Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Here's a Villa-Lobos work that only a few years ago rarely showed up in concert (I show no performances in the Villa-Lobos concerts database between 2001 and 2009), but which has been quite in vogue lately. A through-composed arrangement of tunes from his 1920 piano suite Carnaval das Crianças, Momoprécoce is a sparkling evocation of the world of the Carnaval, seen through the eyes of children. The work has been played recently by Cristina Ortiz, Simone Leitão (who wrote her thesis on the work), Jose Feghali, and Nelson Freire. Freire will play the work this summer in Sao Paulo (with Marin Alsop conducting the OSESP), and at Tanglewood. The complete list of Momoprécoce in concert is here.

Here is the first part of a concert featuring another great Brazilian pianist, Marcelo Bratke, with Fábio Mechetti conducting the Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais. The performance begins at the 2 minute mark; I await part 2 impatiently!

It's interesting that none of the 3 greatest Villa-Lobos works for piano and orchestra is called "Piano Concerto". Though Villa wrote 5 with that name (all of them perfectly good concertos), his stand-outs for piano & orchestra are Choros #11, Bachianas Brasileiras #3, and Momoprécoce.

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