Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras; Mômoprecóce; Guitar Concerto

Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras; Mômoprecóce; Guitar Concerto

by Enrique Bátiz
     
 

EMI's three-disc set of Heitor Villa-Lobos' nine "Bachianas Brasileiras" is a mixed bag of inconsistent performances. The "First" and "Fifth," each scored for large cello ensembles, are the most disappointing, especially considering Villa-Lobos himself was a cellist. The cellists of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra constantly struggle with intonation difficulties; the…  See more details below

Overview

EMI's three-disc set of Heitor Villa-Lobos' nine "Bachianas Brasileiras" is a mixed bag of inconsistent performances. The "First" and "Fifth," each scored for large cello ensembles, are the most disappointing, especially considering Villa-Lobos himself was a cellist. The cellists of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra constantly struggle with intonation difficulties; the primary culprits are the higher voices that are usually not in tune with each other nor the rest of the ensemble. Even the magnificent performance given by soprano Barbara Hendricks is not sufficient to make this recording of the "Fifth" a desirable choice. The "Second," "Fourth," and "Eighth" are scored for full orchestra. Here, the RPO pulls off significantly stronger performances but are still generally unmoving, lacking in rhythmic panache so central to Villa-Lobos' music. The sound quality of the orchestra is quite muddy, further robbing the music of any true rhythmic impetus. The most successful performances of the set are those that rely less on the orchestra -- the "Fourth" and "Six." The soloists do a far better job capturing the listener's interest. Still, two out of nine successful performances is not a great track record and certainly does not qualify this recording as a "must-have" compilation of these works.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/02/2007
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
5099950084326
catalogNumber:
843

Tracks

  1. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1, for 8 cellos, A. 246  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  2. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2, for orchestra, A. 247  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  3. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 3, for piano & orchestra, A. 388  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  - Jorge Federico Osorio  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  4. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4, for piano & orchestra, A. 424  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  5. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, for voice & 8 cellos, A. 389  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  -  Eldon Fox  - Barbara Hendricks  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  6. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6, for flute & bassoon, A. 392  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  - Susan Bell  - Lisa Hansen
  7. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 7, for orchestra, A. 247  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  8. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 8, for orchestra, A. 444  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  9. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9, for chorus (or string orchestra), A. 449  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  10. Momoprecoce, fantasy for piano & orchestra, A. 240  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  - Vladimir Ashkenazy  -  New Philharmonia Orchestra  - Cristina Ortiz
  11. Guitar Concerto, A. 501  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  - Jesús López-Cobos  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Angel Romero

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