Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Face of a Nation

Librarians have access to shelves & shelves of books and other forms of information, but don't always have much time to read. That's my only excuse for missing Philip Clark's article on Villa-Lobos in the September 2008 issue of Gramophone: "Face of a nation" (p. 44-47).

So pop down to your local library and dig up the September 2008 issue. Luckily, you can read the full article online at the excellent Gramophone website, with only the occasional optical character recognition glitch marring Clark's excellent prose.

The list of essential CDs is excellent: Norbert Kraft for the guitar music (though he should be referred to as a Canadian rather than an American guitarist); Sonia Rubinsky for the piano music; Neschling + SPSO's Choros; Minczuk + SPSO's Bachianas Brasileiras; and the St.Clair + Stuttgart Orchestra Symphonies.

One of the best things about the article are the quotes Clark gets from John Neschling, who isn't afraid of being controversial:

"Villa-Lobos didn't give a damn whether musicans could play his music..."


"He was a terrible conductor and did his reputation tremendous harm!"

The latter quote is probably worth a post of its own!

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