A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare


Complete Cartas Celestes • 4

Nos. 13 and 16–18

  • Aleyson Scopel, piano

José Antônio Rezende de Almeida Prado referred to his vast set of 18 Cartas Celestes as an “incredible journey”, and the final three were completed just months before his death. Following the luminous Brazilian night skies of No. 13, the poetic references of the final trilogy refer to constellations named after animals, Grecian and Egyptian mythology, and one last homage to a pivotal figure in Brazilian literature. The is the final volume of Aleyson Scopel’s world première recording of the 15 Cartas Celestes for solo piano.

This recording was made on a modern instrument: Hamburg Steinway & Sons Concert Grand Model D


Cartas Celestes No. 13 (2001) * (00:22:09)
Cartas Celestes No. 16, "Magical Animals" (2010) * (00:14:47)
Cartas Celestes No. 17, "Celestial Egypt and Greece" (2010) * (00:11:14)
Cartas Celestes No. 18, "The Sky of Macunaíma" (2010) * (00:13:43)
World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:01:53

The Artist(s)

Aleyson Scopel Brazilian pianist Aleyson Scopel has performed worldwide in solo, chamber and concerto settings. A recipient of the Nelson Freire and Magda Tagliaferro awards, he has also won numerous prizes in international competitions such as the William Kapell, Villa-Lobos, Corpus Christi, Kingsville and Southern Highland International Piano Competitions. His performance of the first set of Cartas Celestes by Almeida Prado was thus received by the composer: ’It came straight from heaven! Meteor Showers, radiant constellations, glowing nebulae and a transcendental vitality marked the genial interpretation of this colossal pianist.’ Prado would later dedicate to Scopel the 15th set of the series. Aleyson Scopel graduated with distinction in performance and academic honours from the New England Conservatory of Music, in Boston.

The Composer(s)

One of the most prolific composers to emerge from Brazil, José Antônio Rezende de Almeida Prado began as a cultivator of nationalism, studying with Camargo Guarnieri, but as a pupil of Boulanger and Messiaen in Paris was compelled to look for other means of self-expression, attaining a level of aesthetic freedom which encompassed atonalism, post-serialism, extended and free tonalism. Among his most important achievements, referred to by him as an “incredible adventure”, are his 18 Cartas Celestes (Celestial Charts), a set of works depicting the sky and constellations, in which he adopted a new harmonic language called “transtonality”. Of the 18 Cartas Celestes, 15 are written for solo piano, while the remaining three are scored two pianos and symphonic band (No. 7), for violin and orchestra (No. 8) and for piano, marimba and vibraphone (No. 11).


“Aleyson Scopel reads these works with care and poeticism.” – Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

“Pianist Scopel understands this very well, and indeed it takes a performer of imagination to play this music with convincing authority.” – The Art Music Lounge