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Phillip Scott
Fanfare, November 2014

The performances are uniformly captivating and the recording quality is excellent…Conductor Mechetti evidently knows and loves these scores, finding much variety and nuance…Bissoli, a young Italian guitarist, takes part in everything except Choros No. 6 and shines throughout; neither his technique nor his total identification with the music can be faulted. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Michael Round
International Record Review, September 2014

VILLA-LOBOS, H.: Guitar Manuscripts (The) - Masterpieces and Lost Works, Vol. 1 (Bissoli) 8.573115
VILLA-LOBOS, H.: Guitar Manuscripts (The) - Masterpieces and Lost Works, Vol. 2 (Bissoli) 8.573116

Aficionados will fall on some titles with glee; curious but more objective listeners will find the whole enterprise delightfully listenable. Even guitar-phobes should be patient—a substantial orchestral rarity awaits on Volume 2.

Sensibly mixing familiar and unfamiliar, Volume 1 opens with the Concerto of 1951–55…[and the] performance here is neat and well recorded.

Greater contrivance attends Volume 2: the opening Dime perché (‘Tell Me Why’)…has been coaxed on board with no authority save for allegedly guitarish figurations in the original piano part and by partial transposition into a more guitar-friendly key! Editorial excess or not, the piece is gently delightful. The Ensemble Musagète performance is technically irreproachable if arguably strait-laced.

Next, more familiar territory. Villa-Lobos’s Choros series spanned the 1920s, generally increasing in scale from No. 1 through to the now lost No. 14.

The Minas Gerais orchestra, here and in the Introduçâo, is technically astonishing: Villa-Lobos’s vertiginous violin parts and wild woodwind writing hold no terrors for this internationally manned ensemble, founded in 2008.

Bissoli’s editorial enterprise is beyond praise. As a player, he presents his findings with reverence, on a cushion of delectable harmonies—technically most accomplished, but avoiding entirely the more raucous elements of Villa-Lobos’s beloved Rio street music. Marna Villa-Lobos may well have approved the scoundrel-free approach, but less ‘respectable’ performances of the better-known items make for far more exciting listening. But make no mistake: at these budget prices, both discs should be snapped up without hesitation. © 2014 International Record Review

Lucy Jeffery
MusicWeb International, July 2014

A favourite recording from this CD would be the Choros No. 1. Bissoli’s instinctive tempo changes and natural sway is utterly compelling. Listeners are teased by his slow return to Villa-Lobos’s seductive theme. His sound is stripped of artificiality. Here is a player who conveys his impressions and feelings with facility, confidence and subtlety.

With exquisite solos and orchestral passages, this CD conjoins Villa-Lobos’s skills in virtuosic composition and musical arrangement. The two styles interweave seamlessly, forming a gossamer of Euro-Brazilian sounds and it’s all attractively held together by Andrea Bissoli. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert Benson, July 2014

Another engrossing issue is the second of three Naxos disks devoted to guitar transcriptions by Andrea Bissoli whose devotion to the composer is obvious in these loving presentations. Also featured is the virtuoso Minas Gerais Philharmonic and their conductor Fabio Mechetti who give a brilliant performance of Choros No. 6, perfectly capturing the many moods of the work. And to top it off, we have the brief…Canção do Amor an exquisite miniature for soprano and guitar…It is a treasure indeed. Superb audio throughout—don’t miss this captivating CD. Thank you again, Naxos! © 2014 Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2014

The music is generally enthralling, the performances very good to excellent. Bissoli, Ensemble Musagete, the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra under Fabio Mechetti and soprano Gabriella Pace offer up to us the music in all its idiomatic splendor and charm…all of it is very worthwhile Villa-Lobos that no doubt will give you many hours of enjoyment whether you are a confirmed Villa-Lobos appreciator…or new to him. Very much recommended! © 2014 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2014

The second in a series of three volumes with the title ‘The Guitar Manuscripts: Masterpieces and Lost Works’ by the Brazilian composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos. This present disc relates that as a teenager [Villa-Lobos] composed a work for guitar that shocked his mother who thought it was an instrument played by scoundrels…both [the Choros No. 6 and Introdução aos Choros] are more than welcome on disc, and the Brazilian orchestra are a fine group of musicians under their artistic director, Fabio Mechetti. Andrea Bissoli, who seems to have been instrumental in masterminding this series, is heard in two short solo works, the Dime perché and Valsa Concerto No. 2, with his major contribution coming in the ever popular Choros No. 1. Brazil’s leading soprano, Gabriella Pace, is the soloist in the short and seductive Canção do Amor…Very good sound throughout. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

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