The Villa-Lobos quartets have the recording they deserve, a musical phenomenon that spans so many stylistic influences and a dazzling array of colors and contours. This was the one choice this year that was never in doubt—the Latin American Quartet is so absorbed in this music and so dead-on in interpretation that it is difficult to believe these vital works will ever have a recording to match these. The bonus DVD with interviews and a performance of one of the quartets only adds to its desirability.
…for the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, this repertoire is their metiér. They had taped Quartets Nos. 5 and 17 for Élan prior to embarking on this set, and their deep knowledge and love of the music shine through.