Thursday, January 29, 2009

Antropofagia Musical

In connection with their new exhibit of art by the great Brazilian modernist painter Tarsila do Amaral, the Fundación Juan March in Madrid is presenting an important musical series entitled "Antropofagia Musical: Tres conciertos con motivo de la exposición Tarsila do Amaral." The three concerts take place on February 6, 11 and 18, 2009.

Oswald de Andrade was, with Tarsila do Amaral and others, a founder of the Brazilian modernist movement. His 1928 Manifesto Antropófago (Cannibal Manifesto) set out the major themes of the modernist agenda. The connection between de Andrade and Villa-Lobos was the latter's involvement in the Semana de Arte Moderna in Sao Paulo in 1923. Villa's modernism, forged in Paris in the 1920s, was the musical highlight of the week, and the performances of his music were the cause of much controversy. Controversy, of course, is the manifesto-writer's dearest wish.

The Antropofagia Musical series thus provides Villa-Lobos pride of place in the programs of the three concerts. On February 6, the featured works are Quinteto en forma de chôros (1928) and Chôros nº 3 (1925 - dedicated to Tarsila do Amaral). Three Villa-Lobos works are included in the February 11th concert, including the late Quintet instrumental (1957). The final concert on February 18th includes various vocal and solo piano works including Suite floral, portions of which were actually played (to the consternation of some audience members) during the Semana.

One of the great things about this series is that those of us outside of Madrid will have a chance to hear these concerts. They're being broadcast live on Radio Clásica, from Radio Nacional de España.

Both of the the excellent but short Wikipedia articles on Oswald de Andrade and Tarsila do Amaral feature a portrait of the former by the latter, noting that the image is copyrighted and unlicensed. Rather than posting it here, I will direct you to the superb site Tarsila do Amaral, which includes a large gallery of images, and lots of background and history relating to this great artist's work.

Instead I offer this image of a poster from February 17, 1922 (87 years before the upcoming series in Madrid) from the Semana de Arte. This is copyright Museu Villa-Lobos, who incidentally allow all of their images to be reproduced for non-commercial use, provided credit is given to the Museum.

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