Tuesday, October 24, 2006

old CDs at new fangled prices

Years ago, when I was just out of college, I came across a CD> The CD was by Fabio Zanon and it was full of the complete solo guitar music of Heitor Villa-Lobos. On the off chance that you're reading this blog and don't know who Heitor Villa-Lobos is he's he's like a Mozart or Haydn or Bach in guitar literature. You WILL study, hear, or play his works at some point. It is inevitable. It is your destiny.

But the thing is that though all Villa-Lobos' great works for solo guitar are bound to be on CD any time anywhere until the end of electronic civilization not all Villa-Lobos CDs are necessarily equal. My personal favorite I unfortunately lent out to someone who has not returned it to me for about two years, the aforementioned Fabio Zanon CD> I had no idea at the time I boughht it that it was based on the 1928 manuscripts rather than the puboished edition, i.e. the first published editions that some recordings are based on.

Why is this important? Well, because some of the original edition bits of the 12 Etudes, for instance, don't make any sense as written. The 1928 edition Zanon plays from does. Since the CD was released an actual sensible format of Villa-Lobos' scores seems to have come out so weird repeats aren't in Etude 1.

Thing is that Zanon's CD is scarce. YOu can only get it used and whilst shopping for my replacement copy I found that four vendors on Amazon have two basic prices for it. About twenty bucks and about eighty-five bucks. Eighty-five dollars! I did NOT make that up. That price is a rip off even for one of the finest Villa-Lobos recordings I've ever heard in my life. Thirty and maybe no we'll talk.

I say this ont to discourage anyone from hearing this great CD but to say that sometimes people are aware of how scarce something is and jack up the price. Maybe I'm not as devoted as the next Villa-Lobos fan who will pay nearly ninety bucks--or at least that much if you factor in tax and shipping and handling fees.

On the other hand, sometimes you have to bite the bullet for something you really want to pick up. I paid probably thirty bucks for the Gyorgy Kurtag score for piccolo, tenor trombone, and guitar, and that was to have it imported to me from Italy. Thanks to Clarius. :)

But there are points where if you have to pay a certai amount of money for recordings of scores that you can get for a quarter of the price yo uhave to ask yourself why you're not playing through them yourself. Oh, yeah, because I'm not a professional and am too busy composing to learn all of Villa-lobos. But then that's not something I can complain about. I've managed to find a copy of Zanon's CD for a price I'm willing to pay. If you don't already have the CD Norbert Kraft has a Cd that's almost as fun that takes the Lullaby etude way too fast for my tastes but sounds okay. Still, it's not my favorite compard to Fabio.


Anonymous said...

The Zanon CD is still in print, but available only in the US, through the Musical Heritage Society -- one of these CD-of-the-month outfits.

You can even get it for 99c in the club's
introductory offer. Of course, you have to figure out a way to get out of the club later and avoid their overpriced monthly automatic purchases. But don't leave before you also get Zanon's Scarlatti CD.

Proceed at your own risk, here is the link:


About the 1928 manuscripts. They were never published, but you can get copies the Villa-Lobos Museum in Rio de Janeiro. Zanon's recording of ├ętudes uses only some elements of the 1928 version. The only recording I know that follows the 1928 version entirely is by David Leisner.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Thanks! I've got a copy now through other means but I'll make sure to check this out when I have web access of my own.