Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Out from under Villa's shadow

From February 14, 2012:


Francisco Mignone is finally coming out a bit from the immense shadow of his older contemporary Villa-Lobos, and this CD from the Cuarteto Latinoamericano should help the Sao Paulo-born composer win some new friends. Though most of these pieces come from Mignone's nationalist phase, his string quartets, like Villa's, are about more than just the folklore, dances, and popular music of Brazil. Both the 1st and the 2nd String Quartets are elaborate and sophisticated works of serious music, with much the same solid structure and appealing forward movement of Haydn's or Bartok's string quartets. The program also includes a number of short, light, traditional Brazilian and Spanish dances, but also two abstract pieces of the highest quality and inspiration: the Two Essays for String Quartet from 1958. These dozen minutes of music demonstrate why Mignone deserves to be classed with South America's greatest composers.

In this new disc from Dorian Sono Luminus, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano make the same persuasive argument for Mignone that they did for Villa-Lobos in their 2009 recording of the complete String Quartets. There's that shadow again!

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