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Apart from his more widely known accomplishments as a founder of bossa nova and the writer of standards such as "The Girl From Ipanema, "Corcovado, and "Desafinado, Antonio Carlos Jobim harbored an ambition to be a symphonic composer. Symphonic Jobim is a unique project, spearheaded by Paulo Jobim and Mario Adnet, that seeks to spotlight Jobim's efforts in chamber music. The compositions are presented with original arrangements by Jobim himself, along with such notables as Claus Ogerman, Nelson Riddle, and Eumir Deodato, and they are performed by members of the Orquestra Sinf''nica do Estado de São Paulo, conducted by Roberto Minczuk.
If a blindfold test were conducted, it is safe to say that even a listener familiar with Jobim's popular songs would have a difficult time connecting him with the music presented on this recording. There is little of the seductive lilt of bossa nova to be found here. However, the music is certainly technically accomplished and often quite beautiful. Special guest Milton Nascimento provides typically smooth and flowing vocals on "Se todos fossem iguais a você and "Matita Perê. Of course, another obvious highlight is the finale, a fully orchestrated version of the immortal "Garota de Ipanema.
Ultimately, however, Symphonic Jobim is probably more for the classical music fan than one looking for jazz. The music within is fairly far removed from the popular songs that provided such refreshing platforms for improvisation. Still, the project is extremely well done and serves the admirable purpose of highlighting the lesser-known efforts of a great artist.
Track Listing: Brasilia, sinfonia da Alvorada: O planalto deserto, O homem, A chegada dos candangos, O trabalho e a construção; Prelúdio; Orfeu da Conceição, Overture, Macumba, Modinha, Se todos fossem iguais a você, A felicidade, Lenda, Imagina, Saudade do Brasil, Matita Perê, Canta, canta mais, Trem para Cordisburgo, Chora coração, O jardim abandonado, Milagre e palhaços, Bangzália, Meu amigo Radamés, Gabriela, Garota de Ipanema
Personnel: Members of the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de São Paulo -- OSESP, conducted by Roberto Minczuk. Special guest Milton Nascimento