As days are growing shorter and colder, at least in this part of the world (Canada), one really needs to seek any remnants of light left. So lets get a piece of sun where there is plenty: Australia and Brazil!

My sunny, uplifting pieces of music today are three:

From Brazil, Paulo Bellinati’s (1950-) Jongo (1978) is the TOP 86 most recorded piece for guitar. This good-humoured piece has melodies constantly shifting from lower to upper registers, a section in harmonics and a surprising improvised hand percussion episode performed on different parts of the guitars’ bodies. [Benjamin Beirs (guitar); Maud Laforest (guitar) Self-production 885767585140 http://www.duotransatlantique.com]

From Brazil again, Radamés Gnattali’s (1906-1988) Sonata for cello and guitar (1969), presents a good mix of fun and content across its three movements. The instruments are really equal partners here as each one shares the spotlight and gives its best shot at Gnattali’s infectious melodies. [Marc Regnier (guitar); Natalia Khoma (cello) Dorian Sono Luminus DSL-92116]

Finally, from Australia, Ross Edwards’ (1943-) Arafura Dances: Concerto for Guitar and String Orchestra (1994-95) is based on two of the composer’s maninyas, Australian Dance/ chants, that are, in the composer’s words “woven into a fabric of insect rhythms and drones”. Warning: This music will grow on you. It is attractive, seductive, and downright irresistible! [Karin Schaupp (guitar) Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Richard Mills, ABC Classics 476-227-0 or 481 0961]

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