Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kuarup is back!

And has been for a while. How did I miss this? It was a huge disappointment when the great Brazilian music company Kuarup went out of business in January 2009. They were an important source of Villa-Lobos recorded by Brazilian musicians, especially in earlier days when there was far less of his music being recorded. Important releases included:
  • the complete string quartets, with the Bessler-Reiss Quartet and the Quarteto Amazônia 
  • some early recordings by the Quinteto Villa-Lobos
  • Roberto Szidon's Cirandas e Cirandinha
  • concertos played by Turibio Santos, Paulo Moura & Noel Devos
  • songs by Leila Guimarães & Teca Calazans
  • important early guitar recordings by Turibio Santos and the Assads
  • two special discs that I'll mention later
Read this 1998 interview by Bruce Gilman of Brazzil, with Kuarup's Mário de Aratanha to get an idea how important Kuarup was back in the day.

Now the company is back, and at the same website address: http://www.kuarup.com.br. The present selection on the website doesn't include all of the records mentioned above. The two Villa-Lobos CDs, though, are amongst the most important:

The disc Os Choros de Câmara included all of the Choros for chamber ensemble, played by an all-star lineup that included guitarist Sérgio Assad, pianist Murilo Santos and saxophonist Paulo Moura. This was one of the first CDs I bought from a vendor in Brazil, and it was the first time I heard some important Villa-Lobos works: Choros #3 and 4, and Villa's piano version of #2.

The other disc is a really interesting "rediscovery" of Villa's suite A Floresta do Amazonas, his music from Green Mansions, recorded in the centennial year of 1987.

Created by João Carlos Assis Brasil & Mario de Aratanha, this disc features vocalist Ney Matagrosso and pianist Wagner Tiso.  You can listen to the whole thing, a track at a time, on the Kuarup site.

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