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GUARNIERI, M.C.: Piano Concertos Nos. 4-6 (Barros, Warsaw Philharmonic, Conlin)

Composer(s):Guarnieri, Camargo
Artist(s) Conlin, Thomas, Conductor • Warsaw Philharmonic OrchestraBarros, Max, piano
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Concertos
Catalogue 8.557667
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Mozart Camargo Guarnieri is universally recognised as the most important Brazilian composer after Villa-Lobos. The Six Piano Concertos, composed over a period of forty years, offer a complete panorama of Guarnieri’s stylistic evolution, in particular his blend of sophisticated compositional techniques and the improvisational character of Brazilian folk-music. The Piano Concertos Nos. 4 and 5 display a number of avant-garde features that are fundamentally different from the more nationalistic vocabulary that informs the earlier three piano concertos (Naxos 8.557666). Completed shortly after the composer’s eightieth birthday, the chamber-like, intimate Piano Concerto No. 6 returns to an


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Review By Nick Barnard,MusicWeb International,July 2010

I won’t beat around the bush. This is a really excellent disc in every regard. Mozart Camargo Guarnieri has been one of my most pleasurable discoveries of recent years via the cycle of symphonies released on BIS featuring the really excellent Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paolo under John Neschling (see review review). But perhaps this should have come as no surprise to me given that Aaron Copland, returning from an extended goodwill tour of South America in 1941 wrote; “Guarnieri is the most exciting talent among Latin American composers…what I like best about his music is its healthy emotional expression…he is the most authentic musician of the continent.” Who am I to argue with that! This is quoted by James Melo in his

This is the second volume of piano concertos by Guarnieri from Naxos and with this disc the cycle of six concertos is complete. Guarnieri’s compositional arc can be traced through these concertos. Numbers 1–3 on the earlier disc are ultimately simpler and direct in their manner—the performances on the earlier disc are every bit the equal of these. By the time he came to write the 4th concerto in 1968 Guarnieri was seeking ways of combining native Brazilian elements—all the melodies are his own but the folk influence is clear—with contemporary compositional techniques such are 12 tone serialism. But he was selective with the parts of that rigorous technique he chose to use; they are more structural than tonal: the form involves themes, retrograde themes in the exposition, inversions and the like. The real talent of any composer is to use these forms without the listener being painfully aware that he is attending some kind of public composition class—and that is the case here. If I had to characterise it at all I would say its along the lines of ‘Mr Bartók’s Holiday in Brazil’. Across the three concertos there are certain recurring features. The outer movements burst with joyful muscular energy. If you respond to Ginastera and his powerfully athletic and rhythmic earlier &ldqumore....


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