Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Villa-Lobos Works at the HVL Website

I've been managing the Heitor Villa-Lobos Website, on and off, for more than 12 years. It started (as some html files on my Library's website) as a fooling-around-with-the web kind of thing, but has picked up speed since then.

One of the things I've been wanting to do over the years is to build a robust back-end database to drive the site. Now that we've been up and running on Drupal for a few years (thanks Cory!) I've had a chance to begin building those databases.

The first is the so-called Upcoming Villa-Lobos Concerts. "So-called" because the records of tonight's concerts in New York, and next week's in Sao Paulo, and next month's in Paris, became a valuable archive of important performances after a few years. So you can see that on Saturday, September 13, 2008, Robert Bonfiglio is in Hong Kong playing the Harmonica Concerto, and that Clemens Völker is playing VL guitar works in Hamburg. But you can also see details of an important concert by the Spectra Ensemble in Gent, Belgium, from January 1999. Altogether there are a couple thousand records of concerts, mainly from 1999 to 2009.

The power of the relational database allows you to slice this a number of useful ways: you can search by work (and see the 21 performances of Rudepoema, for example). You can also look at this information by location (and kick yourself for not being in Wagga Wagga, Australia, for this interesting concert back in June 2008).

The reason I'm posting about Drupal databases today, though, is to point out that I've started a couple of new databases. One aims to someday be a more-or-less complete listing of important Villa-Lobos recordings. So far I've added 25 - only five or six hundred to go.

The latest is the Big Kahuna: a list of all the works of Villa-Lobos. There are 25 so far, but some are just stubs. There's considerable hyperbole about how prolific Villa-Lobos was. A complete list won't be over 2,000. I'll feel good about my list when it's over three or four hundred, and it will be approaching completion well before a thousand.

I'll let you know when I'm done....

September 3, 2008: no, I'm not done yet. But there are 50-60 records in the database now, and I've categorized them as well.

September 9, 2008: and a new list of works by date.

December 8, 2008: More than 270 works so far, and the law of Diminishing Returns kicks in. I now have copies of Appleby's 1988 Bio-Bibliography (source of the W. numbers for Villa-Lobos's works), and the 1989 edition of Villa-Lobos: Sua Obra (I had been making do with the 1972 version all this time! Imagine!)

By the way, I would add something to the Wikipedia article on the L of DR, but it just doesn't seem worthwhile...

Are we there yet?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New CD re-issue from Naxos

Naxos Historical is doing a fine job of re-issuing classic Villa-Lobos recordings from the LP era on CD. When copyright restrictions don't allow them to package the music on CD, you may still be able to listen to the music streamed on the web on the Naxos Music Library. That's the situation in this latest case, which happens to come as an answer to a recent prayer of mine.
It's not easy to find a recording of the third violin sonata. Written in 1920, when Villa was entering the most innovative years of his composing career, the third sonata is for some reason played much less than the first two sonatas, written in 1913 and 1914. I show four performances of #1 and three of #2, in my database of works in concert (mainly from 1999 to the present). But there are none for #3.
So it's nice to see the new Naxos Historical 9.80702 up on the Naxos Music Library, and great to hear this angular, muscular piece again. I haven't been able to track down the original LP on the web, but I have learned a bit about the violinist Ricardo Odnoposoff (1914-2004). This page about the virtuoso from Buenos Aires on the Doremi records website shows that the performance comes from 1952, when pianist Leonid Hambro and Odnoposoff recorded the Debussy and Villa Violin Sonatas in question. The Doremi Legendary Treasures discs detailed on this page are your best bet to hear the Villa-Lobos sonata if you live in the U.S.A., since NML won't show this disc from American computers. Otherwise, you'll need to haunt eBay, where a variety of Villa-Lobos LPs regularly turn up.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Summer Festival at the Huntington Library

In this video, Southwest Chamber Music's Artistic Director Jeff von der Schmidt talks about two California concerts coming up this weekend, which will feature Villa-Lobos's Choros #02 and BB#6.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Villa-Lobos on Cultura FM: September 2008

Here are Villa-Lobos performances upcoming on Cultura FM from Sao Paulo. Listen here on the Internet. Times are local Sao Paulo times, one hour ahead of EST.

