Symphony #02

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Year Composed: 


Symphony No. 2 Ascenção, The Ascension (1917).  The first performance of the work was not until May 6, 1944, with Villa-Lobos conducting the Orquestra Sinfonica da Radio Nacional, in Rio.

  1. Allegro non troppo
  2. Allegretto scherzando
  3. Andante moderato
  4. Allegro

See the Villa-Lobos Symphony Integral Project page for more information on these important recordings.


A large orchestra, including two harps, and percussion including Timpani, Tam-Tam, Bombo, Pratos, Caixa, Tambor and Celesta.


According to Villa-Lobos: Sua Obra (1972), the second symphony is published by Ricordi.  But in this copyright note, Henrique Gandelman says:

"ii) Symphonies nos. 1, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 were published by Eschig.  Symphony no. 2 (Ascension) was thought to have been published by Ricordi NY, which again is denied by Ricordi Milan.  Symphonies nos. 3, 4 and 5 do not have an identified publisher." (translated by Harold Lewis)

As a work published before 1923, Symphony #2 is technically in the public domain in the U.S., while in Canada and Japan, it goes into the public domain 50 years after the death of the composer - i.e., 2010.  See this post in the Villa-Lobos Magazine about a scheme to digitize and make available the orchestral scores, with a focus on the symphonies.Villa-Lobos, Heitor. 1978. II. symphony, 1917 Ascençâo. Melville, N.Y.: Belwin-Mills Pub. Corp.


There's another, older recording of this Symphony on LP, with Villa-Lobos conducting the Maracana Symphony Orchestra:


This is not a frequently performed work.   As of May 2011, there's only the one performance included in the HVL Concert Calendar database, from Lille in 2003.

Orchestral Works