Friday, June 28, 2002

Correspondência Musicológica Euro-Brasileira

I've recently come across an important scholarly resource on the web: the Correspondência Musicológica Euro-Brasileira. A project of the Institut für Studien der Musikkultur des portugiesischen Sprachraumes, this website is in Portuguese and German.

An example of the kind of research included on the site is this English abstract of a 2001 article by Ricardo Tacuchian, Academia Brasileira de Música, Universidade do Rio de Janeiro, entitled "Um Requiem para Villa-Lobos":

"An hermeneutic approach of the Second Suite for Chamber Orchestra by Villa-Lobos points it out not only as a swan-song but also as a requiem for the composer himself. This last work by Villa-Lobos is a synthesis of his artistic trajectory, with candidly European, caboclo and African ambiances. Despite its great simplicity the piece holds elements that characterize the musician’s style. Besides symbolizing the composer’s multiple aesthetic aims the piece imparts his ultimate self-biography and his current painful soul."

That short description makes one wish for an English translation (which I'll try to have done, and posted on the HVL Website). It also, of course, points to the fact that the Second Suite is presently without a current recording on CD. Prof. Tacuchian's article comes from the Brasil 2000 Colóquio/Kolloquium entitled "J.S.BACH-H.VILLA-LOBOS Interpretações e Perspectivas do Barroco / Deutungen und Perspektiven des Barock."

The ISMPS website itself, by the way, includes a useful bibliography of monographs and periodical articles in many languages, with a focus on German and Portuguese.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Upcoming Concerts

I've posted a number of new events on the Upcoming Villa-Lobos Concerts page, from the summer 2002 festival season, and some newly-announced 2002-03 symphony orchestra concert seasons.

A concert that Southern Californians should consider attending is the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra concert of January 18, 2003. Conductor Enrique Arturo Diemecke and violinist Marijn Simons will perform the rare Fantasia de Movimentos Mixtos. This work, which I've never heard, and never seen on any concert programme or discography, is a violin concerto in three movements. I'm not sure why they're "mixed", but movements are entitled "Alma Convulsa", "Serenidade", and "Contentamento". Dedicated to violinist Paulina d'Ambrozio, the work was written in 1922 in Rio. The second movement was premiered in September 1922 by d'Ambrozio at the Teatro Municipal, with the composer at the podium. The premiere of the entire work was in April 1941, with Oscar Borgerth playing the violin and Albert Wolff conducting the Orquestra do Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro.

Maestro Diemecke and the up-and-coming Dutch violinist Simons have performed the work before, with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico in March of 2001. Here's a review that seemed pretty positive judging by Google's English translation.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Listen to Villa-Lobos on Cultura FM

There are some interesting works you can hear on Cultura FM on the Internet in July. As usual, I'm listing works that are hard to find in North American and European record stores.

July 4: Right up there with the String Trio are two great modernist works from the 20's: the Nonetto and the Quarteto Simbólico. Both can be heard in a live concert from 1991, at 10 p.m. Sao Paulo time (that's 7 in the evening, prime time, in MDT Red Deer).

July 9: The complete string quartets have been recorded by the Quarteto Bessler-Reis on the Kuarup label. I purchased this set direct from Kuarup (and was very pleased with the price and the speed of delivery). You can sample the set by listening at 5 p.m. on the 5th to the Quartet #5.

July 31: One work that is quite rare is the Introdução ao Choros for guitar and orchestra. This is unexpected considering the huge number of CDs containing the Guitar Concerto and the solo works for guitar. Finnish guitarist Timo Korhonen has the piece included in his excellent Complete Works for Guitar series on the Ondine label. The piece is a kind of precis of the entire Choros series, with quotations from many of the works in this great 12-part saga. Here's what Bert Berenschot says about the piece:

"It is more an orchestral piece with some parts for guitar then that it is a guitar concerto. It's a 13 min. piece with themes from different Choros. It ends with an slow orchestral quote of the first bars of Choros 1 for guitar, so it can be connected with Choros 1 when all the Choros are performed in one concert. I cannot imagine it will ever happen........., well ok, maybe in 2059 or 2087..."

You can now relatively easily piece together all of the Choros from CDs with the exception of #6, so you can program just such a marathon in your own home. I think I'll do that myself...

New Symphonies Recording on its Way

Here is some interesting news from the very knowledgeable and well-connected Dutch Villa-Lobos fan Bert Berenschot:

"Some news from a spokesman of CPO: they will release the 3th and 9th symphony in september. In august they will release a cd with (a.o.) the amazing String Trio."

This is good news - the excellent Carl St. Clair Stuttgart Integral Symphonies series on cpo records is winding down. This release should be as interesting as any in the series: neither of these works is at all well-known. I've heard neither, and haven't heard of any recordings. It's also great to have a new version of the String Trio on CD.

Thanks, Bert, for this update.