Harmonica concerto

Appleby Catalogue W number: 
W524
Year Composed: 

Category:

The harmonica concerto was commissioned by John Sebastian (1914-1980.)

  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Andante
  3. Allegro

According to Lisa Peppercorn, the premiere was in Jerusalem on October 27, 1959, with the Kol Israel Orchestra conducted by George Singer, though other reference works have the premiere with another orchestra.

Peppercorn quotes from a letter she received from Sebastian's widow, Nadia Sebastian, that certainly confirms the picture of how Villa-Lobos composed:

"It was one of my joys to work with John and Villa-Lobos during the writing of the Concerto. The composer sat at the huge semi-circular desk with a pot of black thick coffee, several cigars and ashtrays all around working on several compositions at once, while watching a TV at intervals. All the time wearing a hat..." "Villa-Lobos in Israel," in Villa-Lobos: Collected studies by L.M. Peppercorn, p. 242-3.

Instrumentation: 

Harmonica & orchestra

Scores: 

Published by American Music Publishers.  The score is available for rent from G. Shirmer:Heitor Villa-Lobos : Concerto for HarmonicaPublisher Associated Music Publishers IncCategory Soloist(s) and OrchestraYear Composed 1956Duration 20 MinutesSolo Instrument(s) HarmonicaOrchestration 1111/2010/timp.perc/hp/strAvailability Hire The autograph scores (91 pp. & 24 pp.) are in the Museu Villa-Lobos. Villa-Lobos, Heitor, and John Sebastian. 1984. Concerto for harmonica and orchestra. S.l: J.M. Ferguson?. 

Recordings: 

The foremost modern proponent of the Villa-Lobos's Harmonica Concerto is Robert Bonfiglio, who continues to perform the work around the world.  His RCA Victor CD includes the Concerto along with many other Villa-Lobos works arranged for harmonica and orchestra.Another excellent performance of the work is by Tommy Reilly.

Performances: 

According to Lisa Peppercorn, the premiere was in Jerusalem on October 27, 1959, with the Kol Israel Orchestra conducted by George Singer, though other reference works have the premiere with another orchestra.There are 50 records in the Villa-Lobos Concerts database as of June 2009, with most representing performances by Robert Bonfiglio from around the world.

Category: 
Concertos