In this new release by the Quinteto Villa-Lobos, Brazilian folk is explored by a host of classical composers in a communicative, friendly way that will easily be enjoyed by audiences interested in this musical perspective. The excellent Quinteto, in its current formation (Antônio Carrasqueira, flute; Luís Carlos Justi, oboe; Paulo Sérgio Santos, clarinet; Philip Doyle, horn; and Aloysio Fagerlande, bassoon) needs no further confirmation of its cohesion, precision, and expressiveness. Delicacy and longing are present in the second movement of Mário Tavares' "Quinteto Para Instrumentos de Sopro," which evolves into a catchy motif in the third movement, a coco. Ronaldo Miranda's "Variações Sérias Sobre um Tema de Anacleto de Medeiros" takes "Iara," by Anacleto de Medeiros (the same over which Villa-Lobos wrote his "Choros No. 10") and builds over it several variations that metamorphose cyclically from the thoughtful to sheer joy, with the use of modal devices. Raphael Batista's "Instantãneos Folclóricos No. 1" is basically a playful recovery of cantigas de roda (children's songs used to accompany their plays in a pre-TV era). Radamés Gnattali is represented by his "Suíte Para Quinteto de Sopros," which opens with the suspensive "Prelúdio," follows with the mysterious "Valsa," in which rhythm of the valse is stylized until its almost complete dissolution in unexpected rhythmic accentuations; the doleful "Modinha"; the agile "Choro"; and the richly contrapuntal "Final." Edino Krieger's "Serenata a Cinco" is the next in line. In reality, this was the transcription for this formation of one of his sonatas, written for two piano players when he was 25 in 1953. The seductive and independent melodies virtually makes a soloist of each instrumentalist, with the bassoon sewing the whole together. Heitor Villa-Lobos' "Choros No. 2" (for flute and clarinet) and "Quinteto em Forma de Choros" were chosen to close the album. After a small intro, a choro atmosphere is evoked by the rhythmic interplay between clarinet and flute, which change roles, taking the solo in turns. The "Quinteto" seems to be a little fable regarding Villa-Lobos' conception of the choro as a safe harbor for the Brazilian sensibility (and identity?). It begins with a haunting feel in the low region, then gradually, as if five creatures hidden in the dark explored the premises carefully and tentatively, higher regions are won; when the perils seems to have vanished, they can stretch themselves in an expansion of fun and dizzying runs -- when one discovers that the lyrical atmosphere so suggested calls forth that of the choro.
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