Villa-Lobos Works

Major Works of
Villa-Lobos

November, 2004:

Please note that the Villa-Lobos Website is no longer being updated.

This resource will remain on the RDPL server.

 


    Villa-Lobos wrote more than 2,000 compositions in his more than 50 years as an active composer. The list below contains his most important works. For a more complete listing, consult the Grove's Dictionary or Slonimsky's Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. For the most complete information, consult the volume Villa-Lobos : sua obra, published by the Museu Villa-Lobos in Rio de Janeiro. The most recent edition, the third, was published (in Portuguese and English) in 1989, and runs to 323 pages.
 
Check out this new page on the Choros series by Villa-Lobos. 

This purely Brazilian musical form originated in Rio de Janeiro in the 1870's. The article The Roots of Brazilian Music - Part II - Choro - A Brazilian classic! in the Music and Folklore section of the Maria Brazil website is an excellent introduction to the history of this genre which flourishes in Brazil today. The indispensible 6-CD set Villa-Lobos par lui-meme includes a 9-minute talk by Villa-Lobos called "Qu'est-ce qu'un Choros?" 

  • No. 1 for guitar (1920)
  • No. 2 for flute & clarinet (1921)
  • No. 3 for male chorus & wind instruments (1925)
  • No. 4 for 3 horns & trombone (1926)
  • No. 5 for piano (1926) "Alma Brasileira"
  • No. 6 for orchestra (1926)
  • No. 7 for winds, violin & cello (1924)
  • No. 8 for large orchestra & 2 pianos (1925)
  • No. 9 for orchestra (1929)
  • No. 10 for chorus & orchestra (1925) "Rasga o Coraçao"
  • No. 11 for piano & orchestra (1928)
  • No. 12 for orchestra (1929)
  • No. 13 for 2 orchestras & band (1929)
  • No. 14 for orchestra, band & chorus (1928)
  • Choros bis, for violin & cello (1928)
For more detail on the great series of Bachianas Brasileiras, check out this new page
  • No. 1 for 8 cellos (1932)
  • No. 2 for chamber orchestra (1933)
  • No. 3 for piano and orchestra (1934)
  • No. 4 for piano (1930-40); orchestrated in 1942)
  • No. 5 for voice and 8 cellos (1938)
  • No. 6 for flute and bassoon (1938)
  • No. 7 for orchestra (1942)
  • No. 8 for orchestra (1944)
  • No. 9 for chorus or string orchestra (1944)

Bachianas
Brasileiras
 

For more information on the concertos, check out this new page
  • Suite for Piano and Orchestra (1913)
  • Momoprécoce, fantasy for piano and orchestra (1921)
  • Choros no. 11 for piano & orchestra (1928)
  • Piano Concerto no. 1 (1945)
  • Piano Concerto no. 2 (1948)
  • Piano Concerto no. 3 (1952-57)
  • Piano Concerto no. 4 (1952)
  • Piano Concerto no. 5 (1954)
  • Concerto for Guitar (1951)
  • Harp Concerto (1953)
  • Cello Concerto no. 2 (1953)
  • Harmonica Concerto

 

A new recording of all of Villa-Lobos' surviving symphonies is in preparation.  Go to the Villa-Lobos Symphony Integral Project page for more information. 
  • No. 1 O Imprevisto, The Unforseen (1920)
  • No. 2 Ascenção, The Ascension (1917)
  • No. 3 A Guerra, The War (1919)
  • No. 4 A Vitória, The Victory (1919)
  • No. 5 A Paz, The Peace (1920) - *** SCORE LOST ***
  • No. 6 Montanhas do Brasil, The Mountains of Brasil (1944)
  • No. 7 Odyssé d'une race, The Odyssey of a Race (1945)
  • No. 8 (1950)
  • No. 9 (1951)
  • No. 10 Sumé Pater Patrium (1952)
  • No. 11 (1955)
  • No. 12 (1957)

Symphonies (12)

  • Amazonas, ballet (1917)
  • Uirapuru, symphonic poem (1917)
  • Erosão, Erosion, symphonic poem (1950)
  • Emperor Jones, a ballet (1956)
  • Mandú-Cárárá, Profane Cantata (1940)
  • O Papagaio do moleque, the Kite of the Guttersnipe, a symphonic episode (1932).

  • The Papagaio (an Amazonian parrot) is one of many Brazilian birds that shows up in a Villa-Lobos score. 
  
