Villa-Lobos: Rudepoêma; Cirandas

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COMPOSERS: Villa-Lobos
LABELS: ASV
WORKS: Rudepoêma; Cirandas
PERFORMER: Alma Petchersky (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 959
The piano music of Heitor Villa-Lobos may be something of an acquired taste. The harmonic language is certainly very personal, but can seem unvaried and abrasive. Two extended works are represented here: the 23-minute Rudepoêma, and the Cirandas, 16 short pieces based on children’s folk dances, but offering a compositional style far more sophisticated than that origin would suggest. The Rudepoêma bears little resemblance to any other piano work of similar length, to the best of my knowledge: a sectional, self-willed fantasia-like structure, it purports to be a musical portrait of the pianist Artur Rubinstein, a close friend and champion of the composer – the‘rude’ element meaning ‘savage’ in the Brazilian interpretation. Petchersky is an able advocate for this meaty material. Jessica Duchen

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