Ciclo Brasileiro

Appleby Catalogue W number: 
Year Composed: 


The "Brazilian Cycle" is made up of four movements:

  1. Plantio do caboclo (The Peasant's sowing)
  2. Impressões seresteiras (The Impressions of a serenade musician)
  3. Festa no sertao (The Fete in the Desert)
  4. Danca do Indio Branco (Dance of the White Indian)

The Dance of the White Indian is almost as fun to watch as it is to listen to.  Sonia Rubinsky's fingers fly in this video:

Prof. Tarasti quotes Villa's story of "how the composer met in a Brazilian forest a white Indian, who constantly danced and died."  He goes on to say: "This rather strange explanation might be replaced by another more rasonable one: The white Indian in the title simply means that the work moves mostly in the white keys." - Tarasti (1995), p. 258.

For Anna Stella Schic, a close friend of the composer, the White Indian was Villa-Lobos - she called her 1987 memoir/study Villa-Lobos: Souvenirs de L'Indien Blanc.

Thesis: Rust, Roberta. 1991. Piano works from Hietor Villa-Lobos' middle period a study of Choros no. 5, Bachianas Brasileiras no. 4, and Ciclo Brasileiro. Thesis (D.M.A.)--University of Miami, 1991. 




Villa-Lobos, Heitor. 1940. Ciclo brasileiro: para piano solo. Rio de Janeiro: A. Napoleão.


The Ciclo Brasileiro is included in the first volume of Alma Petchersky's series on ASV, and the third volume of Sonia Rubinsky's on Naxos. 

Also recommended:



1938: Impressões Seresteiras and Dança do Índio Branco. Julieta Neves d'Almeida
27/11/39:  Plantio do Caboclo and Festa no Sertão, Rio de Janeiro. José Vieira Brandão

The cycle is fairly popular in performance, while the individual pieces show up even more frequently.  Go to the Villa-Lobos Concerts database for more information.

Piano Works