Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Latin American Cultural Week '09 in NYC

The 2009 version of NYC's Latin American Cultural Week includes two important all Villa-Lobos concerts. On November 8th, soprano Stela Brandao and pianist Max Lifchitz will perform the complete cycle of Modinhas & Canções. Then, on Nov. 10th, the Heitor Villa-Lobos Celebration II event will include some rarely performed chamber works:
  • Sextuor mystique (Sexteto mistico)
  • Quatuor symbolique (Quarteto simbolico)
  • Suite for Voice and Violin
  • Poêma da criança e sua mamâ
Performers continue to programme the tried-and-true works, but 2009, the Ano Villa-Lobos, has brought lots of more adventurous choices. The Quatuor symbolique, for example, is one of Villa's greatest chamber works, from his most creative modernist period. It's one thing to put together the odd combination of instruments - harp, celesta, flute, and saxophone - but probably another to add a good group of female voices. But it's all most worthwhile in the end. Perhaps after the significant new concert activity in 2009 (more than 100 concerts are listed in the Villa-Lobos Concerts database for November 2009 alone) we'll see some of Villa's unknown works show up more often in live performance and in good modern recordings.

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