Villa-Lobos: Piano Music Vol 1 / Sonia Rubinsky

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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 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

Product Description:

  • Release Date: March 01, 1999

  • Catalog Number: 8554489

  • UPC: 636943448922

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Heitor Villa-Lobos

  • Performer: Sonia Rubinsky