these, by some first rate Italian wind
players. Not only are they flexible
and responsive but they are tonally
attractive as well. It makes for a most
successful disc. Supporting evidence?
The fruity chalumeau clarinet in Chôro
No.2 for one, or the deadpan humour
of incongruous timbres (oboe and bassoon)
in the Duo. Here the quizzically shadowing
bassoon of Rino Vernizzi wears the taciturn
innocence of a veritable Monsieur Hulot.
How well he and Pietro Borgonovo accommodate
the slower, more lyric passages, never
falling into the trap of too great a
slowing down. These are tricky works
to balance and the studio engineers
have done a good job in, say, Bachiana
Brasileiras No.6 for flute and bassoon
where the former decorates the latter’s
Aria with balletic grace.
The Trio witness some
adept blending of timbres, and some
clever oppositional work – Villa-Lobos
pits the oboe for a stretch against
unison clarinet and bassoon but brings
off such moments of colour and strength
with consistent success. The slow movement
is languid with little dance episodes
prominent but it’s perhaps the Quartet
that sees the most arresting writing
here. The opening motifs, so powerful
and also teasing embrace Bachian tints
and a popular dance rhythm – all fused
with adroit logic and warmth. And there’s
plenty of "space" in the finale
which, though marked Allegro molto Vivace,
has room to breathe and to phrase freely.
The disc ends with the sepia coloured
Quintet – its opening darkening flourish
is deceptive as this lyrical and warm-hearted
piece is deliciously harmonised and
full of balance and nuance.
The recording levels
are well nigh perfect and the notes
are helpful. The recording was made
back in 1987 but still sounds good.
I won’t single out any of the players
because they’re all excellent and they
do real justice to Villa-Lobos. A fine