Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New CD re-issue from Naxos

Naxos Historical is doing a fine job of re-issuing classic Villa-Lobos recordings from the LP era on CD. When copyright restrictions don't allow them to package the music on CD, you may still be able to listen to the music streamed on the web on the Naxos Music Library. That's the situation in this latest case, which happens to come as an answer to a recent prayer of mine.
It's not easy to find a recording of the third violin sonata. Written in 1920, when Villa was entering the most innovative years of his composing career, the third sonata is for some reason played much less than the first two sonatas, written in 1913 and 1914. I show four performances of #1 and three of #2, in my database of works in concert (mainly from 1999 to the present). But there are none for #3.
So it's nice to see the new Naxos Historical 9.80702 up on the Naxos Music Library, and great to hear this angular, muscular piece again. I haven't been able to track down the original LP on the web, but I have learned a bit about the violinist Ricardo Odnoposoff (1914-2004). This page about the virtuoso from Buenos Aires on the Doremi records website shows that the performance comes from 1952, when pianist Leonid Hambro and Odnoposoff recorded the Debussy and Villa Violin Sonatas in question. The Doremi Legendary Treasures discs detailed on this page are your best bet to hear the Villa-Lobos sonata if you live in the U.S.A., since NML won't show this disc from American computers. Otherwise, you'll need to haunt eBay, where a variety of Villa-Lobos LPs regularly turn up.

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