Episodes in Virtuosity: Sergio & Odair Assad

The word virtuoso is defined as, "a musician who is a consummate master of technique and artistry." or "… an individual who possesses outstanding technical ability at singing or playing a musical instrument."

When I decided to that I was going to be a serious (classical) musician, I regarded this word with esteem and respect. I saw the aspiration for virtuosity as a means of achieving self-actualization, and decided to dedicate my life towards this realization. However, like so many things, after six years of conservatory training the shine wore off this word and I fear that I have lost my reverence for the beautiful. After all, art is the habit of the artist. Nevertheless, it is my intent to use this platform to (re)discover, admire, and share music/musicians of the highest caliber, in any and all genres, strictly for the purpose of listening to Music worth listening to.

Sergio & Odair Assad: Suite Brasileira – Cancao

Last night after I finished a rehearsal with my classical guitar quartet, The Atlantic Guitar Quartet, we got to talking a little shop and listening to some records at my place. This performance of Sergio and Odair Assad off their album Alma Brasileira was brought up by one of the guitarists and two memories hit me like a ton of bricks. The first is that this piece is gorgeous and that these two Brazilian brothers perform it with utter command and authenticity, and two, that classical music is meant to be heard loudly.

Do not confuse loud with aggressive. Loud is not aggressive, but loud does demand your attention. Real beauty is often over looked in music  because no one is advocating for it, and because it does not advocate for itself quietly. Turn this one on and turn it. Stop what you're doing, break out your nicest headphones, and enjoy something beautiful. For me, the tastiest moments are at 3:25 when the secondary figure swells briefly into the foreground and throws the rhythmic security of the music into momentary disarray, and the closing harmonics that make the piece just sparkle and hang in the air in the silence that follows the music's conclusion. 

The Assad Brothers are a legendary duo and have made a profound influence on my own musical aspirations. They were even the catalyst for the first installment of this series over a year ago – Assads. If you are interested in this kind of music or simply looking to expand your horizons I guarantee that you will enjoy what these two offer. There complete itunes catalog is found here