Plínio Fernandes, Saudade Review
Plínio Fernandes is a São Paulo, Brazil-born guitarist who is now releasing his album Saudade, which features music by Brazilian composers over eighteen selections. The album also features special guest Sheku Kanneh-Mason on cello in Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5: I. Aria (Cantilena),” Braimah Kanneh-Mason on violin on “Menino,” and renowned vocalist Maria Rita in a rendition of “O Mundo É Um Moinho.” For the solo guitar repertoire, Fernandes performs a virtuosic program that includes the famous Five Preludes of Heitor Villa-Lobos to the timeless songs of Antônio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento, Jacob do Bandolim, Violeta Parra, Edu Lobo, Cartola and more. Fernandes explains, “I’ve found a home in London, and I plan to stay,” he says, “but the title Saudade means nostalgia, longing for something, which is literally what I feel here. The way I connect to Brazil and my identity as a Brazilian artist is through music.” In addition, Fernandes is also committed to music education and was recently invited to join the Music Masters charity as an ambassador.
Saudade is Fernandes’ recording debut for Decca Gold, upon which he weaves together his musical loves and tells his enchanting international story in sound. “I chose songs that I grew up listening to,” Fernandes explains, “and in many cases, I fell in love with the guitar through them.” “Bittencourt: Assanhado” (Arr. for Guitar by Sérgio Assad) opens the album with a strong performance and shows Fernandes’ rhythmic drive and ability to keep multiple layers sustained and clearly flowing. Kanneh-Mason’s performance on cello during “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5: I. Aria (Cantilena)” is beautiful, and Fernandes’ accompanying is sensitive to the dynamics and pulse. The Five Preludes of Heitor Villa-Lobos are performed tastefully and will let all in the classical guitar community hear Fernandes’ approach to this well-known collection of compositions. Antônio Carlos Jobim’s composition “Samba do Avião” (Arr. for Guitar by Sérgio Assad) is a highlight of the album and embodies Fernandes’ goal to express through music his Brazilian heritage. Saudade is a welcome addition to the classical guitar canon, and its expansion of tunes past the traditional repertoire is especially welcome. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Plínio Fernandes: Website |
July 8. 2022