<< -- 2 -- Lawrence Budmen EXCITING PERFORMANCE
Cruz and the Symphony of the Americas players were equally impressive in the waltz Imagina -- a work of the 18 year old Jobim (in an arrangement by Mario Adnet). This score is cut from the same musical cloth as Ravel's Valses Nobles et Sentimentales -- a rhapsodic, elegantly crafted tribute to three-quarter time. Cruz drew sparkling performances from the wind and string players. The sultry sounds of Saudade de Brasil ('Longing for Brazil') in a 1975 arrangement by the legendary Claus Ogerman were captured in a subtle, evocative performance. A suite from the film score for A Casa Assassinada brought Amazon rhythms, bright high flying rifts for the woodwinds, and insistent percussion and choral exclamations. Cruz and his forces offered an exciting performance.
Music from Jobim's multiple adaptations of the Orpheus legend was played with sizzling dynamism under Cruz's fervent direction. Maucha Adnet was the gorgeous voiced vocalist in A Felicidade ('Happiness') from the film score for Marcel Camus's classic Black Orpheus (in the legendary Nelson Riddle's 1964 arrangement). From the incidental music for the play Orfeu da Conceição Cruz offered a dramatic, richly streamed Overture and the romantic ballad Se Todos Fossem Iguas a Voce ('If Everybody Were like You') sung by famed Brazilian balladeer Dori Caymmi -- one of Jobim's original arrangers and a true song stylist. The sensuous Meu Amigo Radames (dedicated to Brazilian conductor Radames Gnatalli) featured enchanting choral harmonies. As an encore a swinging 1970 arrangement by Eumir Deodato of The Girl from Ipanema brought the audience to its feet. Cruz's rhythmic drive and the orchestra's razor sharp playing gave new life to this Jobim standard. Paulo Jobim and Mario Adnet were the brilliant guitar soloists throughout the program.
Claudio Cruz of the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra leads the Symphony of the Americas in the North American première of 'Jobim Sinfônico' at the Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale on 11 March 2005. Photo © Mindy Duncan
Jobim Sinfônico is a wonderful blending of cultures and musical genres. This brilliant program should have great success on symphonic pops concert series. This superb concert was a stylish, exciting tribute to a unique musical genius!