Music by Paulo Amorim

Complete Guitar Works by Paulo Amorim

The choice of name for this record reflects the author's compositional path throughout his career: a relatively well-known musician in his home country of Portugal with a "bag of compositions" never played by other but which, little by little, have been capturing the interest of fellow musicians and critics alike. These "Complete Works for Solo Guitar" date from 1997 to 2010.
This musical journey starts with a trilogy of small pieces named "Insignificancies". The "Solatina" was renamed after being taken away from its original place, a Sonatina written in the early days (1999). "Like a Lullaby" was a commission for the 2006 Lisbon Music Academy exams, as well as "Evo-Canción" (2007), which takes a rhythmical motive dance from northern Brazil (Baião).
This trilogy is interrupted by a set of "Four Impressions", written in 1997 but with a "facelift" in 2010 (new version, the 1st was recorded in Paulo Amorim's debut CD). These strongly idiomatic pieces reveal different sensations, from the initial "Impression of being serene", to the final "storm" of "Impression of being possessed"", going through a funny boogie ("Impression of being in America") or a pizzicato and arpeggio invention ("Impression of being confused").
The " Tríptico Venezuelano" was written between 2006 and 2008 and is dedicated to his friend and great German guitarist Augustin Wiedemann. The 1st movement is based on a popular song called "Venezuela" and Paulo Amorim builds a kind of romantic arrangement, entirely made to leave the melody untouched in its simplicity.
The 2nd movement ("Sojiana") is a tribute to Vicente Emilio Sojo, one of Venezuela's leading 20th century composers. It takes a "work song" used by Sojo in his "Five Pieces from Venezuela" as a reference, preceded by a long introduction. In Paulo's opinion, this is one of the places where the marvelous 1921 Hermann Hauser (I) guitar that is used in this recording sings at its best.
The trilogy ends with "Fantasia del Arpa LLanera", an evocation of the sounds of the traditional Venezuelan harp, as featured by António Lauro in his "Seis Por Derecho", but using more complex harmonies and campanella effects, as well as the rhythmical games of 3/4 and 6/8 or "quatro" rasgueados. It bears the subtitle "El Ratoncito" ("The little mouse"), which is a tribute to Paulo's "energetic" little son... The central piece is in 2 movements Incógnito (Inside/Outside-2010). It opens with an improvised mood, using short cadenzas and alternating climax/anti-climax moments, always on a constant surprise.
The 2nd part, after opening with a 4 note cell that crosses the whole piece in various combinations, reaches its climax on a rich counter punctual game closed by a virtuoso cascade end.
In the year 2002, the "3 Suggestive Preludes", the technically most demanding set of this record, saw their premiere in Luxemburg, on a recital held for the Diplomatic Corps, but for his CD, Paulo Amorim came up with a new and substantially improved 2010 version.
The 1st subtitled "Almost a Dance" swings along with the help of ostinato percussive effects, always with an intentional rhythmical sense. The 2nd, "Almost an Improvisation", uses a different tuning to create a special atmosphere, and after a short introduction again using ostinato material (bass) then proceeds to visiting "impressionistic landscapes".
The final Prelude, a kind of abstract Fantasy ("Almost what?") features a Toccata with a D bass, packed with ornaments and multiple surprises, that somehow reflects the humoristic and provocative personality of the author.
The last piece, the 2009 composition called "Theme Variation and Epilogue on Olhos Negros" (subtitled the "Azorean Variations") is based on a popular song from the 1940s. Paulo Amorim treats the Theme in an unusual kind of "Habanera" and the Variations take us on a journey that bounce from a humorous cabaret feeling to a Bartok-like atmosphere (or Lopes-Graça, Paulo's Portuguese reference), with some rhythmical traps, through other beautiful moments of "tremolo" or profound choral blocs. It all ends in a kind of Gigue, changing a major mood to a minor, with a final explosion of energy.

  1. Solatina

Four Impressions

  1. Impression of being serene
  2. Impression of being confused
  3. Impression of being America
  4. Impression of being possessed

Tríptico Venezuelano

  1. Venezuela
  2. Sojiana (Hommage to V. E. Sojo)
  3. Fantasia del Arpa LLanera


  1. Inside
  2. Outside

Three Suggestive Preludes

  1. Almost a Dance
  2. Almost an Improvisation
  3. Almost what?
  4. Evo–Canción
  5. Like a Lullaby

Theme Variation and Epilogue on "Olhos Negros"

  1. Olhos Negros
  2. Variação I
  3. Variação II
  4. Variação III
  5. Variação IV
  6. Variação V
  7. Epilogo

All compositions by Paulo Amorim | Published by Ava Musical Edition, Portugal


Performing artist: Paulo Amorim
Guitar: Hermann Hauser I (1921)
Produced by Klaus Wolfgang Wildner
Recorded and Mixed by Jose Fortes at the Portuguese Music Museum, Estoril/Portugal in January and July 2010.
Mastered by Christoph Stickel, MSM-Studios, Munich
Wildner Records 2011

Listen to Samples