Friday, October 19, 2001

Geirr Tveitt

Geirr Tveitt (1908-1981) is a very interesting composer born in Bergen, Norway. I love what I've heard of his music - deeply rooted in folk music with a modernist edge. I was surprised to learn from this site (part of a fabulous web resource for all kinds of classical music: the Naxos site) that Tveitt was once a pupil of Villa-Lobos.

My surprise doesn't come from the music - there are many similarities between VL and Tveitt - but from the fact that VL was well-known for not having many formal pupils. George Hufsmith is a fairly well-known exception. Like Villa-Lobos, Tveitt spent the 20's immersed in the musical excitement of the Paris of Stravinsky, Honegger (who was also his teacher), Milhaud, Varese and Messiaen, and then went back home to discover his own national roots in ethnomusical investigations.

Have a listen to Tviett's music - the Naxos CDs are very inexpensive and very high quality (both in interpretation and sound quality) - and let me know what you think.

In an article in Brazzil magazine, Bruce Gilman talks with the Brazilian group Uakti: Uakti, a sound from another world - Brazilian Music - June 1997. The group acknowledges their debt to Villa-Lobos.

An excellent overview of VL's string quartets is contained in another article by Bruce Gilman in Brazzil magazine: Cuarteto Latinoamericano keeps Villa-Lobos alive - Brazilian Music - July 1998.

Desde el Escritorio de Randy Osborne - an interview with Villa-Lobos from 1958. VL talks about the importance of the guitar in his music.

"Piano 300" is the international celebration of the 300th anniversary of the piano. One of the pianists involved in the project is Luiz de Moura-Castro. This page includes an MP3 file of Alma Brasileira, Choros number 5.

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