Assobio a játo

Appleby Catalogue W number: 
Year Composed: 


Assobio a játo = The jet whistle


"Some music of Villa-Lobos is written by an artist and other music by an artisan. The Jet Whistle falls in the second category but offers the flutist an opportunity to blow into the embouchure as loud as he can on various notes as if he were warming up the instrument on a cold day."

- Vincent Persichetti, "Assobia a jato (The Jet Whistle)". For Flute and Violoncello by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Notes, Second Series, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Dec., 1953), pp. 158-158


Ebel, Nancy J. 1995. Brazilian elements in Villa-Lobos's "Assobio a Jato. Thesis (M.M.)--University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1995.

The work is dedicated to Carlton Sprague Smith.

  1. Allegro non troppo
  2. Adagio
  3. Vivo 

See this post at Tumbling Villa-Lobos about the German Duo "Assobio a játo".

Here is the piece played by Nikos Nikopoulos (flute) and Nikolas Kavakos (cello) in rehearsal, at the Apollo Theatre in Hermoupolis, Syros Island, as part of the International Classical Music Festival of Cyclades 2010.



Flute & cello


Villa-Lobos, Heitor. 1953. Assobio a játo = The jet whistle : for flute and violoncello. New York: Southern Music Pub. Co. The score and parts are available from Peermusic.


Premiere: 13/03/50, with Ary Ferreira, flute, and Iberê Gomes Grosso, cello.This has become one of the most popular of all Villa-Lobos works: there are nearly a hundred performances in the Villa-Lobos Concerts database (July 2011).

Chamber Music