Villa-Lobos Trio

Villa-Lobos: Piano Trio No. 1; Piazzolla: Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas; Bruno-Videla: Yumba-Verwandlung

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Vienna might not be where you would look first for innovative programming of South American music, but this little disc by the city's Villa-Lobos Trio makes a nice connection that has largely been overlooked: Heitor Villa-Lobos and Astor Piazzolla shared formative experiences in the French neo-classic milieu and worked to reconcile what they learned with the popular music of their native countries. The results in Villa-Lobos' Piano Trio No. 1 are marked by motor rhythms that are hardly less clear than those in Piazzolla's tangos, even if his outer movements are more broken up into sections. As that trio is put together with Piazzolla's Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas (The Four Seasons of the Port City, i.e., Buenos Aires) in the hands of the Villa-Lobos Trio, the connection is emphasized by a fresh performance of the Piazzolla, using an arrangement for piano trio by José Bragato, that favors legato, lyrical string playing over the punchy tango rhythms, and a performance of the rarely heard Villa-Lobos that brings out its Brazilian quality. The final Yumba-Verwandlung of Lucio Bruno-Videla, a reworking of a tango by Osvaldo Pugliese, ties together a program that's both novel and unified, and Oehms' usual superb sound is icing on the cake. Strongly recommended for anyone who likes South American music. Notes are in German and English.

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