The new album by Trio Cardoso

With the National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay conducted by Maestro Juan Carlos Dos Santos.

Even before talking about the CD, we are curious to know: why does an Italian Trio bear the name of Jorge Cardoso, an Argentine composer, even a living one?

(Guido). Alessandro and I had already been playing as a duo for several years when, during an annual specialization course held by the great Jose Luis Rodrigo, we found ourselves with Massimiliano, our colleague and fellow citizen with a single, unforgivable flaw, that of being a few years younger than us. year (Massimiliano laughs, Alessandro nods with a sad expression…); the desire to play something in a trio, for fun, was immediate and common. I remember that the first pieces we read were Nine South American Pieces by an author we didn’t know at the time, an Argentinian named Jorge Cardoso. When we realized that the songs were very beautiful and that Jorge was… alive and well, it was too late, we had already done the first concerts as Trio Cardoso!

Let’s go back to Mbarakapù, what does the word mean and how did the work come about?

(Massimiliano). Mbarakapù simply means Guitar Sound in the Guarani language, a language still widely spoken today by the natives of Paraguay. A couple of years after the formation of the trio, we met Jorge Cardoso in person, who spent a few minutes studying us with great attention and, probably, with a little distrust. Now we can clearly understand the reason: he was deciding whether the three guys he was talking to were teasing him with that dedication to their trio which was anomalous to say the least!
(Alessandro intervenes). Fortunately, that first meeting was followed by others, in different parts of the world; we like to think that, after hearing us play, all mistrust vanished, to the point that in 2000 Jorge wanted to give us the best gift, writing and dedicating a concert for three guitars and orchestra, Mbarakapù, to our guitar trio.

How is the concert structured?

(Guido). The concert is divided into a series of dances typical of South American folklore, now with an overwhelming and pressing rhythm, as in the case of the Polca and the Rasguido Doble, now slow and singable, as in the case of the Guarania, a song in ternary form in which two melodies of incomparable beauty. The reference to the music of Paraguay is present in all the dances, but it is felt in particular in the Polca, the national dance of Paraguay, and in the Guarania which is inspired, even in its name, directly by the music of the Guaranì Indians.

We know that 2015 is an important date for the Trio: do you want to be the ones to explain to us why?

(Alexander). We are celebrating an important birthday: in fact, we held our first concert in August 1995. The Trio, therefore, turned 20 in 2015!

Congratulations from the entire editorial team, then! Speaking of important meetings, how was it playing with David Russell in the audience at one of your concerts?

(Massimiliano). It was truly a strong emotion! I can’t forget that that infamous Friday we met David Russell and his beautiful wife, Maria. We knew that David was supposed to play the following Sunday, while we had the concert that same evening, so we invited them, but with great modesty, almost half-heartedly, certain that they would decline the invitation to rest from the journey they had just made; instead, to our enormous surprise (and equally great concern! adds Alessandro), they didn’t hesitate in the slightest to accept! (Guido intervenes). We remember every single moment very well, with David and Maria listening attentively and commenting briefly between one song and another; but the emotion that surpasses all was reading the comment that he wanted to send us a few days later, almost apologizing for the fact that he needed time to carefully weigh all the words… (Massimiliano intervenes again). Guido, have we already told the readers that, above all, David is among the performers that the Trio adores? (Alessandro concludes). One of the few things we completely agree on!

A significant chapter of your activity is the collaboration with Carlo Crivelli, one of the greatest film music composers of our time…

(Massimiliano). Maestro Carlo Crivelli is a great composer and a great friend. We were lucky enough to record some of his original soundtracks for the cinema (La Balia by Marco Bellocchio, La spectatrice by Paolo Franchi, Ginostra by Manuel Pradal, A journey called love by Michele Placido, Malefemmene by F. Conversi etc.) , but even in this case the best gift was the piece he wrote and dedicated to the Cardoso Trio, Improvviso n. 5!

Let’s go back to “Mbarakapù”, how did the meeting with the National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay and its Director, Maestro Juan Carlos Dos Santos, come about?

