Sunday, October 21, 2001

The new version of the Gramophone website looks great, and there's lots of information there. A recent Webwatch talks about Latin American music sites on the web, and includes a reference to the Heitor Villa-Lobos site.

Gramophile, the magazine's review archive, has always been a very useful resource. The new interface is now much easier to use.

Modern Strings is a chamber ensemble with an adventurous repertoire, and a website with lots of interest for those who read German. Even if you don't, though, the above link will take you to a page full of RealAudio and MP3 files from the group's CD and live concerts. There are some very interesting pieces to listen to: besides standard string pieces like the Barber Adagio, there are pieces by relatively unknown composers such as Rodolfo Halffter and the Turkish composers Ulvi Cemal Erkin, Ismail Dede Efendi and Zeki Mehmet Aga.

Of course, I was also interested in the prelude and fugue from Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras number 9, recorded in the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn in 1992, available in both RealAudio and MP3 format. As well, I enjoyed the pieces from the group's 1995 EMI CD of music by Astor Piazzolla. Put it all together for a quite delightful web concert.

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