Friday, April 12, 2002

As nice as it is right now in Red Deer (after a horrendously cold early spring), I'd still rather be in Paris right now, attending the first International Villa-Lobos Conference.

Here are some reports from our intrepid reporter on the scene: Lee Boyd.

From Wednesday's program:

Eero Tarasti - Villa-Lobos's Contribution to the XXth Century Music - "Professor Tarasti situated VL as a composer for audiences all over the world as well as Brazilians. He cited several composers who achieved international recognition in the 20th Century by applying their erudite musical skills to the folk and popular musics of their countries."

Roberto Duarte - The Revisions of VL's Orchestral Works - "Maestro Duarte explained how many details in VL's orchestral manuscripts needed to be corrected before musicans' parts could be distributed for his VL recording sessions. Some were the same as any composer's minor oversights, such as putting rests in the bassoon parts but not in the double bass, but one typical VL error roused sympathy in all of us - a performance instruction with phrases in both Portuguese and French."

"Our question periods are in French, English & Portuguese, also sometimes in the same sentences. Of special note, Maestro Duarte used his laptop and PowerPoint software to display and manipulate scanned manuscript excerpts, which worked very nicely."

Noel Devos - "Noel Devos is a bassoonist who has performed much VL music, some under the composer's direction. He described several occasions on which an orchestra member said his instrument couldn't execute the notes as written, whereupon VL took the instrument and played them."

"Unfortunately Ana Stella Schic could not appear a the afternoon sessions [her scheduled talk was Memoires of Villa-Lobos]."

Pierre Vidal - Villa-Lobos tel que je l'ai connu - "Maestro Vidal described his many experiences with the composer on and offstage, during VL's time in Paris."

Maria Teresa Madeira - Villa-Lobos and Jose Vierira Brandao - Madera is concentrating on documenting the life of the pianist Jose Vieiro Brandao, who permiered many of VL's piano works, and to whom some are dedicated."

Ronald Paz - In Memory of Heitor Villa-Lobos: Results of the Research - "Ronaldo Paz showed a film about his family's reminiscences of meeting VL in Berlin in the 1930's. The sound system of the Parisian equipment didn't cooperate with the Bolivian audio, but Sr. Paz read his paper in clear, well-paced Spanish that precisely matched the film speed, a fascinating performance."

Leah Arbelada Boyd - Truth & Justice for Dona Arminda, as well as for Dona Lucilia, and even Dona Lisa - "Leah Arbelada Boyd described the allegory on the life of Villa-Lobos which is embedded in Jorge Amado's Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, and discussed some of the circumstances surrounding it."

"Professor Tarasti fortunately obtained for us a restored copy of the film O Descobrimento do Brasil with VL's music, which he showed after the talks. Besides the music, there is some unusual anthropological material in this Brazilian government production from the 1930's."

Thanks so much, Lee, for these fascinating reports. Reports from Thursday's sessions are on their way!

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