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The Piano Music Of Villa-Lobos / Sonia Rubinsky

Villa-lobos / Rubinsky
Release Date: 02/23/2010 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8508013  
Composer:  Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky
Number of Discs: 8 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reviews from some of the volumes which make up this set.


Is Heitor Villa-Lobos the last great 20th century composer to be rediscovered? Because he wrote so much, it's easier to sidestep rather than face his overwhelming catalog point by point. The folks at Naxos, though, are tackling his Amazonian output, starting with the piano music. Brazilian pianist Sonia Rubinsky controls the undulating chordal syncopations in the wonderful Book One of A Prole do Bebê with a left hand propelled by an imaginary, rock-steady rhythm section, and never lets the pungent dissonances overshadow the melodies. Rarely heard, the delightful Cirandas are virtually the Brazilian equivalant of
Read more Bartok's folk-inspired character pieces. The improvisatory Hommage à Chopin evokes the Polish master's decorative syntax, filtered through Villa-Lobos' more lush keyboard deployment. Rubinsky is both on top and inside of the Brazilian composer's idiom, and her vivid playing is beautifully reproduced. As they say in Portuguese: "um CD sensacional."
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com

Sonia Rubinsky's highly anticipated follow-up to her acclaimed first volume in Naxos' projected Villa-Lobos piano music cycle was worth the wait. The pianist's lyrical temperament taps into the heart and soul of the composer's fecund melodicism. Compare, for instance, her caressing, curvaceous rendition of Ondulando to Deborah Halasz's more urgent, Scriabinesque outlook. While Marc-André Hamelin makes more of the purely virtuosic moments throughout the 12 pieces in A Prole do Bebé No. 2 (like the spiraling scales and almost Ivesian octaves of O Camundongo de massa), Rubinsky's more idiomatic phrasing better captures the music's wide-eyed, folkloric syntax, as in the gentle samba rhythm of A Baratinha de papel. She shapes each of the 1925 Cirandinhas (Little Round Songs) with the kind of playful vigor and accentuation that comes from having sung the originals as a child. I only hope that Rubinsky won't take another two years to give us Volume 3. An ingratiating release.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com


Villa-Lobos compiled 137 traditional Brazilian songs into an anthology entitled Guia Prático that later served as the basis for 11 short volumes of piano miniatures under the same title. A pedagogic agenda governs these piano pieces, but not to the rigorous, progressive specifications of, say, Bartók's Mikrokosmos. In fact, the churning rhythms and chordal complexities of Villa-Lobos' piano textures are anything but child's play; yet no matter how sophisticated the pianism, the infectious spirit of the original tunes always remains fresh and vibrant.

Almost every one of the 48 selections included here (books Ten and Eleven are slated for a future release) is a delightful, unpretentious bauble. Sample Espanha, the third piece from Book Two, and you'll get generous helpings of upbeat white-key Petrouchka harmonies, while Book Three No. 5 (Oh, Whirligig!) is pure South American Schumann. Book Five No. 4 (The Stick or Cat Miaow) makes its succinct, lyrical point with simple chromatic chords that remind me of Duke Ellington's intimate keyboard noodling. Either listen in order, or give your random play function a workout, and you'll marvel at Villa-Lobos' unflagging invention from one number to another. It helps, of course, that Sonia Rubinsky's colorful and technically shipshape interpretations are as lovingly nuanced and thoroughly idiomatic as we can desire, and they're beautifully recorded as well. In sum, this valuable addition to the Villa-Lobos discography deserves no less than the highest rating and warmest recommendation.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com

"This exceptional pianist with a Polish sounding name and recording in Canada is nonetheless a Brasilian, born in Campinas, and was a true prodigy giving her first recital at six years old and appearing with orchestra at twelve. She holds a doctorate from the Juilliard School in New York. She has the perfect touch and style for Villa-Lobos and has already established her reputation with her recordings of the first volumes in this series of the complete piano music." -- Paul Shoemaker, MusicWeb International

"The triumphant concluding volume (8)of a remarkable Brazilian musical journey... How Rubinsky relishes the alternately spry and gracious waltz of "Constancia", the charm of "Ba, Be, Bi, Bo, Bu", or the syncopated dance rhythms, piquantly harmonised, of Nos 95 and 105. The two "Infantil" Suites elaborate the mix into a nearScriabinesque etude in "No Balanco" and a melody peppered with rapid bouncing staccatos in "Allegretto" (Second Suite, No 3). Ibericarabe (transcribed by LucIlia Guimarães Villa-Lobos, the composer's first wife) is more familiar territory with sumptuously deployed melody wreathed round in intricate figuration, and there is much, much more to enjoy, ponder over and occasionally reject (Villa-Lobos's vast output led to inevitable unevenness). This is a magnificent conclusion to a formidable undertaking, recorded in ideal sound."-- Bryce Morrison, Gramophone
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Works on This Recording

