Sunday, February 8, 2004

Nashville Symphony Bachianas Brasileiras

In the spring the Nashville Symphony will begin their recording sessions of the nine Bachianas Brasileiras. This query recently arrived from Wilson Ochoa, music librarian of the Nashville Symphony:

"We are performing and recording all 9 of the "Bachianas Brasileiras" in March, and I have been busy proofreading the parts to make sure we record these with no errors.

"I have some questions about the printed music conductor scores, and was wondering if you can shed some light on some problems I have encountered.

"In "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2":

"In the third movement "Dansa": The Violin 2 is marked pizzicato at the beginning. Could this be a mistake? It is unplayable that way (too fast to be able to play it pizzicato), and should be arco to match the violas? (It is arco at rehearsal 15 when the same music returns.) The recordings I have play it arco.

"In the same movement, in the seventh measure, the Violin I is in octaves on the first beat of the measure, should they be in octaves on beat 2? Currently I have the upper part playing E, E, D (above the staff), and the lower part playing C, C, B (in the staff--and this would seem to clash with Violin 2, although Villa Lobos does do this sometimes).

"In the same movement, in the fifth measure after rehearsal 2, should Violin I be pizzicato (as at the beginning of the movement?) Also, the fifth measure of rehearsal 17, should that be pizzicato as well? In the same piece, last movement "Tocata", there is no marking as to when the Violins remove their mutes. Would that occur at rehearsal 3?

"In "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 8":

"In the second movement "Aria": after rehearsal 3, the third and the fifth measure, the strings and horns have a musical figure that sometimes has marked a glissando between beats 3 and 4. In the third measure, the strings have the glissando, and the horns do not. But in the fifth measure the horns have the glissando, but the strings do not. Then, at rehearsal 4, third measure, the strings have this and the horns do not. Should these all match? Should there be a glissando every time? Or is it correct the way it is printed? In the same movement, rehearsal 3, fourth measure, the strings have beat 3 slurred together, but the horns do not. Should these match? Is there a slur?

"Thanks for your help with this.

"Wilson Ochoa, Principal Music Librarian, Nashville Symphony" -

I'm hoping some of the readers of The Villa-Lobos Magazine might be able to help Wilson with these questions. If you're in Nashville this March, you'll be able to attend the concerts of all nine Bachianas. I'm not sure if live recordings will be made from the concerts given this March, or if the concerts will be preparations for studio recordings. In any case, you can get all the information from the Upcoming Villa-Lobos Concerts page, and at the website of the Nashville Symphony.

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