Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New book by Fábio Zanon

The guitarist and music professor Fábio Zanon has published a new book on the music of Villa-Lobos. Here is the complete bibliographic information:

Título: Folha Explica: Villa-Lobos
Autor: Fábio Zanon
Editora: Publifolha
Edição: 1a. edição, 2009
Idioma: Português
Número de páginas: 120 páginas
Formato: 11 cm x 18 cm (largura x altura)
Especificação: Offset 90 g/m², 1x1 Cor, Brochura
Peso: 111 gramas
ISBN: 978-85-7914-127-0
ISBN-13: 978-85-7914-127-0
Área: Folha Explica

Zanon discusses Villa-Lobos and his new book in this video. Critic Franco Irineu Perpetuo speaks very highly of the new book in this article.

Villa-Lobos on Cultura FM - January 2010

Every month I post highlights from the upcoming schedule of Cultura FM from Sao Paulo. Since you can listen live to this station on the Internet, it's a great way to hear Brazilian classical music.

January 4:
15:00 TARDE CULTURA - Música e Notícia:
Entre outras obras, Pequena Suíte de Heitor VILLA-LOBOS. Rebecca Rust (viloncelo). David Apter (piano).


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Diapason, November 2009

This splendid image is from the "Alma Brasileira", the Villa-Lobos story by Francois Laurent in the November 2009 issue of Diapason magazine (p. 56-61). I don't remember seeing this picture before, though it certainly evokes one side of Villa's personality. Laurent knows the Villa-Lobos discography really, really well. His "indispensable" picks on CD:
  • Villa-Lobos par lui-meme
  • The Cuarteto Latinoamericano complete String Quartets
  • The BIS complete Bachianas Brasileiras and Choros
  • Anna Stella Schic's complete piano music
  • Carl St. Clair's complete Symphonies on cpo

Monday, December 28, 2009

Report from Paris

In a recent column Alexandre Freitas provides some information on "Hommage à Villa-Lobos", an international conference that took place at the Sorbonne on December 14-15, 2009. This event attracted some of the most distinguished European scholars, including Eero Tarasti from Helsinki, the semiologist turned Villa-Lobos biographer, and Anaïs Flechet from Paris, who has recently written a Villa-Lobos book. As well, there were reports from Brazilian musicians such as Sonia Rubinsky, Roberto Duarte, and Ricardo Tacuchian.

There's more information on the Conference here.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hommage à Chopin

Just in time for the Chopin Bi-Centennial, this upcoming Hyperion disc by pianist Jonathan Plowright (to be released in February 2010) includes Hommage à Chopin, the work that Villa-Lobos wrote for the 100th Anniversary of Chopin's death in 1949. The Hyperion Records website includes audio clips and a PDF of the excellent notes by Jeremy Nicholas.

Watch for this work to show up in a lot of Chopin concerts this coming year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Villa-Lobos: Sua Obra

It's been difficult over the years to get a clear picture of the complete catalogue of Villa-Lobos's music, but musico-bibliographers have been working behind the scenes to bring things into focus. The Museu Villa-Lobos began to clean things up with the publication in 1965 with the first edition of Villa-Lobos: Sua Obra. This was followed by the 2nd edition in 1972.

David P. Appleby became Villa's Köchel in 1988, with the publication of his 1988 book Heitor Villa-Lobos: a bio-bibliography. (Bio-bibliographies in music, no. 9. New York: Greenwood Press). Appleby came up with 567 numbers ("W" for Work, though these are often changed to "A" for Appleby, which is only right) for the major pieces Villa-Lobos wrote.  There are certainly missing works in Appleby's listing, and he didn't include a fair number of choral and vocal works included in the Musica Sacra and Guia Pratico collections in the main listing.  However, Appleby's list should reduce some of the hyperbole concerning Villa-Lobos's prodigious output (though there are lots of sources out there that continue to throw out 2,000 as a total).

Appleby's book was immediately followed in 1989 by the third edition of Villa-Lobos: Sua Obra, by the Museu Villa-Lobos.  These two works have been my main guides in my Villa-Lobos web work so far.

So it's exciting to see the publication on the Museu Villa-Lobos website of the new edition of Villa-Lobos: Sua Obra.  This 2009 publication is termed "Versão 1.0, based on the 1989 edition".  It will be interesting to see how much new information is included in this 362 page catalogue, which you can download here.  Thanks once more to the amazing Museu Villa-Lobos for their work in making the music of Villa-Lobos more accessible in the 21st Century.

