Sunday, July 19, 2009

Complete String Quartets from Dorian

A new box set from Dorian includes all of the Cuarteto Latinoamericano Villa-Lobos String Quartets that were recorded in the 1990s on six CDs. It also includes a DVD. There's an excellent new Naxos podcast about the set which includes a nice selection of excerpts and very perceptive comments about Villa's music and his life.

That's one of the cool things about the Villa-Lobos string quartets. Like Beethoven's string quartet series, the 17 works by Villa-Lobos are spread throughout his life, and represent a kind of musical arc.

The Cuarteto Latinoamericano's recordings are the best available (though the cycle by the Bessler-Reiss Quartet is excellent as well). The group really know these works, and are well-served by Dorian's recording and production. The Cuarteto Latinoamericano continue to play the Villa-Lobos quartets around the world: they'll be playing the complete cycle at the Sala Ponce in Mexico City on August 22-30, 2009.

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