Friday, April 3, 2009

And the Survey Says...

A new article in the Jornal Cruzeiro do Sul (Sorocaba in the State of Sao Paulo) reports that a survey undertaken by the Escritório Central de Arrecadação e Distribuição - Ecad (which Google translates as the Central Office of Collection and Distribution) found that the most popular works of Villa-Lobos in Brazil in the last five years were:
  1. Bachianas Brasileiras #2
  2. Bachianas Brasileiras #5
  3. Melodia Sentimental
  4. Bachianas Brasileiras #4
  5. Valsa da Dor
These are really interesting results. A look at the database of world-wide Villa-Lobos Concerts from the past ten years shows a somewhat different story:
  1. Bachianas Brasileiras #5 (139 performances)
  2. Bachianas Brasileiras #4 (72)
  3. Assobio a Jato (The Jet Whistle) (49)
  4. Fantasia for Saxophone (44)
  5. Bachianas Brasileiras #9 (43)
  6. Bachianas Brasileiras #2 (43)
  7. Bachianas Brasileiras #1 (39)
  8. Bachianas Brasileiras #6 (35)
  9. Choros #05 (33)
  10. Choros #02 (32)
  11. Choros #01 (30)
  12. Preludes for Guitar (29)
One of the problems that comes up in counting Villa-Lobos performances is that the popular guitar works (Choros #01, the Preludes, the Etudes, the Suite Popular Bresilienne) are often not included in the program listings (there are 49 concerts and recitals in the database with only "Works for Guitar"). You only need to look at Villa-Lobos videos on YouTube to see how often these works are played.

In any case, we're in the middle of a major renaissance in both Brazilian and world-wide interest in the music of Villa-Lobos.

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