Villa-Lobos: Complete Violin Sonatas / Baldini, Rossi

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Nominated for a Latin GRAMMY® Award!

Heitor Villa-Lobos’s three violin sonatas date from a key period in his career: the moment at which he matured as a composer, established his personal idiom and achieved his first professional triumphs. Each sonata shares some influence from French late Romanticism or Impressionism, as well as revealing Villa-Lobos’s skill as a string player. The First Violin Sonata’s subtitle of Désespérance (‘Despair’) suits its melancholy lyricism, while the ‘infinite abundance of musical ideas’ in the Second Violin Sonata is characterized by a wide range of emotions. The sophisticated Third Violin Sonata is steeped in the influence of Debussy, but also anticipates Villa-Lobos’s new directions in the 1920s.


This new recording is so good, it is not of interest only to Villa-Lobos completists. It is worth collecting in terms of sheer performance, a shining example of a simpatico violin/piano partnership. Pablo Rossi’s piano playing is so nuanced and expressive, and Emmanuele Baldini’s violin so poised, centered in tone, and totally devoid of intonational issues, that together they make beautiful music. Rossi is Brazilian, and while violinist Baldini is Italian he has moved on to conducting, studying with Isaac Karabtchevsky, who is arguably the world’s authority on conducting Villa-Lobos. As is Naxos’s habit, the duo is recorded fairly closely, but in this instance they can take it and the sound is not dry. A lovely chamber recital.

-- Fanfare

Product Description:

  • Release Date: July 09, 2021

  • Catalog Number: 8574310

  • UPC: 747313431076

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Heitor Villa-Lobos

  • Performer: Emmanuele Baldini, Pablo Rossi


  1. Violin Sonata (Fantasia) No. 1, "Désespérance" (Despair)

    Composer: Heitor Villa-Lobos

    Performer: Emmanuele Baldini (Violin), Pablo Rossi (Piano)

  2. Violin Sonata (Fantasia) No. 2

    Composer: Heitor Villa-Lobos

    Performer: Emmanuele Baldini (Violin), Pablo Rossi (Piano)

  3. Violin Sonata No. 3

    Composer: Heitor Villa-Lobos

    Performer: Emmanuele Baldini (Violin), Pablo Rossi (Piano)