Thursday, May 29, 2008

The second volume in the BIS Choros series (CD-1450) has been released, and it looks like a winner. It includes three big orchestral works that aren't as well known as they should be. John Neschling conducts the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in Choros #6, #8, and #9, each of which is 20 minutes or longer.

Rounding out the disc is Fabio Zanon performing Choros #1 (by far the most-performed in the Choros series - there are scores of versions of this seminal work for guitar on CD, and hundreds of performances in concert and on YouTube.) The last little piece on this well-filled disc is the charmingly complex whatever-it-is, Choros #4 for three horns and trombone.

You'll have to wait for the disc to ship from Amazon and to show up on the Naxos Music Library. But there's no waiting at, where you can download the disc right now for US$7.95.

June 8, 2008 update: you now can pre-order this CD on

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Experiencing Villa-Lobos Conference Report

The important International Villa-Lobos Conference in Richmond VA held in March 2008 was a great success. Lee Boyd has sent a detailed report from Richmond, which I've posted on the Villa-Lobos Website. Thanks, Lee!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wines from Brazil

I've been putting together information on the Marsalis Brasilianos project. I'll be posting about this exciting project soon.

In the meantime, I came across this note about the concert in Birmingham AL:

Free Prelude Musical Discussion @ 6 p.m. Enjoy a tasting of Brazilian wines prior to the show.

A very long time ago, before my life as a librarian, I used to work in the wine business. Since then, I've lost touch a bit with the new world of wines from the Southern Hemisphere. I love New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Hunter Valley Semillon, Argentina Cabernet Sauvignon, but I've never tasted wine from Brazil.

So I immediately spent some time at the excellent website Wines from Brazil. I'm learning about where they make wine in Brazil, who makes it, and where in the world it's exported to. Now I'm off to find out where in Alberta I can buy some bottles.

Here's a picture of a vineyard from the Serra Gaucha in Rio Grande do Sul in Southern Brazil, where 90% of Brazilian wine is made. The most important wine district is called “Vale dos Vinhedos”.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Calgary Concert on CBC Radio 2

A March 2008 Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra concert featuring Bach and Villa-Lobos will be played on CBC Radio 2 on Sunday, April 4th, on Bill Richardson's "Sunday Afternoon in Concert", beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.

I was really sorry to miss this concert, just down Highway 2 from my home in Red Deer. Conductor Roberto Minczuk [above, in a CBC picture from the concert] put together an excellent program, which included BB#5 (with soprano Donna Brown) and BB#7, along with a Bach cantata and a Brandenburg Concerto. Listen online to CBC Radio 2 here.

NEW: This concert is now available online on the fabulous Radio 2 website. I'm very impressed by this playing.