Thursday, January 24, 2013

1940s Caricature of Villa-Lobos

An article from the Washington Times Herald of January 30, 1949. This is from the Gallica Digital Library; unfortunately, there's no higher resolution version available.

The caption reads "Batoneer From Brazil: Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazil's leading composer, will be guest conductor of the National Symphony today in Constitution Hall. His program includes music inspired by the savage rhythms he has heard in Brazilian jungles."

It's hard to decipher all the text of the story by Glenn Dillard Gunn, but what I can make out is very interesting, in a gossipy way. Gunn visited Villa-Lobos in Rio in 1940, during Stokowski's visit. Meeting Villa-Lobos at his office, he noticed the composer was uncommunicative and edgy.

"Then I learned why he was nervous. He wanted to get to the Teatro Municipale, where Stokowski was rehearsing his new piano concerto. The pianist, a statuesque blonde named Tagliaferro, did not please him. Nor, seemingly, did Stokowski."

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