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Villa-lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras 2-4 / Steuerman, Minczuk


Release Date: 05/31/2005 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1250   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Jean Louis Steuerman
Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These performances of Bachianas Brasileiras Nos. 2 and 4 easily are the finest available. The São Paulo Symphony Orchestra certainly ought to know how to play this music, and do they ever! You'll be amazed at how effortlessly the strings articulate the hellish motor-rhythms in the finale of No. 4, or how the players differentiate the percussion timbres in the "train" movement of No. 2. Even if you know these works well, it's like hearing them for the first time. In No. 3 for piano and orchestra, not one of the best pieces in the series, conductor Roberto Minczuk shapes a performance quite similar to that on the composer's own EMI recording, albeit with infinitely greater sound and much, much better playing.
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Jean Louis Steuerman, a pianist whose limited discography (mostly for Philips) usually excites little enthusiasm, is a decent soloist, if perhaps at times a trifle heavy-handed in the faster music. But it's not really his fault: the music does meander a bit, albeit amiably. Sonically this is stunning in terms of dynamic range and timbral splendor, but I question the excessive prominence of the percussion at the climax of the chorale (third movement) of No. 4, where the crashing tam-tam and bass drum overwhelm the tune in the brass. It's an odd and atypical miscalculation (most performances err in the opposite direction) in what otherwise is a very impressive effort by all concerned.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Bachianas brasileiras no 2 for Orchestra by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; Brazil 
Length: 21 Minutes 57 Secs. 
2. Bachianas brasileiras no 3 for Piano and Orchestra by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Jean Louis Steuerman (Piano)
Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; Brazil 
Length: 27 Minutes 28 Secs. 
3. Bachianas brasileiras no 4 for Orchestra by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930-1936; Brazil 
Length: 18 Minutes 19 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Bachianas brasileiras No. 2, "O trenzinho do Caipira": I. Preludio: Adagio
Bachianas brasileiras No. 2, "O trenzinho do Caipira": II. Aria: Largo
Bachianas brasileiras No. 2, "O trenzinho do Caipira": III. Dansa: Andantino moderato
Bachianas brasileiras No. 2, "O trenzinho do Caipira": IV. Toccata: Un poco moderato
Bachianas brasileiras No. 3: I. Preludio: Adagio
Bachianas brasileiras No. 3: II. Fantasia: Allegro moderato
Bachianas brasileiras No. 3: III. Aria: Largo
Bachianas brasileiras No. 3: IV. Toccata: Allegro
Bachianas brasileiras No. 4: I. Preludio: Lento
Bachianas brasileiras No. 4: II. Coral: Largo
Bachianas brasileiras No. 4: III. Aria: Moderato
Bachianas brasileiras No. 4: IV. Danza: Molto animato

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