Uirapuru: Brazilian Stamp
Uirapuru
(leucolepis molulator)
Song of the
Papagaio-moleiro 1 
(Amazona farinosa)

 

  • Sonate-fantaisie no. 1 for violin and piano, Désespérance, Despair (1913)
  • Sonate-fantaisie no. 2 for violin and piano (1914)
  • Sonata for violin and piano no. 3 (1920)
  • Trio for piano and strings no. 1 (1911)
  • Trio for piano and strings no. 2 (1915)
  • Trio for piano and strings no. 3 (1918)
  • Trio for violin, viola and cello (1945)
  • Fantaisie concertante for piano, clarinet and bassoon (1953)
  • Sextuor Mystique, for flute, oboe, saxophone, harp, celesta and guitar (1917)
  • Nonetto, Impressão rápida de todo o Brasil, A Rapid Impression of All Brazil (1923)
  • Choros no. 2,3,4 and 7 are scored for various instruments in chamber style

Chamber Music

  • No. 1 (1915)
  • No. 2 (1915)
  • No. 3 (1917)
  • No. 4 (1917)
  • No. 5 (1931)
  • No. 6 (1938)
  • No. 7 (1942)
  • No. 8 (1944)
  • No. 9 (1945)
  • No. 10 (1946)
  • No. 11 (1948)
  • No. 12 (1950)
  • No. 13 (1951)
  • No. 14 (1953)
  • No. 15 (1954)
  • No. 16 (1955)
  • No. 17 (1957)
Sketches are all that remain of the 18th Quartet.
  • Izaht (1914)
  • Magdalena (1948)
  • Yerma (1955)
  • Daughter of the Clouds (1957)

Operas

  • Uirapuru (1917)
  • Danca da terra (1939)
  • Ruda (1951)
  • Genesis (1954)
  • Emperor Jones (1956)
Song of the Uirapuru 1 
(Cyphorhirius arada)
  • Descombrimento do Brasil (1938)
  • Green Mansions (1959) - (adapted as the concert work Forests of the Amazon)

Music for Films 

For more information, check out the new page on the guitar music. 
  • Choros no. 1 (1920)
  • Suite populaire Bresilienne (1928)
  • Twelve Etudes (1929)
  • Five Preludes (1940)
  • Concerto for guitar and orchestra (1951)
  • Ibericarabe (1914)
  • Suite floral (1918)
  • A Lenda do Caboclo (1920)
  • Sul America (1925)
  • Bachianas Brasileiras no. 4 (1930-40)
  • Francette et Pià (1932)
  • Valsa da dor (1932)
  • Ciclo brasileiro (1936-37)
    • Plantio do caboclo, The Peasant's Sowing
    • Impressões seresteiras, The Impressions of a Serenade Musician
    • Festa no sertão, The Fete in the Desert
    • Dança do Indio Branco, The Dance of the White Indian
  • Rudêpoema (1921-26)

  • This piece is dedicated to the pianist Arthur Rubinstein: "Rudepoêma, pour piano solo à Arthur Rubinstein. Mon sincère Ami, je ne sais pas si j'ai pu tout à fait assimiler ton âme avec ce Rudêpoema, mais je le jure de tout mon coeur que j'ai l'impression, dans mon esprit, d'avoir gravé ton tempérament et que machinalement je l'ai écrit sur le papier, comme un Kodak intime. Par conséquent, si je réussis, ce sera toujours toi le véritable auteur de cette oeuvre." 

    En anglais: ("My true friend. I do not know whether I have really been able to assimilate your soul with this Rudepoema but I vow with all my heart that I feel I have engraved your temperament, writing it mechanically on the paper like an intimate film. therefore, if I have succeeded, you are the real author of this work.") 

    From Rubinstein's memoirs, My Many Years (NY, Knopf, 1980, p. 252): 

    "The 'Rude' of the title did not have the English meaning. In Brazil it meant 'savage.' When I asked him is he considered me a savage pianist, he said excitedly, 'We are both savage! We don't care much for pedantic detail. I compose and you play, off the heart, making the music live, and this is what I hope I expressed in this work.'" 
     

  • Prole do Bébé, first series (1920)
  • Prole do Bébé, second series (1921)
  • Prole do Bébé, third series (1926) - *** LOST ***

Works
for
Piano
Solo

Notes

1 The bird-song is from the marvellous site Songs of Brazilian Birds, on the Ministério do Meio Ambiente, dos Recursos Hídricos e da Amazônia Legal website. Besides the English page  linked above, there is one in Portuguese that might actually be of more interest to English-speaking Villa-Lobos lovers, since the Portuguese names of the birds were used so often by Villa-Lobos.  The Pica-pau, the Papagaio, the Surucua and the Uirapuru are all the subjects of music by Villa-Lobos. Look for a feature coming soon to the Heitor Villa-Lobos Website: Birdsong in the Music of Villa-Lobos. [return to the text
 

 

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