Work

Sonate-fantaisie no. 1 for violin and piano

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Sonate-fantaisie no. 1 for violin and piano, Désespérance, Despair

Thesis: De Mattos, Alysio. 1993. The sonatas for violin and piano of Heitor Villa-Lobos. Thesis (Mus. D.)--Florida State University, 1993.

See this video of the Doppio Ensemble playing the first movement of the first Violin Sonate-fantaisie.

Suite floral

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Written in 1917-18, under the influence of Debussy and Fauré:

  • Idílio na Rede (Idyll in a Hammock)
  • Uma Camponeza Cantadeira (A Singing Country Girl)
  • Alegria na Horta (Joy in the Garden)

Here's something cool: a video of a 78 rpm record of Arthur Rubinstein playing Alegria na Horta, from the people at the Great 78s group at YouTube.  This piece was commonly programmed in early Rubinstein concerts.

Prole do Bebê, series 2

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The second series of Prole do Bebê was written in 1921.  Less known than the first book, the second includes these pieces:

Prole do Bebê, series 1

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These works are about the world of children, but many are fiendishly difficult to play, and many others are craggily modernist in style.  So you can't really say they're for children, except that musical children will appreciate both the complicated rhythms and the feeling that each piece is about something different.

Rudepoema (Piano)

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Villa-Lobos spent the years 1921-26 working on this great piano work in Paris.  According to Prof. Tarasti,

"It is not only the apex of his piano production, but among the most significant works in the entire South American piano literature as well." - Tarasti (1995), p. 259

The work is a portrait of Villa's friend Arthur Rubinstein, and is dedicated to the celebrated pianist.   Rubinstein's entertaining book My Many Years (NY, Knopf, 1980) contains many reminiscences of the early days in Rio de Janeiro.

Ciclo Brasileiro

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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:

Valsa da Dor

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This short waltz for piano was written in the salon style so familiar to Villa-Lobos from Brazilian composers of the turn of the century.  The piece has become a concert and recording favourite, and is featured in the film Villa-Lobos: Uma Vida de Paixao.

In this video, pianist Paulo Brasil plays Valsa da Dor:

Symphony #12

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The 12th Symphony was composed in New York in 1957, and is dedicated to Mindinha.  Villa-Lobos finished the composition on his 70th birthday (March 5, 1957).

  1. Allegro
  2. Adagio
  3. Scherzo (Vivace)

Molto allegro

Symphony #11

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The Eleventh Symphony was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (in celebration of their 75 Anniversary), and dedicated to Natalie and Serge Koussevitzky.

  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Largo
  3. Scherzo (Molto vivace)
  4. Molto allegro

From Ralph Gustafson's "Villa-Lobos and the Man-Eating Flower", p. 11:

"Five years later he was finishing his Eleventh Symphony. 'My best,' he said. Arminda knew. Copying the slow movement, he had tears in his eyes."

Symphony #10

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The Tenth Symphony, written in 1952, is subtitled "Amerindia", also "Sumé Pater Patrium".  It was written for the 400th anniversary of the city of São Paulo.

  1. Allegro
  2. Lento
  3. Scherzo (Allegretto scherzando)
  4. Lento
  5. Poco allegro 

Villa-Lobos set poetry by José de Anchieta, a missionary to Brazil in the 16th Century. [Anchieta manuscript below]

 

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