'Latin Reverie' - Cléa Galhano & Rene Izquierdo
A generosity of spirit is what brought recorder player Clea Galhano and guitarist Rene Izquierdo together. "Actually, when I was in the New England Conservatory, my theory teacher told me once that if you meet the right people in life to play with, you can never leave it," explains Cléa, a recorder player who first met Rene while they were playing in the Baroque Orchestra in Milwaukee.
Because they're both from Latin American countries, Cléa and Rene were asked to play an encore. "And it's so interesting because our age is so different, and Rene grew up in Cuba and I grew up in Brazil and ended up in the Midwest, and it's just something you cannot explain. So there is a chemistry there," Cléa says. "And since then, we've played in Europe together and here and Carnegie Hall in December 2013. And it was one of the most beautiful concerts — the audience would scream … it's just a celebration of life. I can't explain. So I said, 'Well, we need to record.' So that's why we recorded."
Their 2016 release is titled Latin Reverie which, according to Clea, reflects a dreamy state of rhythms. Along the way, she even learned a few new ones. "We wanted to include some Cuban music," Clea explains. "You think about Latin rhythm you know, but it was so different. So I went to Milwaukee to rehearse with Rene and he put me in front of the computer and he said 'Cléa, listen to this.' And he brought all these videos of Cuban dancers in the streets, you know. He said, 'Listen to this rhythm.' I said, 'Don't give up on me — I can learn those rhythms.' And we did it, we did it. And all these nuances, it's so exciting."
That Cuban piece, titled "Hasta Alicia Baila," was composed by Eduardo Martín. "Alicia was a prima ballerina of Cuba," Cléa explains. "And then Martín, the composer, he composed this piece saying even she can dance this, it has this kind of humor behind it."
This recording also gave Cléa the chance to reconnect with a few longtime friends, including Brazilian guitarist and composer Celso Machado, who composed a piece titled, "Sambossa." "I called him, he lives in Canada," Cléa recalls. "It sounds like popular music but has a lot of difficult and complex parts for guitar and recorder. But the result is more popular like Samba and Bossa Nova."
"Ave Maria" is an incredibly beautiful piece written by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla shortly before he died. "It is so moving," Cléa says, "because Piazzolla, always you imagine the tangos, the rhythms. And that has this stillness that is so unbelievable.
"And the last one is Brenno Blauth," Cléa says of the album's running order. "He's also Brazilian … he lived in the southern part of Brazil where there are a lot of Germans. I think his family is from Germany. And I love that piece — it has some kind architecture on it. Actually in our CD release concert, I received an email from a musician and dancer who was there. And he said, "Throughout the piece, I developed a whole choreography that I'm going to dance'."
Choro, Samba, Bossa, tango, so many rhythms to dream about, and experience for yourself on, Latin Reverie with Cléa Galhano and Rene Izquierdo.
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