Friday, May 31, 2002

Villa-Lobos on Cultura FM - June 2002

Here are some Villa-Lobos works you can listen to on Internet radio during the month of June on Cultura FM from Sao Paulo:

June 5: the second Cello Concerto, from the Dorian CD with Andrés Díaz and the Orquestra Sinfônica Simon Bolívar da Venezuela, conducted by Arturo Diemecke. This is repeated on June 12.

June 8: guitarist Joaquim Freire playing five Etudes.

June 10: the Pequena Suite and the quirky Choros #3 "Pica-Pao".

June 18: this one's interesting, since the CD isn't easily available in North America: the great tone poem Uirapuru played by the Orquestra Sinfônica Nacional da Universidade Federal Fluminense, conducted by Ligia Amadio. Later that same day, the Choros #7 with a chamber group conducted by Mário Tavares. Both programs are repeated June 25.

June 22: Choros #1 played by guitarist Carlos Farinas, with a prelude by Fabio Zanon.

June 25: Julian Bream's slick version of the Guitar Concerto, with the LSO under Andre Previn. This program includes some etudes performed by Fabio Zanon.

June 26: Here's a date to mark in your calendar. Choros #6 is by report a masterpiece, but it's unrepresented in the CD catalogue in North America or Europe. At 11:00 Sao Paulo time, on the program "Ciranda: Academia brasileira da música", you can hear the piece performed by the Sinfônica Brasileira, with conductor Isaac Karabatchevsky. Also on the program is Gnattali's Sinfonia Popular no. 1, with the OSB conducted by Cláudio Santoro. I'm not sure if these works are from Brazilian CDs or if they were recorded in concert.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

The Boeuf Chronicles

Speaking of Darius Milhaud and the music of Brazil, there's a really interesting series about just that on Daniella Thompson's Brazilian Music weblog. The "Boeuf Chronicles" tell the fascinating story of a sophisticated musical genius connecting with a vibrant popular music culture of early 20th century Brazil. Daniella's musical examples are really interesting. I'm looking forward to dusting off my old Milhaud MP3's and following along with this cutting-edge musical research.

New Villa-Lobos/Milhaud CD from CBC Records

As promised, here are the details on a new CD from CBC Records.


Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
Hans Graf, conductor



Heitor Villa Lobos: Descobrimento do Brasil (The Discovery of Brazil) Suite #2 - 11:16

1. I. Impressao Moura 3:04
2. II. Adagio sentimental 6:04
3. III. Cascavel 2:08

Heitor Villa Lobos: Descobrimento do Brasil (The Discovery of Brazil) Suite #3 - 16:41
4. I. Impressao Ibertica 10:22
5. II. Festa mas selvas 3:42
6. III. Valaloce 2:37

Darius Milhaud: Scaramouche: Suite for Saxophone & Orchestra - 9:01
( Jeremy Brown, saxophone )

7. I. Vif 2:56
8. II. Modere 3:40
9. III. Brazileira 2:25

Darius Milhaud: Saudades do Brazil - 24:56

10. Overture :44
11. I. Sorocaba 1:45
12. II. Botofago 2:02
13. III. Leme 2:43
14. IV. Copacabana 2:42
15. V. Ipanema 2:11
16. VI. Gavea 1:40
17. VII. Corovado 2:11
18. VIII. Tijuca 2:14
19. IX. Sumare 1:49
20. X. Paineras 1:18
21. XI. Larenjeiras 1:11
22. XII. Paysandu 1:42
23. Reprise: Overture :44

TOTAL 61:54


Project Producers: HAROLD GILLIS
Recording Producer: KAREN WILSON
Recording Engineer: GEOFF ROWLAND
Technical Assistance: BOB DOBLE, PETER COOK
Digital Editing & Mastering: PETER COOK
Production Coordinator: PAULETTE BOURGET



The CD will be officially released next Tuesday, May 28. You can buy it directly from the CBC Records website, or from

Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Bachianas Brasileiras no. 9 for an "Orchestra of Voices"

Villa-Lobos wrote his Bachianas Brasileiras no. 9 - the last in the series - in 1945. The work was originally written for an "orchestra of voices" in six parts, though most of us know this piece best in VL's version for strings. As David P. Appleby says in his excellent new book Heitor Villa-Lobos - A Life (1887-1959):

"Even though Bachianas brasileiras no. 9 is a short piece, the writing appears as formidable to today's singers as the vocal writing of Beethoven in the last movement of Symphony no. 9 must have appeared to sopranos of his time. It seems that both Beethoven and Villa-Lobos considered the human voice the ultimate musical instrument to conclude a series of important musical works. Villa-Lobos, concerned with a different vocal timbre for the various voices of the fugue in vocal performance, gave a different syllable to each of the voices. The various performances by stringed instruments are generally able to project the desired contrast of timbre much more easily."

I know of no currently available recordings of the vocal version of BB#9. For those who live in the Boston area, there's a chance to hear this piece live in concert with the Spectrum Singers. Here's the concert information from their website:

Music from the Americas
Friday, May 17, 2002 at 8:00 pm
First Church Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge

Irving Fine - The Hour Glass
Heitor Villa-Lobos - Bachiana Brasileira No. 9 for Orchestra of Voices
Harry Somers - Songs of the Newfoundland Outports
William Schuman - Carols of Death
Ernst Bacon - Three American Songs
Conductor: John W. Ehrlich

Luckily, the concert is being recorded for later broadcast on WGBH radio. I will contact the station and try to find out the broadcast date, and post it here.