Symphonic Bossa Nova

Ettore Stratta and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Symphonic Bossa Nova
Ettore Stratta and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's Symphonic Bossa Nova was recorded in Los Angeles and London and first released in Germany.

Ettore Stratta’s strings and stars redefined a dozen of Brazil’s best songs.

Symphonic Bossa Nova successfully pairs the worlds of classical and pop. Not always the easiest of unions. But, when done right, it can be a match made in musical heaven.

Originally published by Connect Brazil, August 22, 1994

Let me be clear here. Symphonic Bossa Nova isn’t your father’s classical orchestra album.

Ettore Stratta’s keen musical sense hones this group to a razor’s edge. First, on one hand, he’s enlisted London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. On the other, he’s selected a roster of amazing jazz and pop talent to set this album apart from any other.

Consider saxophonist Tom Scott, flutist Hubert Laws, and singer Al Jarreau. There’s percussionist/drummer Mike Shapiro and vibes master Gary Burton.

Secondly, add a handpicked cast of Brazilians. Invite trumpeter Claudio Roditi, guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves, and keyboardist Jorge Calandrelli. Add Dori Caymmi to one of the world’s finest orchestras and you have a potent world-class lineup.

More about Symphonic Bossa Nova

With The Royal Philharmonic, Ettore Stratta’s keen musical sense has created an album of lasting beauty.

Each of the 12 titles is delicately crafted. We love the orchestrations on ‘One Note Samba’, ‘Wave’, ‘How Insensitive’ and Berimbau’. ‘Atras Da Porta’ (Close The Door) has its own soulful appeal.

Perhaps the most stirring is Calandrelli’s medley of ‘Brazil/Bahia‘. His arrangement and orchestration are breathtaking and emotional. This song has become a popular Brazilian Christmas favorite, too.

Above all, you’ll never forget Dori Caymmi’s ‘Like A Lover’ once you’ve heard Al Jarreau’s version on Symphonic Bossa Nova.

Young João Gilberto recorded the first Boosa Nova song in 1958. But, he had no idea that ‘Chega Da Saudade’ would influence generations worldwide. 

But, more than four decades have passed. Bossa Nova, like some rare and beautiful perennial, keeps growing

Ettore Stratta and The Royal Philharmonic are the latest to discover this musical truth.

Conductor Stratta’s credits include recordings with Barbra Streisand, Placido Domingo, and Lena Horne. Moreover, Stratta also has three similar crossover albums. These include Symphonic Tango, Symphonic Boleros, and The Symphonic Andrew Lloyd Weber.

A Unique perspective, mirrored in Bossa Nova

But, why Bossa Nova?  A fair question in a modern world where speed is measured in nanoseconds and our collective memory in megabytes.

The answer is, literally, as close as your ears. Symphonic Bossa Nova is a tonic for what we miss in life. The calming things we pass by or put off. Like stopping to smell, (or here’s a reality check) even notice the roses.

Antonio Carlos Jobim wrote the liner notes for this CD and he paints us a picture from his hillside home in Rio. “Beautiful sunny morning. After the rain and the unusually cold night came this unexpectedly sunny morning. A falcon sunbathes on the top of the garapa tree while I listen to this wonderful recording, hiding behind sunglasses. Deep inside the forest, a toucan calls.”

Now admit it.

Couldn’t you use more of that in your life?  Ultimately, that’s another great truth, isn’t it? Simply put, this recording is musical magic.


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Symphonic Bossa Nova

  1. One Note Samba/The Girl Form Ipanema
  2. Atraz de Porta
  3. Berimbau
  4. Like A Lover
  5. Curumin
  6. If You Went Away
  7. Wave
  8. Magic Moments
  9. The Island/Daquilo Que Eu Sei
  10. Brazil/Bahia
  11. How Insensitive
  12. Manha de Carnaval

Personnel: Ettore Stratta conducting The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Dori Caymmi,  Al Jarreau (guest vocals), Oscar Castro-Neves (acoustic guitar), Hubert Laws (flute, alto flute), Tom Scott (soprano and tenor saxophone), Claudio Roditi (trumpet, flugelhorn), Gary Burton (vibraphone), Jorge Calandrelli  (synthesizers, keyboards, piano, alto flute), Mike Renzi (piano), Dave Carpenter (acoustic and electric guitar, acoustic and electric bass), Carlos Vega (drums), Mike Shapiro (drums), Kenny O’Brien (percussion), Mike Rockwell (computer vocals),

Produced by Ettore Stratta and Jorge Calandrelli. Arranged and orchestrated by Jorge Calandrelli. Recorded November 1993 and January 1994 at Capitol Studios and Westlake Studios, Los Angeles, CA, and April 1994 at CTS Studios, Wembley, London England. Liner notes by Ettore Stratta and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Recorded: Los Angeles, November 1993 and January 1994. London, April 1994.

Total Time: 64:55