Friday, October 17, 2014

The latest Cd in the Villa-Lobos Symphony series: no. 10

The new CD in the Naxos Villa-Lobos Symphonies series with OSESP under Isaac Karabtchevsky is finally here, and it should be a doozy.


The 10th Symphony is the biggest in the series, complete with some good bits as well as some of Villa's less fortunate tendencies. This will be a test of Karabtchevsky's vision and his control over the very good musicians of the Sao Paulo Symphony and Choir, and the two important male singers. We'll also see the results of the new edition of the work, prepared by an editorial team which includes Isaac Karabtchevsky, published by Criadores do Brasil. Maybe this clean-up of the notoriously sloppy scores will result in a tighter, more lucid whole that might bring to mind something more like Beethoven's Ninth or one of Mahler's Symphonies, and less like a pastiche from a Hollywood B-movie. Pre-order now at Amazon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Guitar concerto CD


When Villa-Lobos added a cadenza to the Fantasia Concerto he wrote for Segovia, he changed the name to Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra. The orchestral writing is 'thinly scored' to allow an un-amplified guitar to be heard, but Mme. Segovia still insisted that she couldn't hear her husband during the rehearsals for the premiere. Villa-Lobos conducted, going from p to pp to ppp, I'm sure with his mouth firmly closed all the time.

This picture, from the Museu Villa-Lobos, is included in the excellent liner notes to the equally excellent new Stein-Erik Olsen CD Havana Rio Moscow, with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields conducted by Terje Mikkelsen. Incidentally, the album just showed up today at The Naxos Music Library.



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

O Piano e a Criança


I came across this in Google Books: a 2011 publication by Irmãos Vitale. The pieces included, all written for children, are:
  • Brinquedo de roda
  • Petizada
  • Primeira suíte infantil
  • Segunda suíte infantil
  • Histórias da carochinha
  • Cirandinhas  
There's more information on the publisher's site.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rio Paris: Brazilian songs with a French connection

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HSPOMHC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00HSPOMHC&linkCode=as2&tag=heitorvillalobos&linkId=33C7NRDM3NF4BFUL

I've finally had a chance to listen to the Erato CD Rio Paris, a project by guitarist Liat Cohen, with the involvement of three special singers: Natalie Dessay, Agnes Jaoui and Helena Noguerra. Seven of the 17 tracks are by Villa-Lobos, but I also really enjoyed Cohen's choice by more recent composers, beginning with my favourite Tom Jobim song, Waters of March.

The centre-piece of the disc is the Aria of Bachianas Brasileiras #5, presented in Villa-Lobos's own arrangement for guitar and voice, and performed by Liat Cohen and Natalie Dessay. Two little-known early songs by Villa-Lobos with Cohen and Dessay are also included: Les Meres, op.45, and L'oiseau besse d'une fleche, op. 10 (most VL pieces with opus numbers are from the beginning of his career: these are from 1913 and 1914).

There are plenty of other delights included.  I especially appreciated three spare arrangements for guitar and voice by Rafi Kadishson:
  • Agua e vinho by Egberto Gismondi, sung by Helena Noguerra
  • the Baden Powell/Vinicius de Moraes Samba em preludio, sung by Agnes Jaoui and Helena Noguerra
  • the Jobim standard Desafinado sung by Helena Noguerra
The liner notes by Villa-Lobos scholar Rémi Jacobs show the serious side of the project, but you can tell from Liat Cohen's notes, the pictures included in the booklet, and the music itself, everyone involved seems to have had a lot of fun.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Irina Kulikova plays Guitar Music by Russian Composers

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M3ECKR2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00M3ECKR2&linkCode=as2&tag=heitorvillalobos&linkId=XWYF4DL7ZNEUPUUG 


Guitarist Irina Kulikova's excellent new CD of guitar music by Russian composers includes a piece by Konstantin Vassiliev entitled Mogiana in memoriam Heitor Villa-Lobos.  Named for the Mogiana district of Sao Paulo State, this piece is Villa-Lobosian, but it also has a strong Tom Jobim vibe. The entire disc is highly recommended, for excellent playing as well as the usual strong production and engineering provided by Bonnie and Norbert Kraft. Like so many great Naxos guitar discs, this was recorded at St. John Chrysostom Church in Newmarket Ontario.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Villa-Lobos A New Way



Villa-Lobos A New Way is a project begun by pianist, composer & arranger Alberto Conde and poet, playwright, novelist & musicologist JR Bustamante. The musicians in Conde's version of Choros #10 are:
  • Alberto Conde, piano 
  • Carmen Durán, soprano 
  • Nirankar Khalsa, percussion 
  • Kin Garcia, bass 
  • Miguel Cabana, drums

Friday, August 29, 2014

Petizada for Symphonic Band

Petizada is a piano suite written in 1912, based on traditional children's songs. It has six movements:
  • A mão direita tem uma roseira (The right hand holds a rosebush)
  • Assim ninava mamã (Mummy’s Lullaby)
  • A pobrezinha sertaneja (The Poor Girl from the Hinterlands)
  • Vestidinho branco (Little White Dress)
  • Saci
  • A História da caipirinha (The Story of the Little Peasant Girl)
Here is the suite in an adaptation for symphonic band by João Victor Bota, played by the Festival Orchestra of the Encerramento do VIII Curso de Férias, Coreto Paulista 2014.

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.