Saturday, July 12, 2008

Nonetto CD released

I've been complaining for a long time about the lack of an easy-to-buy CD of the great chamber work from 1924, the Nonetto, subtitled "Impressao rapida de todo o Brasil". There's a interesting recent Brazilian CD "Villa-Lobos em Paris", conducted by Gil Jardem, but I haven't been able to get a copy here in the Red Deer bat-cave.

So I was excited to see that the famous Roger Wagner Chorale disc from the 1950s has finally been re-released on CD:

Villa-Lobos: Nonetto, for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Harp, Celesta, Battery, and Mixed Chorus; Quatuor, for Flute, Harp, Celesta, Alto Saxophone, and Women's Voices by The Roger Wagner Chorale and the Concert Arts Players, Roger Wagner, Villa-Lobos

Here's the blurb from the Amazon site:
"Precocious and full of wonderment, the Nonetto and Quatuor, written by Villa-Lobos in 1924 and 1921 respectively, are surely two of the unsung minor masterpieces of the early 20th Century. In its fusion of pagan rhythms and chanting with the brittle harmonies of the avant garde, Nonetto brings to mind Stravinsky's Les Noces and Prokofiev's Scythian Suite. Yet the piece is also characterised by a freewheeling playfulness more suggestive of jazz and folk music than the concert hall.This edition restores to print two historic performances of the Nonetto and Quatuor from 1941 and 1957 combining them with a set of exquisite Villa-Lobos guitar works performed by the great masters Andrés Segovia, Julian Bream and Laurindo Almeida."
This is great, but it under-states the importance of the Nonetto. I'd characterize the Nonetto as an unsung major masterpiece of the early 20th Century. The jury is still out on the Quatuor, but this disc will provide some welcome exposure.

So pre-order this disc - I highly recommend it.

I'll give the last word to Villa-Lobos, who gave was a big fan:
"Roger Wagner deserves all my admiration for his dedicated work...a notable achievement in technique and sound as well as perfect interpretation."

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