Ever since meeting for the first time in 2009 at a festival in Bolzano (Italy), Brazilian bandolim player Hamilton de Holanda (b. 1976) and Italian pianist Stefano Bollani (b. 1972) have struck up a fascinating musical partnership which resulted in several concerts at festivals around the world and in the recent live recording O que será. The concert was captured in Antwerp (Belgium) and was released in August 2013 on the ECM record label. Fusing the traditional Barazilian choro and samba styles with modern jazz, Hamilton de Holanda is a virtuoso on the bandolim, a custom made 10-string mandolin.
More than a compelling musical collaboration, O que será also reveals a genuine shared love for the incredible wealth of the modern Brazilian songbook composed by greats like Chico Buarque, Baden Powell, Vinicius de Moraes, Antonio Carlos Jobim or Pixinguinha. Astor Piazzolla’s “Oblivión” is also included.
Already in 2008, Stefano Bollani had recorded Carioca with Brazilian musicians, an entire album dedicated to the songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim.
The idea was to replace the singer with the piano and play with musicians the repertoire of choro and samba […] and I wanted to see what would happen if we played popular music with an instrument which is not popular at all, with a classical instrument like the piano. Interview with Stefano Bollani – All About Jazz
On O que será, this rare combination of a classical music instrument with a mandolin traditionally associated with the genre generates a remarkable sound. On “Caprichos de Espanha”, a Hamilton de Holanda composition, the musical chemistry is obvious and gives way to a rousing interplay between the two musicians playing in unison or bouncing syncopated beats, variations and riffs off each other, much to the delight of a raptured audience.