Jan 28, 2015

"Chovendo na Roseira" - Jobim and Debussy

Listening the other day to Debussy's "Reverie," I noticed a definite similarity to Jobim's "Chovendo na Roseira" ("Raining on the Rosebush").

I did a little internet searching - apparently everyone knew all about this except me. "Chovendo" gets its first theme from "Reverie," and its second theme from another Debussy composition, "Le plus que lente, valse."

These are all incredibly beautiful pieces, of course. Here's "Chovendo na Roseira" from Jobim's "Terra Brasilis" album, arranged by Claus Ogerman. On this album it is retitled "Double Rainbow."




Here is Debussy's "Reverie":




Here's Debussy's "Le plus que lente, valse." The Jobim-like theme occurs at about 2:45:




This little revelation reminds me of the time I was helping a student work on "Moonlight in Vermont." I was trying to get him to phrase the melody (on sax) as though he were singing the lyrics:
Pennies in a stream
Falling leaves, a sycamore
Moonlight in Vermont
He tried it, then stopped playing and said, "Hey - that's a haiku!"

It is, of course. It's common knowledge, and has been since the tune was written. Everybody knew it except me.

BTW, one of the sources I ran across quoted Jobim as saying that "One-note Samba" is based on Chopin's "Prelude in Db Major." The only resemblance that I can hear is the constant repeated Ab note (a dominant pedal, but in a middle register). So, maybe. But I'll also stick with my observation that the "A" section of "One-note" is, harmonically, "I Got Rhythm" with some tritone subs and the chord durations doubled.

Here's the Chopin prelude:



And lastly, one more great recording of "Chovendo na Roseira" by Jobim and Elis Regina, from the "Elis and Tom" album:



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