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Beethovenfest

Beethoven and more podcast #12: City of the Sun, City of Dreams

Andre Mehmari's "Cidade do Sol" is intended to bridge cultures and offer hope. To that end, the Brazilian visionary cooperates closely with the Sinfonica Heliopolis, based in Sao Paulo's poorest neighborhood.

Composer Andre Mehmari

Brazilian composer Andre Mehmari

A ndre Mehmari (1977-)

Cidade do Sol (world premiere, commissioned by Deutsche Welle)

Sinfonica Heliopolis

Conductor: Roberto Tibirica

MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on October 4, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW)

Deutsche Welle commissioned 33-year-old Andre Mehmari with the work "Cidade do Sol," which premiered on Oct. 4. The composer's intention is to bridge Brazilian and European cultures - by employing Brazilian rhythms on the one hand and echoes of Franz Schubert's Lieder "Heliopolis 1" and "Heliopolis 2" on the other.

"Cidade do Sol" is a colorful composition that plays with opposites - a kind of Brazilian version of Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story," with some spirited samba and bossa nova rhythms thrown in.

The musicians in the Sinfonica Heliopolis all come from Sao Paulo's largest favela, or shanty town. Playing music offers them the chance to escape life in the slums. The title "City of the Sun" thus points to the dream of a better life becoming reality through music.

Author: Marita Berg (als)

Editor: Rick Fulker

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