Monday, September 7, 2009

Complete Symphonies on cpo

Why bother building your Villa-Lobos CD library one disc at a time? In the past few months BIS and Dorian have released the complete Choros, Bachianas Brasileiras, and String Quartets in inexpensive box sets. Now comes this new Complete Symphonies set on 7 CDs.

This is the final piece in the awesome project begun by conductor Carl St. Clair in 1997. Most of the symphonies, and many of the smaller orchestral works, were either world premieres on record, or were the first recordings outside of obscure Brasilian LPs. The orchestral playing of the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir received high marks from critics over the years, as did St. Clair's preparation (from sometimes incomplete or corrupted scores and parts) and conducting. The recording and presentation from cpo also was very warmly received. The website is the first place I've seen this posted on the web; the discs are due to be released on September 21, 2009. At €39.99 (about $60), this set is a major bargain!

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