Friday, August 1, 2014

An unpublished Villa-Lobos letter

From the Brazilian site "Glorias: Documentos Raros" comes this punning letter from Villa-Lobos to his friend and pupil "Didi", from 1956.


Is it possible?
Di, in place of Do.
Do, in place of Di.
H. Villa-Lobos

 
[from Google Translate:]

Didi,
For those who are willing to follow difficult but glorious work like that you learn and practice at your house but again we can say, since this work is have the purest and most beautiful of all philosophies. But never be repeated too often, as I do now, citing this small piece of the Proverbs of Solomon: "Guard your heart more than all things, for it come the fruits of life."
08.01.46, Pará

Sunday, July 13, 2014

RIP Lorin Maazel

In this video clip the late Maestro Lorin Maazel conducts the World Philharmonic Orchestra is the last part of Villa-Lobos's Choros no. 6. As far as I know this is Maazel's only recording of Villa-Lobos.


This performance is available on a CD that also includes the Firebird Suite and Berlioz's Carnaval Overture.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Guitar Concerto from Philly

Pablo Sainz Villegas plays the Villa-Lobos Guitar Concerto, with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, conducted by James Judd. This concert is from November 2013.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

OSESP a Prêmio da Música Brasileira winner

The 25th Annual Prêmio da Música Brasileira (Brazilian Music Awards) were held recently in Rio de Janeiro's Theatro Municipal. Winner of the Classical Album award was the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP), for their Naxos disc of the Villa-Lobos Symphonies no. 6 & 7.  Excellent choice!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

World Cup

"Villa-Lobos found that his concerts were often poorly attended because of the public's preference for soccer, this led him to denounce the sport violently. One of his phrases became famous: 'Soccer causes human intelligence to detour from the head to the feet!' The Brazilian soccer fans responded vigorously to the challenge. In one town they bombarded the touring musicians with rotten eggs, and the threat of similar treatment caused the group to leave another town in the early morning hours."

David E. Vassberg, "Villa-Lobos as Pedagogue: Music in the Service of the State," Journal of Research in Music Education, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Autumn, 1975), p. 165

No matter what Villa-Lobos thought about the game, I'm cheering big for A Seleçao!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New CD from Julien Labro & the Spektral Quartet


The new Azica CD From This Point Forward featuring the Spektral Quartet and accordionist Julien Labro will be released on June 24. The repertoire includes Labro's arrangement of Villa-Lobos's Sentimental Melody and Veleiros (from Forest of the Amazon), along with pieces by Piazzolla, Barrios, Pascoal, Saluzzi, Zenon, Schissi, Otero and Grenet. Labro and the Quartet were featured on the NPR station WBEZ's Morning Shift, which you can listen to here. They play Sentimental Melody at 11:35.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Momoprecoce, from the 2012 Proms



Nelson Freire plays piano, and Marin Alsop conducts OSESP, in this video from an August 2012 Proms concert. Momoprecoce is a fun pastiche that Villa-Lobos put together from his Carnaval das crianças for solo piano.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

RNZ Composer of the Week


A superb radio program from Radio New Zealand: Thomas Goss presents Villa-Lobos's music in the context of the birth of Brazilian modernism. Villa's masterpieces of the 1920s are illuminated by Mario de Andrade's amazing poetry.  This can be streamed on demand, but hurry up and listen; I'm not sure how long it will be available.