"I want to make music for everyone. It must be enjoyed by all. Otherwise it is pointless."
This was Bert Kaempfert's first album for Polydor released under his own name. Polydor reissues state that it was recorded in 1958; the Taragon reissue lists the recording date as February 3, 1959. Initially released in 1959 by Polydor as Portugal - Fado, Wine and Sunshine, it was retitled April In Portugal for the Decca (USA) release and certain Polydor reissues.
Polydor 44097 (mono) 237506 (stereo)
Decca Lp DL8881/DL78881 (titled April In Portugal)
Polydor 46412/237612 (1963 reissue as April In Portugal)
Decca Lp Notes
This album comprises a collection of some of the most popular and delightful music of and about Portugal... authentically interprested in the lush orchestral style of Bert Kaempfert and his orchestra.
To the encyclopedist, Portugal is a republic in the south-west part of the Iberian Peninsula — the world's largest producer of cork; according to the travel bureaus, it's a tourist mecca; to the Portuguese themselves; it's home sweet home.
Songwriters, on the other hand, like to expound on the traffic-stopping appeal of The Petticoats Of Portugal. They find special appeal in Les Lavandieres Du Portugal The Washerwomen Of Portugal), and the elegant Fadistas (men-about-town). In essence, this sparkling collection magnificently captures the flavor of April In Portugal.
Bert Kaempfert, the well-known European composer-conductor-arranger, was born in Hamburg, Germany. An outstanding instrumentalist, he plays with equal skill the clarinet, saxophone, piano, and accordion (his favorite). Early in his career, Mr. Kaempfert joined the then-popular Hans Busch band. He then worked in the capacity of conductor and accordion soloist for the Danzig and Northwest Germany broadcasting stations. Recently, he has contributed the arrangements and accompaniment for several of world-famous Freddy's latest spectacular hits.
And now, if you'll close your eyes and listen... It's April in Portugal.
The Bert Kaempfert Collection (Vol. 15)
The recordings on the present compact disc, set down in 1958 in the Hamburg Musikhalle by the balance engineer Karl Hinze and typical of the popular music of the day, were originally released under the title PORTUGAL-FADO, WINE AND SUNSHINE (catalogue no. 237 506 SLPHM), but in a different coupling and even with two different covers: it was Bert Kaempfert's very first LP.
With the exceptions of The Portuguese Washerwomen (from the French film of the same name) and the evergreen April In Portugal, all the compositions are relatively unknown in this country being chiefly Portuguese in origin.
To quote the commentary on the original LP cover: "The greater part of [the pieces] is based on fados, the typical Portuguese songs which are accompanied by guitars. The fados can be heard in the authentic atmosphere of the little cafés that are mainly frequented by Portuguese.
Here, amid smoke and wine, the fados are sung by entertainers and customers alike. These haunts are found mainly in the Bairro Alto and Alfama, picturesque quarters of Lisbon, which are eagerly watching over their old tradition. Characteristic for the fados are their rich and conceivable melodies which make them highly listenable to everybody.
Bert Kaempfert's musicians are recruited from the North German Radio (NDR) Orchestra and members of the Viktor Reschke Orchestra, at that time the NDR television orchestra. The concertmaster is Herbert Rehbein, a very old friend of Kaempfert's and co-author of numerous compositions. Ladi Geisler is also not to be missed - not yet with his memorable "cracking" bass guitar but playing a normal electric guitar tuned especially low (in place of an electric bass guitar which was seldom heard in those days). Bert Helsing not only plays the solo guitar but also a bandurrilha - an instrument upon which two strings are plucked simultaneously to produce a tone, similar to the mandoline (April in Portugal); further soloists include Rudi Bohn (piano) and Karl Elsner (flute). The delightfully yearning and lyrical sound of Johnny Muller on the harmonica is particularly enjoyable in the compositions Tudo isto é fado and Nem ás paredes confesso.
Translation: Angela Schumacher