1.
Amazonas, W 118 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; Brazil 
2.
Preludes (5) for Guitar, W 419 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; Brazil 
3.
Bachianas brasileiras no 2 for Orchestra: 3rd movement, Lembrança do Sertao by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; Brazil 
4.
Valsa-Scherzo for Piano, W 70 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1911; Brazil 
5.
Bailado infernal by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Brazil 
6.
Feijoada sem perigo... by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
7.
Histórias da carochinha, W 148 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Brazil 
8.
Cançoes de Cordialidade by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
9.
Cortejo nupcial by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
10.
Valsa lenta by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
11.
Guia prático by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1949; Brazil 
12.
Ibericarabé, W 78 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Brazil 
13.
Suite infantil no 1, W 53 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; Brazil 
14.
Suite infantil no 2, W 67 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; Brazil 
15.
Modinhas e cançoes, Album 1, W 365: no 2, Lundú da Marquesa de Santos by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
16.
Bachianas brasileiras no 4 for Piano by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930-1936; Brazil 
17.
Carnaval das crianças brasileiras by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919-1920; Brazil 
18.
Simples coletânea (3) by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917-1919; Brazil 
19.
Francette et Piá, W 237 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Brazil 
20.
Poema singelo, W 434 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; Brazil 
21.
A Fiandeira by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; Brazil 
22.
Simples coletânea (3) by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917-1919; Brazil 
23.
Valsa-Scherzo for Piano, W 70 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1911; Brazil 
24.
Suite floral, W 117 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Brazil 
25.
Ciclo brasileiro, W 374 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Brazil 
26.
Brinquedo de Roda, W 45 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; Brazil 
27.
Danças características africanas (3), W 85 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Brazil 
28.
Tristorosa by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; Brazil 
29.
Chôros no 1 for Guitar by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Brazil 
30.
Chôros no 2 for Flute and Clarinet by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; Paris, France 
31.
Chôros no 5 for Piano "Alma brasileira" by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; Paris, France 
32.
A prole do bebê, Book 2, W 180 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; Brazil 
33.
A Lenda do Caboclo, W 188 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Brazil 
34.
Ondulando, W 82 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1911; Brazil 
35.
Valsa da dor, W 316 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; Brazil 
36.
Cirandinhas (12) for Piano, W 210 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; Paris, France 
37.
A prole do bebê, Book 1, W 140 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; Brazil 
38.
Cirandas (16) for Piano, W 220 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Paris, France 
39.
Hommage à Chopin by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; Brazil 
40.
Sul América, W 217 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; Brazil 
41.
As três Marias, W 411 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Brazil 
42.
Saudades das selvas brasileiras, W 226 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; Brazil 
43.
Petizada, W 48 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; Brazil 
44.
New York Skyline Melody, W 407 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Brazil 
45.
O gato e O rato by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Brazil 
46.
Caixinha de música quebrada, W 256 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; Brazil 
47.
A menina das nuvens by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Brazil 
48.
Bailado infantil, W 35 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Brazil 
49.
Carnaval de Pierrot by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
50.
Serra da Piedade de Belo Horizonte by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1938; Brazil 
51.
Rudepoema for Piano, W 184 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sonia Rubinsky (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921-1926; Brazil 

Sound Samples

Prole do bebe No. 1: Branquinha (A boneca de louca)
Prole do bebe No. 1: Morenhina (A boneca de massa)
Prole do bebe No. 1: Caboclinha (A boneca de barro)
Prole do bebe No. 1: Mulatinha (A boneca de borracha)
Prole do bebe No. 1: Negrinha (A boneca de pau)
Prole do bebe No. 1: A pobrezinha (A boneca de trapo)
Prole do bebe No. 1: O polichinelo
Prole do bebe No. 1: A bruxa (A boneca de pano)
Cirandas: Terezinha de Jesus
Cirandas: A Condessa
Cirandas: Senhora Dona Sancha
Cirandas: O cravo brigou com a rosa
Cirandas: Pobre cega
Cirandas: Passa, passa gaviao
Cirandas: Xo, xo, passarinho
Cirandas: Vamos atras de Serra, Calunga
Hommage a Chopin: Noturno
Hommage a Chopin: A la balada
Guia pratico, Book 1: No. 1. Acordei de madrugada (I Woke up Very Early)
Guia pratico, Book 1: No. 2. A mare encheu (The Tide Flowed)
Guia pratico, Book 1: No. 3. A roseira (The Rosebush)
Guia pratico, Book 1: No. 4. Manquinha (The Little Limping Girl)
Guia pratico, Book 1: No. 5. Na corda da viola (On the String of the Guitar)
Guia pratico, Book 2: No. 1. Brinquedo (Play)
Guia pratico, Book 2: No. 2. Machadinha (Little Axe)
Guia pratico, Book 2: No. 3. Espanha (Spain)
Guia pratico, Book 2: No. 4. Samba-Lele
Guia pratico, Book 2: No. 5. Senhora Dona Viuva (Mrs. Widow)

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