after all these years isn't it a fiiting time for the maestro to come out with an exclusive Heitor Vill Lobos album ?
Bill D posted on Saturday, 21 January, 2006 - 03:03 pm
He seems to be picky about what he plays by particular composers and doesn't seem to be interested in doing a "Complete Works" of anyone. (He once said that a lot of Bach is boring!)
However, it's a nice idea although Naxos probably have it pretty well covered.
Tim posted on Sunday, 22 January, 2006 - 12:10 am
A fitting time would be three years from now, 50th anniversary of the composers death.
But I doubt JW will. He's far more concerned with his own path than a route tried and tested by many other classical guitarists. JW has recorded whole discs of Barrios, Brouwer, Vivaldi and Takemitsu, but he wouldn't get the same variety in Villa-Lobos.
Don't get me wrong, I like Villa-Lobos but a whole disc of his music... One of JWs virtues, that makes him stand out above other players, is that he produces CDs you want to listen to all the way through (alright - not the Takemitsu!!), not just a few tracks at a time.
Bill D posted on Sunday, 22 January, 2006 - 12:29 am
The completist in me liked the idea of labels like Naxos doing whole series of a composer, in logical or chronological sequence. However, you usually end up with some lesser pieces that you enjoy less and that interrupt the 'good' bits.
OK, I know that the opposite extreme is the 'Beethoven's Greatest Hits' type of album but there are valid reasons why some pieces are played more than others. Not every composer can be on top form all the time. Sometimes there are good reasons why a piece has not been played for a hundred years! (Although tastes change, as the resurgence of Vivalid's 'Four Seasons' in the 20th century or 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' in 1960s and 1970s shows.)
Tim posted on Sunday, 22 January, 2006 - 01:12 am
Villa-Lobos's guitar music is closely linked to Segovia - dedicatee of the Etudes and the Guitar Concerto (which he rejected as it lacked a solo cadenza), champion of the Etudes. Though he never recorded all the Preludes commercially he played them (a 1950s Edinburgh Festival performance of them is available on BBC Legends).
JW was started off in the Segovia image of the guitar in his early years. The Decca 2CD re-issue of his first LPs reprints what I assume are the original notes, and they mention Segovia seven times. JW came to recognise and rebelled against the tyranny and restrictions of the Segovian legacy. Why should he want to return wholescale to that?
Bill, you're quite right about the problem of complete works versus greatest bits. The Chorinho from V-L's Suite Populaire is dire (no wonder Bream omitted it) and its inclusion on Kraft's complete solo guitar disc does not make up for him ignoring the repeats in the 3rd Prelude (hence his 3'05" compared with JW's 8'15").
Bill D posted on Sunday, 22 January, 2006 - 07:28 pm
Never really though about the Chorinho. Am playing it now and it sounds a bit like a cross between a practice exercise and cabaret/lounge background music.
However, I loved the Preludes ever since I first heard them on the KW Rhapsody album.
Tim posted on Sunday, 22 January, 2006 - 10:53 pm
I think that's the most flattering thing anyone's ever written about the Chorinho (most people think it sounds like a Spanish sausage **).
I was introduced to the Preludes by the same recordings (the re-issue LP c/w Scarlatti) though I prefer Marcelo Kayath's recordings these days.
Segovia arranged Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 (V-L's greatest melody) for guitar and voice - I'd love to hear JW have a go at that, but preferably replacing the wordless soprano screech with a flute.
Bill D posted on Monday, 23 January, 2006 - 10:07 am
I first heard the Bachianas Brasilieras on a Joan Baez LP. Beautiful!
(I'm not keen on sopranos either. Well not their singing. I have a Sharon Isbin CD that is ruined by the occasional bit of singing, including a vocal arrangment of the 2nd movement of the Aranjuez.)
Tim posted on Monday, 23 January, 2006 - 01:39 pm
Not heard Ms Baez doing that. She's appearing in Birmingham soonish but I really wondered if it's 30-40 years too late to see her, will the voice have gone, will she have had enough facelifts to look like Joan Rivers.
B.B. No 5 is glorious, and if you've not heard it in the original soprano and 8 cellos arrangement you should track it down. HV-L played cello (properly - he could turn his hand to just about every other instrument) and arranged some Bach preludes and fugues for an orchestra of cellos.
Yes, those Isbin voice and guitar duets are a bit naff. I don't remember the Aranjuez one being so bad - though maybe that's because I really didn't like the folk-song arrangements (why couldn't she have accompanied a folk-singer, say Christie Moore!) and the tenor and orchestra vocal Aranjuex are really bad.
Tim posted on Monday, 23 January, 2006 - 11:41 pm
Interesting connection here. I've been looking at the old tour schedules on www.sharonisbin.com (and she doesn't seem to perform much outside the US).
In February 2005 she premiered Jack Duarte’s "Joan Baez Suite for Solo Guitar". I wonder what was in that, were all the bells ringing, going nah, na-na-na-na-na.....
