant other with which to perpetuate itself: the listener.
Paulo Martelli / Bruno Malavolta English Translation: Paulo Martelli
Enrique GRANADOS (1867 – 1916) 01. Valses Poéticos (Arr. Sérgio Abreu) 14’17 Vivace Molto (Introducción) Melódico Tempo de Vals Noble Tempo de Vals Lento Allegro Humorístico Allegretto (Elegante) Quasi ad libitum (Sentimental) Vivo Presto Tempo de vals
Henrique OSwALD (1852 – 1931) 02. Il Neige (Arr. Fernando de Lima) 3’28
Heitor VILLA – LOBOS (1887 – 1959) 03. A Lenda do Caboclo (Arr. João Luiz) 3’34
Astor Piazzolla (1921 – 1992) 04. Primavera Porteña (Arr. Fernando de Lima) 5’16 05. Invierno Porteño (Arr. Sérgio Assad) 6’02
Idealization: GuitarCoop Recorded at: Auditório Unibes Cultural Date: 2015 Sound Engineering: Ricardo Marui Recording Assistant: Henrique Caldas Edition and Mixing: Sérgio Abreu, Cecilia Siqueira, Fernando de Lima e Ricardo Marui Musical Production: Sérgio Abreu Graphic Design, Photos and Videos: Eduardo Sardinha Web Design: Eduardo Sardinha e Patrícia Millan – Sardinha17 Texts: Paulo Martelli, Ricardo Dias, Camilo Carrara Executive Production: Lilah Kuhn Guitar: Sérgio Abreu (Cecilia Siqueira: 2013, Fernando de Lima: 2014) Strings: Duo Siqueira Lima plays Augustine Strings (regals blue) Microphones: Royer SF-24, DPA 2006 Recording System: Pro Tools HD2 Preamplifier: Millenia HV-3D Monitoration: B&W 804 Speakers Amplifier: Anthem MCA 20 Recording and Editing Software: Pro Tools 8 HD Cables: Audioquest King Cobra Acknowledgements: We would like to express our deep thanks and dedicate this record to Sérgio Abreu for all his devotion and involvement as a producer of this project at all stages. Impossible to describe its essential and lovely participation in this CD and in our musical development. We also thank the indispensable collaboration of Ricardo Marui, Marcelo Kayath, Paulo Martelli, Fabio Zanon, Ricardo Dias and Shirley Higa.