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Villa-Lobos: Choros Vol 2 / Neschling, Săo Paulo State SO

Release Date: 06/24/2008 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1450   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Fabio ZanonDante YenqueOzeas ArantesSamuel Hamzem,   ... 
Conductor:  John Neschling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Brazillians go to town with the music of their home-grown hero

How many Chôros are there? Fourteen numbered examples (with two claimed as “lost”), two Chôros bis, a Wind Quintet en forme de Chôros and a concluding (!) choral-and-orchestral “Introduction to the Chôros”, all more or less from the 1920s. Nos 6 (1926), which opens this second volume of BIS’s survey, and 9 (1929) may not have been written down until 1942 in time for their Rio premieres. Villa-Lobos was unreliable about many details of his work and these would not be unique in his output in being created only when performances finally materialised.
Read more /> Whenever it was set down, the Sixth is a hugely engaging, if sprawling, orchestral fantasia and like the Eighth (written and premiered between 1925 and 1927) and Ninth, was scored for large orchestra using exotic local percussion instruments. The Eighth is far more barbaric in character, tailored for the fad for primitivism then fashionable in Paris (where it was written), with parts for two pianos. Yet this is no concerto in disguise; although the first is a melodic soloist, the second is deployed as a percussive instrument and both orchestrally. BIS provides a clearer balance than Marco Polo on Schermerhorn’s pioneering account and while the latter still sounds fine, the newcomer is clearly superior.

Neschling and the São Paulo SO edge the decision in the Ninth too, which lies expressively between Nos 6 and 8. Separating these difficult orchestral works come the First for guitar (1920?21) and Fourth for brass (1926). I have heard crisper performances of the latter, but Fabio Zanon’s of the well known First is really rather good, languid and wistful, the tempi vibrantly elastic. After the excellent previous volume (6/08), this successor – as well played as ASV’s still incomplete rival survey – augurs well for what will presumably be the final instalment.

-- Guy Rickards, Gramophone [10/2008]

While Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras series may be better known or more popular (at least in part), his Choros pieces are just as fine--and perhaps richer in content even if looser in structure. Indeed, Nos. 6, 8, and 9 rank among his largest and most extravagant orchestral works, and their neglect on concert programs really is astonishing. No. 1 is a lovely guitar solo, while No. 4 is scored for the unusual combination of three horns and trombone. It's high time that a label decided to record the entire sequence, and if you've been following these releases you already know just how exceptional the results are likely to be.

This newcomer certainly doesn't disappoint. John Neschling leads his São Paulo forces in performances that offer the last word in glittering color and rhythmic exuberance, engineered with maximum realism and impact. The shorter, more intimate pieces are strategically placed in between the big orchestral works, making the entire disc a fabulously varied program that offers eloquent proof of Villa-Lobos' range and originality. Kudos also go to guitarist Fabio Zanon for his soulful reading of Choros No. 1, and to the various brass players for their vibrant reading of the quirkily scored No. 4. You're going to love this!

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Chôros no 1 for Guitar by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Fabio Zanon (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Brazil 
Length: 5 Minutes 09 Secs. 
Chôros no 4 for Brass by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Dante Yenque (French Horn), Ozeas Arantes (French Horn), Samuel Hamzem (French Horn),
Darrin Coleman Milling (Bass Trombone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Paris, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Chôros no 6 for Orchestra by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Conductor:  John Neschling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Paris, France 
Length: 24 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Chôros no 8 for 2 Pianos and Orchestra by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Linda Bustani (Piano), Ilan Rechtman (Piano)
Conductor:  John Neschling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; Paris, France 
Length: 20 Minutes 00 Secs. 
Chôros no 9 for Orchestra by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Conductor:  John Neschling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Paris, France 
Length: 24 Minutes 19 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Chôros no 6 for Orchestra
Chôros no 4 for 3 Horns and Trombone

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