Portuguese singer Mariza celebrates the 20th anniversary of her career and the centenary of the late Queen of Fado, Amália Rodrigues, with Mariza Sings Amália, her first full album of classics. Though Mariza has sung pieces from Amália’s repertoire since the start of her career, this is the first complete album pairing the work of the late, great voice of 20th-century popular song and the singer who helped bring fado into the 21st century. "This is the best way I can find to pay my tribute to Amália," says Mariza, "and to thank her for the legacy and inspiration she gave us."
Portuguese singer Mariza celebrates the twentieth anniversary of her career and the centenary of the late Queen of Fado, Amália Rodrigues, with Mariza Sings Amália, her first full album of classics, released in the US on CD and digitally from Nonesuch Records on January 29, 2021, with vinyl out May 7.
Mariza and Rodrigues have a lot in common, beyond their origin. With her residencies at legendary venues such as the Paris Olympia and Carnegie Hall, Mariza swept global audiences off their feet in the early part of this century, like Rodrigues had done in the 1950s and 1960s. Through her critically acclaimed recordings and unexpected collaborations, Mariza expanded what fado could be, just like Rodrigues had done in the 1960s and 1970s. Mariza became the most celebrated ambassador of Portugal’s music in the twenty-first century as Rodrigues had been in the twentieth century.
Since her early days, Mariza has always sung pieces from Rodrigues’ repertoire, on stage or in the studio; it is almost a rite of passage for any fado singer. But never before had Mariza taken the step of recording an entire album of Amália Rodrigues’ classics. “This is the best way I can find to pay my tribute to Amália, and to thank her for the legacy and inspiration she gave us,” says Mariza.
For this new album, Mariza invited an old friend: Brazilian musician and producer Jaques Morelenbaum, a regular collaborator of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Caetano Veloso. Morelenbaum produced Mariza’s triple-platinum 2005 album Transparente; here, he creates a series of orchestral arrangements, simultaneously classic and innovative, that allow Mariza to delve into these ten well-known songs. The album was recorded between Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro.
Mariza, whom Uncut calls “the greatest contemporary singer of fado,” has sold more than a million copies of her recordings worldwide and has more than thirty Platinum awards. Her albums have been released all over the world; each of the albums has reached #1 in Portugal and has made top-ten lists in many other countries.
Mariza has worked with producers such as Morelenbaum and Madredeus keyboardist Carlos Maria Trindade. She has performed live or recorded with colleagues like Sting, Kiri Te Kanawa, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Miguel Poveda. Mariza has won the BBC Radio 3 Award for Best European World Music Artist three times and has been twice nominated for a Latin Grammy Award. In addition to performances at nearly all major international concert venues—including London’s Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall; New York’s Carnegie Hall; L.A.’s Walt Disney Concert Hall; Paris’ Salle Pleyel, Olympia, and Théâtre de la Ville; Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana; Vienna’s Opera House; Sydney’s Opera House—Mariza has also performed at pop-oriented festivals such as WOMAD and the North Sea Jazz Festival. Nonesuch released her album Mundo in 2016.
Recorded at Studios Nas Nuvens and Visom in Rio de Janeiro, December 2019—February 2020
Produced by Jaques Morelenbaum
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Marcelo Sabóia
Assistant Sound Engineers: Daniel Alcolforado (Nas Nuvens) and Ricardo Dias (Visom)
Roadie: Márcio Amaro
Regimentation of the Orchestra: Iura Ranevsky
Additional recordings at Atlântico Blue Studios and Bela-flor Recording Studios in Lisbon
Recording Engineers: Artur David
Recording Assistant: Daniel Silva
Mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Alex Wharton
Photography: Miguel Ângelo
Graphic Design: Susana Teodoro
Lyric Translation: Ivan Moody
Executive Producers: Ruela Music, João Pedro Ruela
This album is available from Nonesuch in the United States only.
Cristóvão Bastos, piano, accordion
Lula Galvão, guitar
Jorge Helder, contrabass
Rafael Barata, drums
Bernardo Couto, Portuguese guitar
Luís Guerreiro, Portuguese guitar
Marcelo Costa, percussion
Andrea Ernest Dias, piccolo, bass flute
Carlos Malta, piccolo, alto flute
PC Castilho, alto flute
Fábio Luba, alto flute
Eduardo Neves, alto flute
Jaques Morelenbaum, cello solo, arrangement, conducting
Violins: Michel Bessler (spalla), José Alves, Glauco Fernandes, Leo Ortiz, Pedro Mibielli, Rogério Rosa, Fernando Matta, Angelo Dell Orto, Thiago Teixeira, Suray Soren, Pedro Amaral, Carol Panesi
Violas: Diego Silva, Daniel Albuquerque, Ricardo Taboada, Bernardo Fantini
Cellos: Iura Ranevsky, Cláudia Gomes Grosso, Hudson Lima, Joáo Bustamante