(Alessandro). Even the meeting with Maestro Juan Carlos Dos Santos – and with the OSN of Paraguay – was incredible! We wanted to celebrate the trio’s twentieth anniversary with an out-of-the-ordinary project, perhaps recording a CD with the orchestra. In a daring and absolutely random way, our project fell into the hands of M° Dos Santos, the permanent director of the OSN, who remembered having listened to us in 2003, in a concert in the Sala Barrios of Asunción. He later told us that he had long retained the memory of that Italian guitar trio that played both European and Paraguayan music with such passion, and that when our project ended up on his desk, the decision to invite us to Paraguay to holding a concert with his splendid orchestra and subsequently making a recording of it was immediate! (Massimiliano intervenes). We went to Asuncion at the end of April, and it was an exciting human and work experience, for the welcome given to us, for the impeccable organization, for the musical level of the professors of the National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay and above all for the extraordinary conducting skills of Maestro Dos Santos.

Why don’t we also tell our readers about the small-big misadventure linked to this latest experience?

(Guido). In fact it is a misadventure that only guitarists can fully understand, therefore your magazine is the ideal place to tell it. We were dozing in the waiting room of São Paulo airport when we were abruptly awakened by the announcement that passengers headed to Asunción had to urgently go to the boarding gate. As I hastily grabbed the guitar, my right hand hit the metal back of the seat on which it was resting and the nail of my index finger literally jumped off, breaking right down to the root.
An accident like this had never happened to me and, as we quickly headed towards the boarding gate, emotions such as panic, anger and sincere concern alternated inside me because I really didn’t know how we were going to fulfill all the commitments that awaited us. (performances on various televisions, CD recording, rehearsals and concert with the Orchestra) without the index finger nail of his right hand. Massimiliano and Alessandro, although they tried to reassure me, were evidently at least as worried as me. As soon as we arrived in Asunción we explained our problem to Mrs. Carmen, Diego and Fredy and asked them to take us immediately to a shop where it was possible to buy a ping-pong ball and very resistant glue. We still remember the perplexed faces of Mrs. Carmen and the driver who evidently did not understand how a ping-pong ball and glue could solve the nail problem. Once we arrived at the hotel we immediately made a false nail by cutting the ball and gluing it onto the index finger and I must say that we were immediately satisfied with the result: the sound was beautiful and the nail adapted perfectly to the finger. During rehearsals and public performances I was, of course, constantly worried that the false nail would pop off but fortunately it didn’t happen and it allowed me to play for more than a week until the public concert held on April 29th in Asunción. After the second concert, as if the nail had understood that its task was finished, it detached itself and fell on the stage of the Guaranì Theater without allowing us to thank the audience with a further performance. Now I keep the fake nail in my guitar case because it serves to remind me that for any problem, human creativity is always able to find a solution.

What are the Trio’s future plans?

(Alessandro). “Places of the invisible, Lino Guanciale, Marco, Toni, Paolo, Teatro dei Colori, Kosmos” – we have many projects and, fortunately, an even greater number of friends. With the set designer Marco De Foglio we founded the experimental research laboratory I places dell’invisibile in 2004, and we certainly intend to continue with him and with our friend, as well as great percussionist Antonio Vitagliani, the experience of multisensory concerts and dramas Sacred. With Gabriele Ciaccia, founder of the Teatro dei Colori and educational director of the Academy of Dramatic Arts of L’Aquila, and his daughter Valentina (theatre director), an important
and stimulating collaboration which has recently led the Trio to participate, together with the well-known actor Lino Guanciale, in a very entertaining production with a great impact on the public; we also intend to continue and strengthen the very successful collaboration with the orchestra I Flauti di Toscanini and its director, M° Paolo Totti, who in the recent past has produced a CD, many concerts and a lot of joy! (Guido intervenes). Finally there is a project that is very close to our hearts, Kosmos, which perhaps it is still too early to talk about…

You can’t leave us like this! Can you tell us something more?

(Massimiliano). We would like to continue the splendid collaboration with Maestro Dos Santos and the OSN of Paraguay, and a big project is needed. We are, in fact, working on the drafting of another Triple Concerto for Guitars and Orchestra, Kosmos – The Concerto of the Earth, but who knows if Maestro Dos Santos will still want to have anything to do with the Cardoso Trio.


By: GUITART – OTT / DIC 2015
Collana editoriale – Libri Guitart

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