September 2, 2008
13:00 DELICATESSEN com Kika Leoi:
Franz SCHUBERT - Oito variações sobre um tema original em lá bemol maior Op.35 D. 813. Daniel Barenboim e Radu Lupu (piano). / Philippe VERDELOT - Ultimi miei suspiri. Doron Sherwin (corneta). Andrea Marcon (orgão). / Joseph HAYDN - Octeto em lá Hob X:3. Ensemble Baroque de Limoges. Reg.: Christophe Coin. / Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - "Prelúdio" da Bachianas Brasileiras No.4. Acariocamerata. Reg.: Caio Cezar.

September 6, 2008
10:00 CIRANDA - Academia Brasileira de Música:
VILLA-LOBOS - Choros no. 11 para piano e orquestra. Cristina Ortiz (piano). Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo. Dir.: John Neschling.

September 10, 2008
13:00 DELICATESSEN com Kika Leoi:
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - Carnaval das Crianças. Rosiane Lemos (piano). / Johann Sebastian BACH - Concerto para violino BWV 1041. Vladimir Spivakov (violino). Moscow Virtuosi. / Georg Friedrich HANDEL - Concerto Grosso em lá menor Op.6 No.4. New Leipzig Bach Collegium Musicum. Reg.: Max Pommer.

September 22, 2008
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - Floresta do Amazonas. Renée Fleming (soprano). Coro do Instituto de Física e Engenharia de Moscou. Orquestra Sinfônica da Rádio de Moscou. Reg.: Alfred Heller. / Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - Sinfonia n° 4 - Vitória. Orquestra Sinfônica da Rádio de Stuttgart. Reg.: Carl St. Clair. / Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - New York Skyline Melody. Orquestra Sinfônica da Rádio de Stuttgart. Reg.: Carl St. Clair.

September 30, 2008
13:00 DELICATESSEN com Kika Leoi:
Johannes BRAHMS - Sonata Op.120 No.1 em fá menor. Emmanuel Pahud (flauta). Yefim Bronfman (piano). / Henrique OSWALD - Três Estudos. Marina Brandão (piano). / Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - Élégie. Orquestra Sinfônica do Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. Reg.: Silvio Barbato.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Vom Parnass Nach Amazonien

Marsalis Brasilianos isn't the only major Villa-Lobos concert tour coming this fall. The German-Ecuadorian Pianist Boris Cepeda will be performing Villa's great Rudepoema in four German cities in October 2008:

October 2: Munich
October 12: Hamburg
October 17: Bremen
October 20: Berlin

UPDATE (August 7/08)
You can add a date to the tour, October 21 in London. This is a real coincidence, since I've just posted about concerts in special places. Boris will be playing Rudepoema at Leighton House in Kensington. See this post at Tumbling Villa-Lobos.

Cepeda's website is really informative. Besides Rudepoema (of course), I'm interested in the Ecuadorian music he plays. His CD of post-romantic music includes music by Reger, Szymanowski, and Liszt, along with pieces by Jose Ignacio Canelos (1898-1957) and Gerardo Guevara. You can buy the CD at

In the meantime, you can hear Canelos' Intermezzo Inca at Cepeda's page.

You can experience Cepeda's playing at - there are lots of video clips there. Let's hope he adds some Rudepoema clips, or even includes it on a future CD.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Marsalis Brasilianos Update

The Marsalis Brasilianos tour information is now up on Branford Marsalis's website. There are many more concerts in the series than I had come across, one-by-one on the web. These are hard-working musicians!

The tour begins on October 2nd, 2008, in Eugene OR, at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, and winds up November 9th, 2008, at the Stephens Center for the Performing Arts in Birmingham AL. In between there are another 25 concerts, from one end of the country to the other.

Read more about the series at my original Marsalis Brasilianos post.