Thursday, February 12, 2009
Another controversy in Brazil
Following on the heels of the John Neschling dismissal from Osesp comes news of the cancellation of Fabio Zanon's long-running Cultura FM series “O Violão Brasileiro” - The Brazilian Guitar. This is really unfortunate, since there were important shows still to come in Zanon's series.
The entire series is archived at the VIOLÃO com Fábio Zanon blog. A large subset (#14-115) is in MP3 here. This includes #53 Heitor Villa-Lobos, and #55 Heitor Villa-Lobos II. Other individual shows - including #130 Heitor Villa-Lobos III - are available in 64K Windows Media format, which sound fine but won't, of course, play on my iPhone or iPod.
Even if you can't understand Zanon's commentary, you can learn something about Villa's guitar music just by looking at his playlist selection. When he features the Preludes in #55, for example, he chooses Andrès Segovia for #1 and #3, and Julian Bream for #2, #4, and #5. The Etudes are divided between Marcelo Kayath, Manuel Barrueco, Everton Gloeden, Paulo Pedrassoli, and Fábio Zanon himself. And, of course, the music speaks for itself. The blog helpfully adds timings for each item in the shows' playlists.
Too bad about the budget-cutting at Rádio Cultura FM de São Paulo. When considering Zanon's and Neschlings' recent problems, some might look back to Villa-Lobos's many fights and bad feelings with the cultural establishment in Brazil. But I don't know enough about the issues to weigh in on the controversy itself. I'm just glad that these 160 shows are still available to listen to on the web.