Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Villa-Lobos Twitter Marathon

#HeitorADay is the hashtag for a new Villa-Lobos Twitter project of mine, based in part on the notoriously large output of the great Brazilian composer, and in part because the music is so great.  I'll be listening to a different Villa-Lobos piece every day, and tweeting about it. I'll keep track of all the tweets here and here. We'll see how long it takes to use up my pretty extensive Villa-Lobos music collection.

I'm in this for the long haul!  Feel free to listen and tweet along.

Tweets #1 to #32: June 30, and July 1-31, 2011
Tweets #33 to #62: August 2011 
Tweets #63 to #89: September 2011

& Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude 22, arranged for 8 cellos by Villa-Lobos, on a Yale Cellos disc
Serestas - a collection of amazing songs written from 1923 to the early 40s -
Saudades das Selvas Brasileiras, from 1927 - Fred Sturm video:
Choros #05 "Alma Brasileira" -
Cirandas, 16 piano pieces based on children's songs -
Villa-Lobos Cor dulce, cor amabile, a late choral work.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Turibio Santos plays Introdução aos Choros

Here's an archival video of Turibio Santos playing the rare Introdução aos Choros, with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo directed by Diogo Pacheco. The Introduction to Choros is a "Symphonic Overture" to the Choros series, and includes themes from a number of Choros. Note that the first Choros, for solo guitar, is played immediately following the Introdução.

The video is undated; my guess, based on hairstyles, would be late 1970s.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Emperor Jones

In 1956 the great choreographer José Limon commissioned Villa-Lobos to write a score for a ballet based on Eugene O'Neill's play The Emperor Jones. Above is video of the first 10 minutes of a CBC television broadcast with the Limon Dance Company, from March 13, 1957. The full performance is 23 minutes, and is available on DVD.

Earlier this month, the Limon Dance Company presented a revival of The Emperor Jones 25 years after its premiere. Here are excerpts from that production, in rehearsal at SUNY Purchase.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ivan Pires's Music for Children

Here's an interesting concert program, especially considering the charity involved: Barnardo's Children's Charity. There's more information on this July 6 concert, at Westminster Cathedral Hall, here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

South of the Border with Disney

In 1942 Disney released the 30-minute film "South of the Border with Disney". There's a great clip of Villa-Lobos conducting a huge choir of school children at the Vasco da Gama stadium in Rio (at the 4 minute mark).

At one point Disney and Villa discussed including a "Little Train" segment for a sequel to Fantasia. Sadly, the project never worked out.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Villa-Lobos Book from Germany

A new book has been released by the German publisher Max Brockhaus: the author is Cornelia Napp, and the title is „Personal representatives“ in musikverlegerischen Kulturbeziehungen. Die Vertretung von Heitor Villa-Lobos in den USA. Mit Zeittafel „Villa-Lobos in den USA 1947–1961“.

Villa spent a fair amount of time in the U.S. - mainly in New York - in the last 15 years of his life. He was busy with his Broadway show Magdalena, with guest conducting, and with various commissions, including those for the Philadelphia, Boston, and Louisville Symphonies.  This book covers these important stories from the point of view of Milton A. Peterson, who represented Villa-Lobos in many of these activities.

Go to the Max Brockhaus Musikverlag website for more information.  Here is the book's Table of Contents.