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Three ballet suites and the Little Train in musical technicolour,
This review is from: Villa-Lobos/Antill/Ginastera - Orchestral Works (Audio CD)
This disc, originally released in 1958 and 1969 and recorded on 35mm film, are here issued in a 20 bit remastered form from the original masters. The resulting sound can only be described as spectacular as indeed are the performances.
The disc opens with the popular Little Train of the Caipira by Villa Lobos. Goossens perfectly captures the image of the small scale little train as it bumps and gently goes on its way, including a loveable change of gear in the middle. The main melody as it puffs along is totally blissful. The Latin American percussion create an excellent suggestion of a steam engine.
The three ballet suites have their fair share of noisy exuberance and are made up of short dance episodes. John Antill's Corroboree has five of these dances based on an Australian aboriginal dance ceremony known as the Corroboree. The dances are reminiscent of parts of the Rite of Spring and the Australian composer composed them as part of a ballet of that name in 1936.
The two ballets by Ginastera are based on Argentinian themes. Panambi, an early work written when Ginastera was just 20, depicts an South American Indian legend and focusses on the sort of ' sophisticated primitivism' that can be found in the Rite too. The Dance of the Warriors, being scored for brass and percussion only, completes the set of four dances in spectacular style. Estancia, centred around a ranch theme whereby a city boy succeeds in winning the hand of a ranch girl against all the odds, also features four dance episodes concluding with a final and energetic malambo.
This could not be described as a quiet or peaceful disc overall although there are peaceful sequences such as Dance to the Evening Star (Antill) and Moonlight on the Parana (Ginastera). The mood is one of energetic exuberance and this is fully captured by Goossens and the LSO and the recording engineers. As an example of the recording standards that could be achieved in the late 1950s, this disc is simply outstanding.
I would suggest that, listened to at the appropriate times, this disc is an enlivening experience hard to match. The Little Train is simply a total delight and quite the gentlest and most affectionate performance I have heard of the piece.