Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Atterberg Symphonies

Kurt Atterberg was born in the same year (1887) as Villa-Lobos (he died 15 years after VL, in 1974.) The two composers share a knack for orchestration, and they could both write a beautiful tune. One other thing they share: the German record company cpo has recorded complete cycles of the Symphonies of each composer.

The nine symphonies of Atterberg are now available in a box set at an amazingly low price. Though he wrote lovely chamber music, and some very beautiful concertos, the symphonies represent the most important music of this composer. You can't say that about VL's symphonies, as interesting as some of them (#2, #6, #10) might be.

I'm hoping that cpo does a similar bundling job for the Carl St. Clair Stuttgart recordings of the Villa-Lobos symphonies. The broader exposure to this largely unknown music will help us unravel where they fit in Villa's musical output.

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