Here's one of those yardsale LPs, collections of voice-and-drum choir epic reveries, mentioned at the end of "How To Listen While Waiting for Hurricane Ivan"(my most recent post). The title is FESTIVAL DE SAMBA,GRAVADO AO VIVO,VOLUME 2(CID-14.007). Liner notes by Albino Pinheiro:
"The 'Samba-Enredo' is a musical manifestation of the 'Escolas de Samba' at the great Sunday Easter Parade during the Carnival in Rio.
The early 'Ranchos' at the beginning of the century, predecessors of the modern 'Escola de Samba,'sang in their lyric Carnival a story or plot based on Brazilian motifs and for that reason, we had over and over the presence of so many aristocratic characters who seem to inspire a kind of fascination over the members of the monumental parade. We can't forget that that ten years before the above-mentioned obligation, by influence of the Brazilian writer Coelho Neto, the glorious Rancho Ameno introduced for the first time a Brazilian theme in the Carnival, the National Hymn, in 1924. The Samba-Enredo is the result of the plot chosen by each Escola. The plot (always based on a historical fact or a Brazilian event) is treated musically by the composers. The number of verses also is a result of the plot to be told. The verses are important to the pageant and must faithfully describe the story and this is the reason of the great amount of verses.
This record represents 9 sambas-enredo, from 9 great Escolas de Samba, competitors of the 1969 super-championship. Each of them is composed of 20 to 30 verses, in fact shorter than in the last years. By instinct or not, the composers were right. The excessive versification, harmful to the possibilities of the samba "empolgacao," was a negative factor to the parade harmony. In this record the strength is the "empolgacao."Recorded directly at the "terreiros" where the sambas-enredo are born and developed, we have the exact idea of their greatness through the voices of the "pastoras"(shepherdesses). With the chorus the samba-enredo is completed, because it is to be sung by the whole Escola. It is beyond any kind of samba: it is a hymn." (Sounds like both to me. Or maybe I'm just swayed by those shepherdesses. Baaaaaaah)