Thursday, December 30, 2010

Through the Night

One of my favourite radio programmes is BBC Radio3's Through the Night, presented by John Shea.  It's six hours of interesting music, often including recent concert recordings from around the world.  The show begins at 1:00 a.m. London time, a convenient 6:00 p.m. here in Red Deer.

For the next seven days you can listen to a March 2010 concert of Brazilian music by the Orchestra della Svizzera Italia [pictured above], conducted by Emmanuel Siffert.  Alvaro Pierri is the soloist in the Villa-Lobos Guitar Concerto, and the concert also includes the amazing Saudades do Brasil by Darius Milhaud.  Listen until January 6, 2011.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Harp Concerto from RAI

Villa-Lobos's Harp Concerto, written in 1953 for Nicanor Zabaleta, should be much better known than it is.  Letizia Belmondo is the harpist in this May 2010 RAI concert from Torino. The first movement begins in the 2nd minute of this clip, and the other movements are also available: 2, 3, 4.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Música Erudita Brasileira

The journal Textos do Brasil recently published an issue featuring classical music: #12 is entitled "Música Erudita Brasileira," which is available in PDF format.   There are more than a few articles of interest to the Villa-Lobos fan who can make out at least some Portuguese.   The article "Villa-Lobos Moderno e Nacional" by Jorge Coli discusses the transition in Villa's music from the modernism of the 1920s to the nationalism of the 30s.

Thanks to the Brazilian Concert Music blog for the link to this journal.  The site is currently featuring the CD that came with this issue, which contains music by a wide variety of Brazilian composers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The end of an era in the Villa-verse

The December 2010 issue of Revista da União Brasileira de Compositores brings the news that Turíbio dos Santos, Director of the Museu Villa-Lobos, has stepped down from his post after 24 years.


The "keeper of the scores" at the Museu since 1986, Turibio will continue in his important role as President of the Academia Brasileira de Música (founded by Villa in 1945), and will remain active with the Friends of the Museum.  Ending his term at 24 years was, according to the great guitarist and scholar, a gesture of respect to Villa-Lobos's widow Arminda, who was Director of the Museum for 25 years, until her death in 1985.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Turíbio dos Santos for his amazing efforts on behalf of the great Brazilian composer.  It's no coincidence that there's been a huge increase in Villa's reputation in the past 24 years.

There are lots of other interesting things included in this interview, which I found at the website of the Escola de Música UFRJ.  The quite readable English translation from Google is here.

Villa: Fantaisie onirique

Villa: Fantaisie onirique is a theatre/dance project of Théâtre du Lierre, based on the music of Villa-Lobos.  The show runs from December 15-19.  You can watch a video of the production here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sergio and Odair Assad Concert from NPR

Sergio and Odair Assad play Albeniz, Piazzolla, and Villa-Lobos's A Lenda do Caboclo. This NPR concert is from August 2010; you can hear the second half (Gnattali, Jobim, Gismonti, and Sergio Assad) at

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fernando Salis Projection on Christ the Redeemer

Film-maker and communications professor Fernando Salis created this amazing projection onto the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer high above the city of Rio de Janeiro, all to the music of Villa-Lobos (the fourth movement of Bachianas Brasileiras #7 "Fuga: Conversa"). This October 2010 project, part of a campaign against child abuse, shows the power of Villa-Lobos to move and to represent the Brazilian people.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A New Villa-Lobos Score

Big news from Rio de Janeiro: a new Villa-Lobos score which was considered lost has been performed as part of the 48th Annual Festival Villa-Lobos, organized by the Museu Villa-Lobos.

Cânticos Sertanejos, a work from 1907, is for flute, clarinet, and strings.  The score is held by the Museu, and is © 2010 by the Academia Brasileira de Musica. The resurrection of this work is due largely to the efforts of Maestro Roberto Duarte, who edited and revised the work and conducted its first performance at the Festival last month.  The musicians at that performance were: Marcelo Bomfim (flute), Cristiano Alves (clarinet), Quarteto Rio de Janeiro (Felipe Prazeres, violin I; Gustavo Meneses, violin II; Ivan Zandonaide, viola; Marcus Ribeiro, cello), Adonhiran Reis, Flávio Santos, Thiago Lopes, Carlos Mendes and Flávia de Castro (violins), Ana Luiza Lopes (viola), Fabio Coelho (cello) and Ricardo Cândido (bass).  What a thrill it must have been to be involved in this historic event!

Thanks to the Museu's Marcelo Rodolfo for sending me this information so promptly.  I feel privileged to present this exciting news to so many Villa-Lobos fans around the world.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Choros #09 in Caracas

Choros #09 is one of Villa's great orchestral works, and one of the most obscure. This performance is from the 4th Annual Festival Villa-Lobos in Caracas, Venezuela. The Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana "Simon Bolívar" is conducted by Roberto Tibiriça.