Monday, December 21, 2009

47th Festival Villa-Lobos Video

Congratulations to Marcelo Rodolfo from the Museu Villa-Lobos, for putting together such a successful Festival.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Robert Bonfiglio plays the Harmonica Concerto

Robert Bonfiglio is an amazing advocate for Villa-Lobos; he's performed the Harmonica Concerto around the world many, many times. You can listen to all three movements of this work at YouTube, taken from a live concert with the Gewandhaus Orchestra conducted by Fabio Luisi. The first movement is here, the second movement is here, and the third movement, with pictures from Bonfiglio's September 2009 visit to the famous Manaus Opera House, is below:

Robert has a couple of performances of the Harmonica Concerto coming up in the New Year: with the the Galicia Symphony, conducted by Enrique Diemecke, on January 4th; and with the Rockford Symphony, conducted by Steven Larsen, on January 16th.

Feliz Natal

Villa-Lobos wrote Feliz Natal, to words by Manuel Bandeira, in 1945. This lovely piece (beautifully sung here by the a cappella group InCanto) is obviously well-known in Brazil, since the audience join in for the last verse.

You can see the first bit of the original score here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Projeto B's "A Viagem de Villa-Lobos"

I've posted a few times about the amazing "A Viagem de Villa-Lobos" by Projeto B. Here's a chance to listen to the whole album streamed online, from the excellent Rádio UOL website.

Here are Villa-Lobos and the members of Projeto B, as drawn by Manu Maltez. There's more information about the CD here.

Choros #10 in Santo André

Here's the first part of Choros #10, performed by the Orquestra Sinfônica de Santo André and the Coro da Cidade de Santo André e Coro da Unesp, conducted by Carlos Moreno.

Things have changed a lot in the fifteen years since I began doing Villa-Lobos work on the web. I've always posted information about Villa-Lobos concerts, but here's nearly instant video from a concert in Brazil the day before yesterday!

Here's part two.

The Guitar Etudes arranged for piano

In their book Choro: a social history, Tamara Elena Livingston-Isenhour and Thomas George Caracas Garcia discuss the influence of Chopin on the guitar etudes.
To some degree, his guitar works also pay homage to Chopin, whose piano etudes were clearly the model for Villa-Lobos's estudos for guitar. These are true concert etudes for the guitar and, like the Chopin works, are meant for the stage; they are not limited to the status of mere pedagogical tools. Villa-Lobos's Estudos also represent an attempt, consciously or subconsiously, to legitimate the guitar as a concert instrument and raise it to the level of the piano... [p. 189]
The Serbian pianist Julija Bal has arranged a number of the etudes for piano, and I think they sound really well on the instrument.  You can listen to them at Bal's excellent website.

By the way, Jose Vieira Brandao adapted the five guitar preludes for piano.  Sonia Rubinsky plays them on volume 7 of her complete Naxos series of Villa-Lobos piano music.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Projeto B's Villa-Lobos

A great arrangment of Choros #2 performed by Projeto B, from their recent CD "A Viagem de Villa-Lobos".

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Interview with BIS's Robert von Bahr

The latest issue of Fanfare includes an interview by Martin Anderson with Robert von Bahr of the Swedish record company BIS.  The recent Diapason d’Or de l’Année award to BIS for John Neschling's recordings of the complete Choros was mentioned by von Bahr, who is still scratching his head about Neschling's ouster from his post with Osesp.  "Neschling really kept the orchestra on its toes," von Bahr said.

He mentioned that BIS will be recording again in Sao Paulo, in February 2010.  One can only hope that BIS might be starting a complete recording of Villa-Lobos orchestral works.  If they could raise the bar for such great works as Amazonas, Uirapuru, Erosão, and Ruda the same way they did for the Bachianas Brasileiras and Choros, that would be a great start for Villa-Lobos in the coming year.

Friday, December 4, 2009

TV Cultura documentary footage

Here are scenes from the November 17, 2009 Villa-Lobos documentary on TV Cultura's program Metrópolis.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Villa-Lobos on Cultura FM: December 2009

Every month I post highlights from the upcoming schedule of Cultura FM from Sao Paulo. Since you can listen live to this station on the Internet, it's a great way to hear Brazilian classical music. Occasionally Cultura FM presents live concerts or rare recordings. This month there are interesting concerts on the 2nd, 19th, 26th, and 27th.

