Heitor Villa-Lobos conducting L'Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Francaise, with his supporting cast:
Fernand Dufrene, flute, and Maurice Cliquennois, clarinet
Jacques Neilz, violin, and Henri Bronschwak, cello
Manoel Braune, Aline van Berentzen, Magda Tagliaferro and Felicia Blumental, piano
Rene Plessier, bassoon, and Fernando Dufrene, flute
Victoria de los Angeles, soprano
This 6-CD set is indispensible for the Villa-Lobos lover. Though controversial in part as to performance quality, and universally loathed for its thin sound, it's great to have such a treasure-trove of works conducted and overseen by the composer himself.
The notes to this set, by Pierre Vidal, bring back the nostalgic, late-50s Parisian setting of these happy recording sessions:
"Visiting Villa-Lobos at the Hotel Bedford in Paris in May 1958, we found ourselves in the presence of a man of typically Brazilian cordiality who knew at once how to set his companions at ease."
Speaking of nostalgia, I've seen the original 10-LP set for sale on eBay (here is the original listing). I don't normally collect LPs, though I have bought some to fill in Villa-Lobos repertoire that isn't currently available on CD. I'm thinking, though, that it would have been nice to have that set [pictured to the left]. So I'm doing without that last bit of 1950s feel, but I don't miss the cracks, scratches and pops.
One mustn't forget the transcendant experience of hearing Victoria de los Angeles singing Bachianas Brasileiras #5.
Read my very old review, one of the first things I added to the Villa-Lobos Website back in the mid-90s.