Custódio Castelo, Renowned Master of the Portuguese Guitar, Releases First International Album

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February 2011 sees the worldwide release of “The Art of the Portuguese Fado Guitar – Tempus”, the international solo recording debut by the renowned Custódio Castelo.

The Art of the Portuguese Fado Guitar - Tempus

...a remarkable record, eloquent, sophisticated, and yet ineffably rooted in Portugal, a work from a true master

February 2011 sees the worldwide release of “The Art of the Portuguese Fado Guitar – Tempus”, the international solo recording debut by the renowned Custódio Castelo.

Winner of the 2010 Amália Rodrigues Foundation award, ‘Best Instrumentalist’, Custódio Castelo is perhaps best known as the regular guitarist for Cristina Branco, playing on her albums and accompanying her on tour. He has also performed with and featured on recordings by such fado luminaries as Jorge Fernando, Mariza, Ana Moura, Raquel Tavares and Argentina Santos, among others.

In the 1990s he was given the great honour of accompanying the “Queen of Fado”, Amália Rodrigues, during her final concerts in the United States.

With “Tempus” Castelo presents 17 beautiful, original compositions for the Portuguese guitar, all instrumental, with the exception of the song “Prece” featuring the up-and-coming fadista Cristina Maria and based on a poem by the Portuguese poet Pedro Homem de Mello.

The album features an instrumental piece entitled “Homehagem a Paredes”, a tribute to the acknowledged master of the Portuguese guitar, Carlos Paredes, who passed away in 2004: “The moment I knew that the master was ill, I dedicated to him my pain”, says Castelo.

This album was recorded in 2004, at a time when Castelo too feared an untimely end to his career due to health problems. Thinking he may never be able to play again, Castelo entered the studio and recorded these seventeen tracks.

Described as "a remarkable record, eloquent, sophisticated, and yet ineffably rooted in Portugal, a work from a true master" by Allmusic, “Tempus”, then, can be seen as the intended life’s-work of this generation’s most talented exponent of the guitarra portuguesa.

Thankfully Castelo’s health recovered fully and he continues to make music. In December 2010 Castelo was awarded the prestigious Award of the Amália Rodrigues Foundation for ‘Best Instrumentalist’, an accolade he received with great humility as it was the music of Amália Rodrigues which inspired him to first pick up the guitarra portuguesa as a teenager.

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Chris Tomsett
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