Sergio Assad :Suite Brasileira No4
Updated: Apr 17
Suite Brasileira No4
Doberman – Yppan: 23 pages
Reviewed 6th June 2019
This latest work by Brazilian – born Assad is in four movements, all based on different genres that reflect the rural and African inheritance in Brazilian music.
The opening Caterete is a popular style in certain areas of Brazil. It begins with a repeated B played in numerous rhythms often preceded by a hammered A #, before progressing with a higher placed melody in longer notes whilst the repeated rhythmic Bs continue. This proves to be merely the introduction however, for then the real main theme comes into play, still continuing with the hammered – on idea from the opening. Full chords are intermingled here and therefore the piece quickly becomes very challenging to play. A second theme continues in a slightly different vein, but nevertheless in three voices throughout that has many twists and turns and keeps the player well and truly occupied. This extended movement finishes with a slam – bang close.
A Jongo is next, characterized by an extended harmonic section and an instruction for the piece to be played as if on a Kora with stopped sounds throughout. The middle section, a strummed one is quite a handful before the opening harmonics leads to an exciting race for the close.
The Toada that follows is more relaxed, whose main section is marked Nostalgico and features lush harmonies, before a lively section intervenes.
The final Batuque has multiple strums and percussion and closes the suite with an extrovert coda.
Only for the advanced player, this work is a superb example of Assad at his very best.