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Friday, November 29, 2019
Villa-Lobos, Guitar Concerto, Harmonica Concerto, Chamber Works
Why I have not known much until now the "Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra" (1951) is beyond me. It is his last guitar work, written for Segovia and it has a diatonic power and thrust along with a special lyricism that makes it a must-hear, especially if you already love Villa-Lobos as I do.
The "Concerto for Harmonica" (1955) is somewhat more rarified, and perhaps more understandably less performed because of the chromatic harmonica part that demands a virtuosity which is not so often available out there? It too is filled with extremely beautiful music, typically ravishing late Villa-Lobos.
The two chamber works are gems, dashingly charming works. The brief "Sexteto Mystical" (1917) benefits from Villa-Lobos' deft handling of a somewhat exotic instrumentation of flute, oboe, alto saxophone, guitar, celesta and harp. "Quinteto Instrumental" (1957) is a bit more conventionally instrumented with flute, harp, violin, viola and cello, yet the brilliant sonics and lyrical outpourings mark this as one of his most charming Brazilianesque diatonic effusions. It certainly deserves a wider hearing and the OSESP Ensemble give us a version that sparkles. Soaring!
In short this is most lovely Villa-Lobos magnificently performed. Everyone should hear this if they can. Kudos!