Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quarteto Vivace Brazil on Itinerarios

San Antonio's venerable Tuesday Musical Club has a history of over 100 years. The Club was founded in 1901 by Anna Hertzberg, providing she and a group of her friends the opportunity to perform and discuss classical music. In October, 1923, Tuesday Musical Club presented the first of an annual series of concerts called Musical Teas. These "teas" are now known as the Artist Series Concerts.

The great thing about Tuesday Musical Club's Artist Series is that the musical spotlight is as likely to focus upon young ensembles as old, and long established artists. Such was the case last October when the fledgling Quarteto Vivace Brazil (at 4 years old the ensemble seems very young considering the 111 years of the Tuesday Musical Club) came to town with a varied program ranging from J.S. Bach to Astor Piazzolla.

The concert by the Quarteto parallels the programming criteria for Itinerarios. The music might be European, even American, but the performances are all rooted to Latin America by the nationality of the ensemble. As their name indicates, this is a Brazilian ensemble, which explains their inclusion of music by Heitor Villa-Lobos and Alfredo da Rocha Viana Filho, better known in Brazil as Pixinguinha.

A few words about Pixinguinha will perhaps underscore his importance in the evolution of Brazilian music. Pixinguinha was a flutist, saxophonist, composer and arranger born in Rio de Janeiro in 1897. He is one of the most important composers of the Brazilian musical form known as choro, shepherding the 19th Century form into the 20th Century by introducing a more contemporary harmony and a jazz-like improvisitory character to this popular music of the streets. Listen for one of Pixinguinha's most popular choros, Carinhoso, on this week's edition of Itinerarios.

In addition to Pixinguinha, other highlights from the Quarteto Vivace Brazil's San Antonio concert will be blended into this week's mix of music with Latin American roots. Itinerarios airs at 7PM every Sunday evening on KPAC-San Antonio (88.3fm). The program is hosted by James Baker.

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