What do the following composers have in common?
and last (but not least)
Well, they were all born in the same year: 1887. I found that out by going to a very useful online resource:
Klassika - die deutschspachigen Klassikseiten.
I'm afraid that the only exact contemporary I know at all well is the Swede Kurt Atterberg. I find his neo-classic 4th Symphony quite charming (along with his 1st, it's on a cpo CD with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ari Rasilainen (catalogue number : 999639). Another marvellous CD is Koch-Schwann's coupling of Atterberg's Cello Sonata and Cello Concerto (with Werner Thomas-Mifune, cello, Carmen Piazzini, piano, and the Berlin RSO conducted by Karl Anton Rickenbacher - catalogue 3-1585-2). BIS-1024 has the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jun'ichi Hirokami performing the 6th Symphony - another lovely piece - the work that brought Atterberg his greatest fame (it was recorded by Toscanini).
Is this music at all like Villa-Lobos? There's a tension in Atterberg's music between classical and romantic that seems very reminiscent of Villa-Lobos. Atterberg and Villa-Lobos share a common gift for melody and an interest in folk music. If you agree with Messiaen, who said that Villa-Lobos was the most gifted of 20th century orchestrators, you might put Atterberg not too far behind. There's an interesting review of the Koch-Schwann disc in Gramophone magazine that points in this direction:
"...in the finale some of the orchestral writing points (briefly but remarkably) towards Villa-Lobos!"
There's a modernist side to Villa-Lobos, though, that Atterberg doesn't share.
Atterberg lived until 1974 - 25 years longer than Villa-Lobos, though his greatest works seem to have been written by the time VL died in 1959. I'm looking forward to listening to more of his music.