Custodio Castelo: The Art of Portuguese Fado Guitar (Arc Music)

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Custodio Castelo: Amsterdam
Custodio Castelo: The Art of Portuguese Fado Guitar (Arc Music)

For the past few years it has seemed impossible to go to some well-travelled person's home without them extolling the many virtues of Portugal -- and of course fado, that aching folk style sung in bars and clubs late at night.

And of course artists such as the striking Mariza have become world music stars (although I can't seem to persuade many of the virtues of the modernist take on the style by Katia Guerreiro).

This album of original pieces by a fine guitarist (here also on the lute-like 12-string, and with a small ensemble) will satisfy the fado folk (although it isn't all in that style) but will also have great appeal for those whose tastes err towards the stately but passionate sound of tango.

Inspired by Amsterdam, the songs and styles of Cape Verde, bells in Stuttgart and of course the music of Portugal, this is world music of great breadth played with often breathtaking speed and fluidity.

There is also considerable emotional depth here (the tribute to Carlos Paredes) as much as introspective pieces (Maria Lunia) and uplifting dance. And the delightful Martim based on the sound of a music box.

Like the sound of this? Then try this.

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Patrick - Aug 16, 2011

Beautiful, heartfelt, heart-stirring music from a virtuoso.

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