Escrava Isaura (1976) – Soundtrack

Hi,

(image source: ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫     Só Música    ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ )

And so, once again, I’m reviewing a soundtrack from a soap-opera after doing it so for the international soundtracks of Locomotivas, Espelho mágico, Te contei? and Dancin’ days

This time, I’ve downloaded recently the soundtrack of a hit soap-opera from 1976 called “Escrava Isaura” (seen in Portugal from February to July 1978), adaptated from the novel “A escrava Isaura” by Bernardo Guimarães

General plot: We’re in Brazil, 19th century, where slavery was still a common situation in the country. Isaura (Lucélia Santos on her acting debut) is a white slave who has been taken care by her owner, Dona Ester (Beatriz Lyra) and quite despised by her other owner, the severe Comendador Almeida (Gilberto Marinho). Her dream is to be free without bearing her condition of slave, especially knowing and falling in love with Tobias (Roberto Pirillo) (a character that wasn’t in the novel but especially created for the soap-opera, since in the novel, Isaura didn’t find a love relationship with a man until the second half of the novel, Álvaro (played in the soap-opera by Edwin Luisi)

Things would enter hell as the son of Dona Ester and Comendador Almeida, Leôncio (Rubens de Falco), returns from Europe. Charmed and completely obsessed by the figure and manners of Isaura right from the very first time he sees her, Leôncio starts to persue her intensively. And that was only the begining of Isaura‘s suffering life as she faces more obstacles and unfortunate events throughout the story

More informations on the following sites (in (brazilian) portuguese): http://www.teledramaturgia.com.br/ and http://memoriaglobo.globo.com/Memoriaglobo/0,27723,GYN0-5273-224258,00.html

Now, let’s review the soundtrack:

01 – Elizeth Cardoso – Prisioneira

One of the most respected brazilian singers of her time, Elizeth Cardoso, known to the brazilian audience as “A divina” for her majestic voice and her reverenced repertoire of songs in samba-canção, a sub-genre of “samba”, sung especially for this soap-opera a equally majestically ballad (much like her output) to an arrangement that makes it sound like it belongs to many different eras. Not the best song of the soundtrack, but I like its dramaticity (well, Isaura, at one point, was a prisoner of Leôncio‘s obsession for her) and Elizeth‘s voice in it. NOTE: during Portugal‘s transmission of the soap-opera, the soundtrack was released. However, out of 6 songs originally released in Brazil, this was the only song that was cut out from the portuguese release of the soundtrack

02 – Francis Hime – Amor sem medo

A upcoming singer at the time, he only had two albums released at that time in 1964 (when he started his carrer) and in 1973 (when he returned from USA after marrying fellow singer-songwriter Olivia Hime). In recording contract with Som Livre during the 70’s, he would have some of his biggest hits as a singer and as a songwriter. Before he’d come to the big hits of his carrer, he would write what is one of the most contemporary (the story of the soap-opera takes place in the 19th century) songs of the soundtrack, a mid-tempo MPB (acronym for “Música Popular Brasileira”, translated as brazilian popular music, a style within the bossa nova grounds) ballad about facing love without fear. Not his most remarkable song, but still a relaxing song in terms of music

03 – Dorival Caymmi – Retirantes

One of the influential artists of the “bossa nova” world, Dorival Caymmi had become particulary famous by the mid 70’s for making the opening theme of the 1975 soap-opera adaptation of Jorge Amado‘s novel “Gabriela, Cravo e Canela”. And the song he made for the soundtrack, a lament of the slaves for freedom (and which was chosen to be the opening song of the soap-opera itself), cemented his place on television history. A evergreen: it hits all the buttons – well constructed and unforgettable music hooks and sounds with sublime arrangements, well crafted lyrics that portray the soul of the slaves and a justified vocal performance by Dorival. Certainly a sheer monument in the history of the brazilian television (and overseas, since “Escrava Isaura” has been seen on almost 80 countries throughout the years)NOTE: in the actual transmission of the soap, the song was heard in a instrumental version with the Coral Som Livre doing the vocalizations. However, Dorival‘s original studio version of the song was sometimes heard, for example, during the “preview of the next episode” sequences

04 – Orquestra Som Livre – Nanã

The record company that releases the Rede Globo‘s soap-opera’s soundtracks is Som Livre, created in 1971. With its opening, a specially organized orchestra (Orquestra Som Livre (also credited as Free Sound Orchestra when it came to international soundtracks of Rede Globo‘s soap-operas) and singing group (Coral Som Livre) also had its birth and lasted until the late 70’s. However, let’s focus on the former and the song that was created and played by the orchestra and which one of my favourites of this soundtrack. Full of mystery is what it counts in here with a equally suspensefull orchestration that builds and builds and builds. A pity, however, that it doesn’t last for more than 2 minutes and (almost) 10 seconds

05 – Os Tincoãs – Banzo

Between the 60’s and the 70’s, the trio in question was quite known, eventhough they weren’t as big as other trios or quartets and quintets that were famous back then (like MPB-4 or Quarteto em Cy). The song in question is perhaps the weirdest song of the soundtrack: it seems to fuse both the 19th century and the 20th century music sounds and it has different paces (it all starts like a lightning bolt, but then we come to a smooth part and shuffles back into the frantic pace and then the static pace). Certainly interesting to hear for what it’s worth. Good vocal melodies for the trio, though

06 – Coral e Orquestra Som Livre – Mãe preta

Sometimes, the Coral Som Livre and the Orquestra Som Livre would join hands in a soap-opera soundtrack for some tracks and “Escrava Isaura” wasn’t an exception. The slavery is once again the theme incorporated in this mid-tempo MPB piece which is also known as “Barco negro”. A nice combination of voices and instrumentals that flows quite well with the theme, but it’s not among the best of this soundtrack in my opinion. Still, it’s a nice song

All in all, a equally classic national soundtrack in the realms of Rede Globo‘s soap-opera industry. Considering the year it was made and the fact that this was transmitted at 18:00 (brazilian time), the soundtrack in question is still a timeless soundtrack to be remembered for all time

A final treat – the video of the opening:

Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)

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Posted on 3 de February de 2013, in Music. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I saw the series here on German TV when I was a kid. After 30 years, I still remember the opening song. It is not instrumental, though. It has words, but what language is it, what is their meaning? I always wondered about it when I was little. Maybe now I can finally find out…

  1. Pingback: Os Gigantes (1979) – International Soundtrack | LAboy 456

  2. Pingback: Água Viva (1980) – International Soundtrack | LAboy 456

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