Review of LNT115: Brazilian Mosaic
Robert Matthew-Walker, Musical Opinion
Readers may recall my enthusiastic report of a recent recital by the young Brazilian pianist Clélia Iruzun at London's Bolivar Hall, and laudatory notices of her playing by Geoffrey Crankshaw and others. She is indeed a most gifted artist and the latest release from the new label, Lorelt, on LNT115, which was specially founded to promote music by Latin American composers, and whose initial releases have garnered excellent notices is an exciting Mixture of music by Brazilian composers, performed by her with members of Lontano under the indefatigable Odaline de la Martinez.
The title Brazilian Mosaic was chosen to reflect the wide range of music by 20th-Century Latin American masters on the CD. Clearly, no such record would be complete without music by Villa-Lobos, and we have his Ninth Bachianas Brasilieras in the rarely-heard version for solo strings. It was first written for voices and later arranged for string orchestra, which edition the composer himself recorded, but the solo string version enables us to hear the intricate polyphony better.
Clélia Iruzun is soloist in Francisco Mignone's Third Fantasia Brasiliera for piano and orchestra dating from the 1930s. There is a lovely connection between the soloist and the elderly composer, who heard her when she was only seven years old, playing a small organ in a church. Mignone was by chance also there; when she was thirteen he wrote her some piano pieces, which she premiered publicly.
The Concertino for piano and strings by Ronaldo Miranda and the Concertante for piano and strings by Marlos Nobre are also on the CD. This last work was heard in London some years ago by the composer and the RPO and now receives its world premiere recording. It has a new cadenza specially written for Clélia Iruzun by the composer and this recording marks the first performance of the expanded Concerto.
There are several short solo piano pieces on the disc, including Villa-Lobos's Tres Marias, and this important new album enjoys excellent sound and splendid playing by both soloist and orchestra. It is strongly recommended. More please!