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Villa-Lobos: Choros no 1, 12 Etudes, 5 Preludes / Pierri

Release Date: 12/12/1995 
Label:  Analekta   Catalog #: 23051   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Alvaro Pierri
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is fine guitar playing, and, in all but two cases, thoroughly winning. In Chôros No. 1, Alvaro Pierri encounters stiff competition from Manuel Barrueco on EMI CDC 7 4910 2. Barrueco is suave, deft, and more effectively captures V-L's wondrous lapses oftaste (where all his juice is). Pierri's performance is realistic in basic tempo, but comparatively episodic and overfinessed. Various of its episodes, however, are beguiling, and Pierri's more close-up miking affords him a richer tonal variety than Barrueco can project through his 1989 recording. On balance, architectural soundness wins out, and I find Barrueco's more focused and straightforward approach more rewarding by a small margin.

Joaquim Freire's recording of
Read more the Twelve Etudes for Guitar on Léman LC 44601 outclasses Narciso Yepes's slo wish and comparatively straitjacketed 1971 effort on Deutsche Grammophon. Freire is generally fleeter, more attuned to the subtle shifts of tempo demanded by the music, phrased more gracefully, and more imaginatively voiced. Pierri continues this upward trend. He has been given a recording equally as impressive as Freire's, and one that conveys the guitar's upper harmonics more effectively. His are big-gestured readings—in Etude No. 4 where he takes a tempo about half of Freire's, a bit too big-gestured, and he finds himself in a bind. The music demands an ever greater dynamic increase, and, at his unrealistically slow tempo, he reaches his peak prematurely and is forced to belabor the instrument beyond its resources. That is my only quibble. The balance of the etudes are done closer to consensus tempos and are well characterized. Freire is sometimes more graceful in his melding of disparate tempos and svelter in his phrasing, but Pierri is often more rhetorically forceful. The result is a reading that, like Freire's, gets one very close to the heart of the music.

Pierri's Five Preludes for Guitar are fluent, expressive, and well organized. They are more rhapsodic than Barrueco's (on EMI CDC 7 497102) but, in their way, equally effective.

This is, on balance, a worthy addition to V-L's growing discography both in terms of its playing and its sonics. At 72:06 it is a generous one as well.

Fanfare: William Zagorski
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Works on This Recording

Chôros no 1 for Guitar by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Alvaro Pierri (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Brazil 
Length: 5 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Etudes (12) for Guitar, W 235 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Alvaro Pierri (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Paris, France 
Length: 43 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Preludes (5) for Guitar, W 419 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Alvaro Pierri (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; Brazil 
Length: 22 Minutes 48 Secs. 

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