Thursday, March 9, 2017

A letter to Paris

Henry Prunières in 1935

Henry Prunières is an important figure in the arts in Paris between the wars. He created La Revue musicale in 1920, running it until 1939. This periodical documented Villa-Lobos's exploits in Paris in the 1920s. Here is a letter Villa-Lobos wrote to Prunières in 1929, from the French National Library's Gallica portal.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Villa-Lobos Harp Concerto from Russia

I noticed the remastered disc of Vera Dulova's 1976 Melodiya recording of the Villa-Lobos Harp Concerto up on the Naxos Music Library today. Here's the original LP:

The Harp Concerto should be much better known than it is. It was written in 1953 on commission from harpist Nicanor Zabaleta.

This is the same disc in a 2015 remastering:

Monday, January 30, 2017

A late interview with Villa-Lobos

This is a really interesting interview that Villa-Lobos gave at the Empire State Music Festival in Harriman State Park (Bear Mountain) in New York, on July 12, 1959. This was the composer's last concert before his death. Though he couldn't have been in the best of health, he sounds his usual self. His wife Mindinha chimes in at the end.

Unfortunately my Portuguese is less than basic, but this Google translation of the YouTube poster's summary give the gist of what Villa said:
Villa-Lobos comments on the issues of the time, welcomes the Brazilian people, declares his love for the homeland - Rio de Janeiro - and talks to the journalist while the orchestra rehearses the presentation of more. In the audio that is now part of the MEC FM radio collection, Villa-Lobos demystifies the creation process. "This business of coming inspiration does not exist in me. I was born inspired already. Either I do a good thing, or I do crap. But this business of me looking for inspiration, letting hair grow to have inspiration, drink, it does not exist in me. I write when I need to. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Uirapuru danced in Madrid

The Argentine choreographer Dani Pannullo and his dance company present Uirapuru, based on Villa-Lobos' great early orchestral masterpiece. The music is played by JORCAM, conducted by Jordi Frances-Sanjuan. This is from 2011.