Wednesday, August 24, 2016

String Quartet 17 from the ABM

From the superb Quarteto Radamés Gnattali, Villa's final string quartet, filmed at a 70 anniversary concert in 2015 at the Academia Brasileira de Música. Sometimes people talk about a reduction in quality in Villa-Lobos's final years, but this work is a powerful counter-argument. It's a fitting end to the great series (only sketches of the 18th quartet survive). Here's a sad note: the composer gave the score to the violinist Mariuccia Iacovino of the Budapest Quartet in Paris, but he died in Rio de Janeiro before he heard of the October 16, 1959 premiere at the Library of Congress.

Thanks to Juan L. Restrepo for letting me know about this. As Juan says, it's great to see a quartet on YouTube that's not no. 1 or no. 5 (as fun as both of those pieces are!)

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