Hello there! The other day, in a local store, I came across a Latin American Guitar Music album by Wulfin Lieske..including Villa-Lobos' preludes!..any comment on that..
Tim posted on Wednesday, 25 January, 2006 - 01:02 pm
Herr Lieske is a German guitarist who's been around for a few years specialising in Latin American and Spanish romantic repertoire (he also composes). The Preludio Latino CD you mention was on a major label (EMI Germany) as was his all Barrios disc. There's sound samples on amazon.com (I think there are different covers / record labels depending on which country you're in).
If the repertoire and the price appeal (some Brouwer and Piazzola as well as HVL) it's probably OK. Though if you want all HVL's solo guitar on one disc try Anders Miolin (BIS) or Norbert Kraft (Naxos).
Thanks a lot for all your valuable inputs. I live in Kolkata, India where the concept of classical guitar is something out of the place! what to speak of availibility of recordings! ...once in a while..very rarely we get an album or two, that too from a very limited label (Sony, EMI, Universal, BMG - that's all!) Anyway..this Wulfin Lieske album is very reasonably price ($5.50 only!)and yes fro EMI..worth buying, right? As far as Norbert Kraft is concerned, i have a copy of that..he is an excellent performer..specially the first few pieces (Choro, Scottisch Choro and Mazurka) are very inpressive..but with due respect..to me,as he moves into the preludes...and the etudes..the initial dynamics seems to drag a bit..specially for the etudes...perhaps it is my previous and 'fortunate' exposure to Pepe Romrero's recording of those etudes!that make other recordings (whatever I have heard of (etude no 1) so far) sound a little ...you know..falls short..don't get me wrong!
Bill D posted on Friday, 27 January, 2006 - 11:53 am
At that price I'd buy the Lieske on spec. Even in the UK where I live, well-stocked shops specialising in classical CDs are increasingly rare (and those don't always carry many guitar CDs). Some on-line classical specialists do international shipping (e.g. www.crotchet.co.uk) and if you're after something specific are worth looking at.
I enjoy Kraft's preludes, even though he misses the repeats in No. 3. Other players do that too. I think they do this because the five preludes as a set are a bit unbalanced - apparently HVL wrote a sixth which got lost, and maybe that would have balanced the complete set. Bream tried to balance them by playing No. 5 second, and keeping the repeats in No. 3 (I do like the extra weight from playing the repeats).
As a set the etudes aren't an easy listen - all in standard tuning and a lot of open 6th string whatever key he's in. I remember enjoying the old Bream LP of them more than I do Kraft's.
Bill D posted on Friday, 27 January, 2006 - 06:55 pm
In Glasgow, we have 'Classics in the City' but such places are rare. I fear for its future because it never seems to be busy.
After that the best for classical here is one of the branches of Virgin. Tower Records had the best range (if not the best prices) will all sort of obscure items. (I used to get Heddle Nash CDs for my Dad there.) Then they turn it into a Tower Outlet which was feeble and accordingly closed soon after.
Borders did the same. Had a great classical range but then halved the floor area for music.
Now, if I want anything special, I buy on-line.
Tim posted on Saturday, 28 January, 2006 - 09:10 am
Tower didn't last long in Brummagem either - I think they pulled out of the UK completely having rather misjudged the market and the competition. The local HMV has progressively down-sized its classical department and its two long standing classical specialist staff have gone across the mall to Virgin. Borders still have a fair-sized department but I've never seen anyone actualy buy a CD (of any musical style) there, so that department will no doubt be used to expand Starbucks soon.
I think it's part of a general marginalisation of many areas of music. The local Symphony Orchestra has an international reputation but I really wonder how many local people could name its principal conductor. I suspect the same is true in many other places.
I admire the work of John Wiliams and i am looking forward to see him in Parma,Italy ,this coming march. I'd say that Villa Lobos is a part of everyne repertoire and JW is a master of great qualities that for sure recording or concerting VL have an excellent result . I will say that many guitarists have included VL in recordings and concerts because it is a part of the Repertoire and that's all,like if you wanted to show you're able to play it. The Bachianas 5 were arranged by the composer himself ,never heard of A.Segovia doing that. I do not agree that VL is linked strictly to Segovia.Hi composed the Etudes for Segovia and that's all,his works are above the etudes that are only a small part of the whole VL's system. I would say that the only good recordings i listened to were done by Brazilian Guitarists that could fullfil my expectations.
Tim posted on Friday, 17 February, 2006 - 12:27 pm
You're quite right about Bachianas Brasilieras - the sheet music says arranged for guitar by the composer with fingerings by Segovia.
The Concerto was also written for Segovia but he rejected it as a 'Fantasia Concertante' because it lacked the solo cadenza, which HVL later added.
Segovia was famous for never playing the Aranjuez concerto because Rodrigo let someone else premiere it. He maintained a close relationship with HVL and took up works like the preludes.
You're right - HVL is very much part of every guitarist's repertoire. I've not listened to many other Brazilians, but Marcelo Kayath's preludes are the favourite recordings of those I've heard.