Works of Villa-Lobos:
Concertos

 

Cello

Concerto for cello and orchestra #1 (1915) - Max Eschig

Fantasy for cello and orchestra (1946)

Premiere: October 8, 1946, Ibere Gomes Grosso, cello, Teatro Municipal Orchestra, Villa-Lobos, conductor. 

Concerto for cello and orchestra #2 (1953) - Max Eschig

The second cello concerto was commissioned by Aldo Parisot, who premiered the work with the New York Philharmonic (Walter Hendl conducting) on Feburary 5, 1955.

Fantasia de Movimentos Mistos for violin and orchestra (1920-21) - Southern Music Publishing Co. (SMPC)

 Movements:
1. Alma Convulsa (Torment)
2. Serenidade (Serenity)
3. Contentamento (Contentment)
When the piece was premiered in Rio on December 15, 1922, there was a fourth movement, entitled "A Maripoza na Luz" ("the butterfly in the light").  This was removed for the next, and following, performances.  See Lisa Peppercorn's article "Violin concerto by Villa-Lobos," 1941, in Villa-Lobos: Collected studies by L.M. Peppercorn, p. 11.

Violin

Piano

Momoprecoce for piano and orchestra (1929) - Max Eschig

5 Piano concertos (1945-54) - Max Eschig

Concerto Composed Commis- sioned by Premiere date Premiere soloist Premiere orchestra Premiere conductor
No. 1 1945 Ellen Ballon October 11, 1946 Ellen Ballon Teatro Municipal, Rio Villa- Lobos
No. 2 1948 April 21, 1950 Joao de Souza Lima Teatro Municipal, Rio Villa- Lobos
No. 3 1952 August 24, 1957 Arnaldo Estrella Teatro Municipal, Rio Eleazar de Carvalho
No. 4 1952 Bernardo Segall January 9, 1953 Pittsburgh Villa- Lobos
No. 5 1954 Felicja Blumenthal May 8, 1955 LPO Jean Martinon
 

Fantasia for saxophone and string orchestra (1948) - SMPC

 

Saxophone

Harp

Concerto for harp and orchestra (1953) - Max Eschig

The concerto was written in 1953 on commission from harpist Nicanor Zabaleta.  He premiered the work with the Philadelphia Orchestra on January 14, 1955.  Villa-Lobos conducted.

Concerto for guitar and orchestra (1951) - Max Eschig

Composed for Andrés Segovia (1893-1987) in 1951, the guitar concerto (originally called a "Fantasia Concertante") was premiered by Segovia and the Houston Symphony Orchestra on February 6, 1956, with Villa-Lobos conducting.
The movements:
1. Allegro preciso
2. Andantino e andante: Cadenza
3. Allegretto non troppo

Guitar

Harmonica

Concerto for harmonica and orchestra (1955) - American Music Publishers

The harmonica concerto was commissioned by John Sebastian (1914-1980.)  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..." 1

The foremost modern proponent of the Harmonica Concerto is Robert Bonfiglio, who has played the piece more than 150 times.  His recording of the concerto is on the RCA label, with Gerard Schwarz and the New York Chamber Symphony (RCA 7986-2-RC, recorded in 1989.)   Upcoming performances include Baton Rouge in September 1998, Santa Barbara in January 1999 and Toulouse in March 1999.  Check out the Upcoming Villa-Lobos Concerts page for more information.

1 "Villa-Lobos in Israel," in Villa-Lobos: Collected studies by L.M. Peppercorn, p. 242-3. [return to the text]

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