String Quartets Volume 5 - Quartets Nos. 5, 10 & 13
Saúl Bitrán, Violin Arón Bitrán, Violin
Javier Montiel, Viola Alvaro Bitrán, 'Cello
The Brazilian composer used to say that in matters concerning string quartets, his model was Haydn, an apparently contradictory statement supported only by the outer formal layout of his own quartets, where he adheres, with few exceptions, to the traditional pattern of four contrasting movements. This classical reference notwithstanding, Villa-Lobos created in his string quartets a highly personal expressive world, with a great variety of invention, remarkable contrasts, important tone-colour discoveries and a skilful handling of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic superpositions. At the same time, without paying much attention to Haydn, the composer seemed to totally disregard the forms and structures of the classical European tradition, so his quartets do not include strict sonata movements, variations, rondos or other such forms. To this one might add the omnipresent recourses to Brazilian folk and popular music. As in other areas of his creative endeavours, Villa-Lobos strictly adhered in his string quartets to the spirit of his most famous quotation: "I am folklore." ...
- Juan Arturo Brennan
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