Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Choros #10 in San Francisco

To many, Villa-Lobos' masterwork is the Choros no. 10, written in 1926. This piece has been recorded a few times - most notably with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony on the RCA CD "Alma Brasileira", and the classic performance conducted by the composer from the 6-CD set "Villa-Lobos par lui-meme".

For a recent performance of the Choros no. 10 that MTT performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Steinberg has written one of the most in-depth and searching program notes I've ever read. This "note" includes impressive scholarship and points to all sorts of interesting further research. Better yet, it's fun to read. Here's a sample:

"The music of Chôros No. 10, a tidal wave of energy, engulfs us more and more until, as old Goethe said when young Mendelssohn played him the Beethoven Fifth on the piano, one thinks the house will fall down."

I'm looking forward to reading more of Steinberg's program notes on the excellent website.

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