Fifth quartet

December 10 2012

After a single movement of the sixth string quartet by Villa-Lobos, here is the second movement of the fifth, posted on its own by Randolph Pitts, another sensitive juxtaposer of music and images.

The fifth was termed Quarteto Popular. The sixth, the other one composed in the ’30s, was Quarteto Brasileiro.

The Danubius Quartet is one of three ensembles which made the complete cycle known outside Brazil through CDs. The others were the Bessler-Reis (their set was finished by the Quarteto Amazônia when they broke up) and the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Earlier, there had been recordings by the Stuyvesant String Quartet and the Hollywood String Quartet of number 6, and by the Brazilian String Quartet of 1, 6, 16 and 17 – the last a revelation to me.

The other side of the LP of number 17 had the charming third, of 1890, of Villa-Lobos’s teacher Alberto Nepomuceno, called Brasileiro, the first example (it is said) of the integration of Brazilian folk melody with the Central European romantic idiom. Perhaps Villa-Lobos’s much more Brazilian work of nearly half a century later was a tribute to him.

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