Choros #09


Written in Rio in 1929, Choros #09 was dedicated to Arminda Noves d'Almeida in 1936.

For some reason Prof. Tarasti leaves Choros #09 out of his excellent study of the Choros series.

Villa-Lobos made a reduction for piano (the 56 page score is in the Museu Villa-Lobos).  I haven't heard of any performances of this version, though piano versions of works also available in big orchestral scores (Amazonas and Rudepoema, for example) have worked out well.

Choros #08


Written in Rio in 1925, Choros #08 is one of Villa's great modernist works.  It was dedicated to Tomás Téran, who played one of the pianos in the premiere performance in Paris.  A Parisian wit termed it "le fou huitième" - the mad 8th.

Choros #07


This work is also called Choros 7 (Septuor) = (Septet).  I'm assuming the tam-tam is left out of the count (like when Ringo plays the tambourine in a Beatles song.  Though they're still the Fab Four, I guess.  So never mind.)

Choros #07 is dedicated to Dr. Arnaldo Guinle, who generously gave Villa the money for his first trip to Paris.

Download an MP3 file at the Soni Ventorum Wind Quintet - Performed May 25, 1979. Meany Theater, University of Washington.

Choros #06


Written for orchestra in Rio in 1926, Choros #06 is dedicated to Arminda Neves d'Almeida.

Prof. Tarasti calls this work Villa-Lobos's Pastoral Symphony: " is by nature a lyrical work."  He quotes Villa-Lobos:

"...the atmosphere of the work relects a sort of impression of the deserts of Northeastern Brazil: the climate, colors, temperature, light, birdsong, the fragrance of the capim grass blending with the capoeiras and all the elements of nature in a desert." Tarasti (1995), p. 109

Choros #05


Choros #05 for piano, subtitled "Alma Brasileira", the "Soul of Brazil".  Dedicated to Villa-Lobos' benefactor Arnaldo Guinle.

"The conflict between image and realization unfortunately so common in Villa-Lobos cannot be found here, and that is why it is one of the most important achievements in Latin American piano music despite its small scale." - Eero Tarasti (1995), Heitor Villa-Lobos: The Life and Works, 1887-1959, p. 108.

Choros no. 5 poster - Tarcisio Gomes Filho and Mauricy Martin

Choros #04


A work that definitely enriches the world's literature for 3 horns and trombone....

This piece makes reference to the importance of wind instruments in the choro-ensemble, though Prof. Tarasti notes that the music Villa-Lobos heard in Paris earlier in the decade (Poulenc, Krenek, Busoni, Milhaud, jazz) was likely in Villa's mind as well.

Choros #12


This sprawling work contains lots of great stuff: big tunes, interesting rhythms, and felicitous bits of orchestration.  It's a valuable work and one of Villa's great, big orchestral "things".

This excellent review by Bert Berenschot (whose opinion I value very highly!) is a good introduction to the work.

The work was dedicated to Jose Candido de Andrade Muricy.

Choros #11



This work for piano and orchestra is a landmark work from Villa-Lobos's most innovative period.  It's interesting, and instructive, to note that Villa's two greatest works for piano and orchestra (Choros #11 and Bachianas Brasilerias #3) are not included in the five Piano Concertos.
Choros #11 is dedicated to Villa's close friend Arthur Rubinstein.



The opera Yerma is based on the play of the same name by Federico García Lorca.  Commissioned by John Blankenship of Sarah Lawrence College in 1955, it was written in Rio and Paris in 1955 and 1956. The score is dedicated to Hermenegilda Neves d'Almeida.

Caixinha de Boas Festas


Caixinha de Boas Festas = The Surprise Box

A ballet suite for orchestra written in Rio in 1932.  The work was published by G. Ricordi & Co. in Milan.

In 1932 Villa-Lobos was back in Brazil after his first Paris trip.  His Choros series was complete, and a few years earlier he had begun the Bachianas Brasileiras series (with #1, #2, and #4).  He was leaving behind modernist models in favour of a more populist style (in keeping with his music-didactic agenda and the populist spirit of Getulio Vargas's new regime).


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