Monday, March 30, 2009

Distribuiçao de flores at Music Mountain

On August 12, 2007, Eugenia Zukerman and David Starobin performed Villa-Lobos's Distribuiçao de flores, as part of a Music Mountain concert featuring the Bergonzi String Quartet. You can listen to the entire concert at the Instant Encore site. The excellent program notes are here.

Thanks to Alex Ross' recent post in The Rest is Noise for the head's-up on the great audio & video available from Instant Encore.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Villa-Lobos Documentary Film Translation

Thanks to Bruno Mano, we have a transcription and English translation for the YouTube portion of the Villa-Lobos documentary film I recently posted. The film and Bruno's translation are here, at the Villa-Lobos Website.

Here's one of the best bits, from Villa's friend and brother-in-law:

Villa Lobos had a liking for the monumental: his cigars were the biggest in the world, the television that he bought in the US looked like a cinema screen. When he learned to drive an automobile, the car he bought was a Dodge, with twelve seats, a presidential car.

Second Música Académica Latinoamericana in Mendoza

The second Música Académica Latinoamericana festival is being held right now at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina. One of the headliners is the pianist and Villa-Lobos scholar Luiz De Moura Castro; another is guitarist Isabel Siewers. Both play concerts focussing on Villa-Lobos in this Ano VL.

The highlight of the festival is the final concert, with conductor Ricardo Rocha conducting the Orquesta Sinfónica and the Coro de Niños y Jóvenes of UNCuyo, with cellist Matías Villafañe. Featured will be three fairly rare works: the Nonetto, Choros #06, and the Fantasia for Cello & Orchestra, which seems to be in vogue right now in concert.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Orquestra Sinfônica de Brasília in 2009

The 2009 programme of Orquestra Sinfônica do Teatro Nacional Cláudio Santoro de Brasília is as impressive as any I've seen when it comes to interesting Villa-Lobos repertoire. It includes these works:

April 7 with conductor Emilio de Cesar: Choros #02, 03, 04, and 07, along with the Nonetto
April 14 with conductor Ira Levin: Bachianas Brasileiras #2
April 21 with conductor Ira Levin: BB#2 and #7
June 2 with conductor Abel Rocha: Fantasia em forma de Choros
October 27 with conductor Roberto Tibiriçá: Choros #09
November 10 (conductor TBA): Bachianas Brasileiras #1, #6, and #5 (with soprano Denise Tavares)

The highlights here are the rare Nonetto and Choros #09, and especially the Fantasia em Três Movimentos (in the form of choros). This is the first performance I've come across in my concerts database on the HVL Website. It would be great if this concert could be recorded, since I've never heard of any recordings of this work for "wind orchestra" from 1958.

The complete programme is here, at Concerto's excellent website.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Antonio Nóbrega's Melodia Sentimental

"Melodia Sentimental" by Antonio Nóbrega - from the DVD "Nove De Frevereiro".

This is amazing dancing, but I also love the big-band arrangement of the music.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Choral version of BB#1

Villa-Lobos wrote two versions of Bachianas Brasileiras #9: for a capella mixed chorus and for strings. Roberto Martins has adapted the 2nd movement - Preludio (Modinha) - of the first Bachianas Brasileiras for choir and organ, and it sounds great. The very impressive Coral Municipal de Santos performs this work under Martins' direction at the "Villa-Lobos Week" in Santos.

I have the feeling that this arrangement may end up being very popular with chamber choirs around the world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Changes in the OSESP Season

There are major changes in this year's programme of the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, as John Neschling is replaced by Yan Pascal Tortelier.

Unfortunately, the November 5-7 performances of the very rare Choros #09 are gone, though they are replaced by three performances of Bachianas Brasileiras #7 later in the month.

Theatro Municipal

Two architecture posts in a row! I was reminded by this story in O Globo that this is the Centennial year of the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, which was inaugurated in July 1909. This beautiful building, inspired by Charles Garnier's Paris Opera House, was the scene of many premieres of Villa-Lobos's works.

A second O Globo story features the Theatro Municipal in São Paulo. This building, inaugurated in 1911, was another important building in the life of Villa-Lobos. It was the scene of the 1922 Semana de Arte Moderna. Both theatres are featured in The World of Villa-Lobos, a map of important places in the life of the composer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Villa-Lobos Week in Santos

The city of Santos in the state of São Paulo was founded in 1546, and has grown to become one of the most important cities in Brazil. One of its most important buildings, the 1882 Teatro Guarany, had become nothing more than a ruin until a major restoration completed last month.

This is what the the Teatro Guarany looked like before:

And here it is today:

The brand-new Teatro will be the scene of a week-long celebration of the music of Villa-Lobos: the Semana Villa-Lobos. Starting with a choral concert on Villa's birthday, March 5th, the week's highlights include a solo piano concert with Antonio Eduardo Santos, two chamber music concerts, and a performance by the massed guitars of the Camerata de Violões Heitor Villa-Lobos.

The week ends on March 10, with a performance at the Teatro Coliseu of Bachianas Brasileiras #2 and #7 by the Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal de Santos under the direction of Luis Gustavo Petri.

Thanks to the following photographers:
Depto. Imprensa - Prefeitura Municipal de Santos
Anderson Bianchi
Tadeu Nascimento/Prefeitura Municipal de Santos