December 2
21:00 OSESP AO VIVO - Gravações exclusivas realizadas na Sala São Paulo:
Luciano GALLET - Dança brasileira. Francis HIME - Concerto para Violão. Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - Bachianas brasileiras nº 7. Arturo MÁRQUEZ - Danzon nº 2. Fábio Zanon violão. Alondra de La Parra, regente

December 6
11:00 O BRASIL DE VILLA-LOBOS - com Turíbio Santos - Edição Especial:
Sinfonia nº 4 (Vitória) e Sinfonia nº 5 (Melodia das montanhas). Orquestra Sinfonia da Rádio de Stuttgart. Reg. Carl St. Clair.

December 13
11:00 O BRASIL DE VILLA-LOBOS - por Turíbio Santos - Edição Especial:
Ciranda das sete notas para fagote orquestra de cordas - Ezequiel Fainguersel (fagote) e Orquestra de Câmara de Bloomingtou. Reg. Thomasz Golka

December 14
13:00 DELICATESSEN com Teresa Lima:
Henry PURCELL - Chacona em Sol menor. Musica Antiqua Köln. Reg.: Reinhard Goebel. / Anton Bernhard FÜRSTENAU - Serenata. Rogério Wolf (flauta). Marcelo Jaffé (viola). Paulo Porto Alegre (violão). / VILLA-LOBOS - Sonata para violoncelo e piano n°2 op. 66. Monique Duphil (piano). Jay Humenston (violoncelo).

December 18
13:00 DELICATESSEN com Teresa Lima:
VILLA-LOBOS - Trio n° 1. Aulustrio.

December 19
10:00 CIRANDA - Academia Brasileira de Música:
VILLA-LOBOS - Ciranda das Sete Notas para fagote e cordas. Andrés Engström (fagote). Ensemble Instrumental de Grenoble. Reg.: Marc Tardue.

December 20
11:00 O BRASIL DE VILLA-LOBOS com Turíbio Santos - Edição Especial:
Pequena Suíte para violoncelo e piano composta em 1913. Sonata nº 2 para piano e cello composta em 1916. Antonio Menezes (cello) e Cristina Ortiz (piano).

December 26
17:00 MUSICA DE CAMARA - EDIÇÃO ESPECIAL: OFERENDA MUSICAL - Gravações exclusivas no Teatro São Pedro:
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - Quatuor para flauta, oboé, clarinete e fagote. Rogério Wolf (flauta), Hansjörg Schellenberger (oboé), Ovanir Buosi (clarinete), Fábio Cury (fagote). / Niccolò PAGANINI - Quarteto para violão e cordas No.9. Fábio Zanon, (violão), Betina Stegmann (violino). Alexandre Razera (viola), Antonio Lauro Del Claro (violoncelo). / Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - Prelúdios para violão solo
Prelúdio No. 2 em Mi Maior - Andantino / Prelúdio No. 4 em Mi Menor - Lento / Prelúdio No. 1 em Mi Maior - Andantino expressivo. Fábio Zanon (violão)

December 27
11:00 O BRASIL DE VILLA-LOBOS - por Turíbio Santos - Edição Especial:
Choros nº 6 - Orquestra Rias de Berlim. Reg. Heitor Villa-Lobos / Melodia Sentimental e O Martelo. Conjunto Rabo de Lagartixa./ Chorinho da Suíte Popu lar Brasileira. Henrique Annes (violão)
20:00 MUSICA CONTEMPORANEA - Concertos CPFL ao vivo. Apresentação: João Marcos Coelho:
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - Serestas sobre impressões de Paris./ FAURÉ/ Reynaldo HAHN/ DEBUSSY/ RAVEL/ POULENC - Canções. Manuela Freua (soprano). Dana Radu (piano).

December 29
14:00 PIANÍSSIMO - Apresentação do pianista e professor Gilberto Tinetti:

December 30
01:00 PIANÍSSIMO - Apresentação do pianista e professor Gilberto Tinetti:

Festival Villa-Lobos in Caracas

From Venezuela, the 3rd annual Festival Villa-Lobos, featuring the famous Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana Simón Bolívar, and the Sinfónica Juvenil de Caracas.  These are heavy-weight Villa-Lobos programmes!