Sunday, December 30, 2007
Joanna Brzezińska-Mauer's 2007 Villa-Lobos piano disc on Claves in Switzerland has been well-reviewed. You can hear a track - Branquina - in RealAudio at the Arte.tv site.
The disc includes both the first and second suites from A Prole do Bebê (The Baby’s Family), along with Suite Floral, Op. 97, and the composer's version for piano of Choros #1.
Brzezińska-Mauer's website is really excellent. You can listen to full tracks and excerpts from the Villa-Lobos disc, along with a concert video of Le petit boeuf de plombe.
You can buy Brzezińska-Mauer's Villa-Lobos: Piano Music at Amazon.com.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
January 07: 20:00 O BRASIL DE VILLA-LOBOS com Turíbio Santos
January 08: 13:00 DELICATESSEN com Kika Leoi:
Antonin DVORÁK - Humoresque em sol bemol maior Op.101, No.7. Yo-Yo Ma (violoncelo). Itzhak Perlman (violino). Orquestra Sinfônica de Boston. Reg.: Seiji Osawa / Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - "Poco adagio" do Concerto para piano No.5. Cristina Ortiz (piano). Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Reg.: Miguel Gomes-Martínez. / Pyotr Ilyitch TCHAIKOVSKY - "Valsa: Allegro Moderato" da Sinfonia No.5 em mi menor, Op.64. Orquestra Filarmônica Jovem de Boston. Reg.: Benjamin Zander. / Claude DEBUSSY - Le jet d'eau. Orquestra Sinfônica da BBC. Reg.: Thierry Fischer.
January 12: 13:00 DELICATESSEN com Kika Leói:
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART - "Minueto: Allegreto" do Quinteto para cordas em ré, K 593. Lawrence Power (viola). Karol Szymanowski Quartet. / Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - "O Trenzinho do Caipira" da Bachianas brasileiras No.2. Orquestra Sinfônica Petrobrás Pró Musica. Reg.: Roberto Tibiriçá. / Frédéric CHOPIN - Fantasia em fá menor Op.49. Maria João Pires (piano) / Jean SIBELIUS - Rakastava. Violaine Lucas (soprano). Rigoberto Marin-Polop (baixo). Coro de Câmara Accentus. Reg.: Eric Ericson.
January 13: 07:00 DESPERTE COM OS CLÁSSICOS:
BACH/ BUSONI - Prelúdio e Fuga em ré maior, BWV 532. Emil Gilels (piano)/ VIVALDI - Concerto em lá maior, RV 552, "Per ecco lontano". Christophe Coin (violoncelo). Il Giardino Armonico. Dir.: Giovanni Antonini/ VILLA-LOBOS - Prelúdio nº 1. Yves Storms (violão). RAVEL - La Valse. Orquestra Nova Philharmonia. Reg.: Lorin Maazel.
19:00 NOVO MUNDO - A Música das Américas:
Carlos CHÁVEZ - Sinfonia Índia. The New World Simphony. Dir.: Michel Tilson Thomas./ Heitor VILLA LOBOS - Amazonas. Orquestra Sinfônica Simon Bolivar da Venezuela. Dir.: Henrique Arturo Dimecke./ Alberto GINASTERA - Concerto para cordas. I Musici de Montreal. Yuri Turovsky. / Augustin Barrios MANGORÉ - Julia Florida. Sharon Isbin. (violão).
January 14: 20:00 O BRASIL DE VILLA-LOBOS com Turíbio Santos:
January 20: 23:00 NOTURNO:
Alberto NEPOMUCENO - Quarteto n° 3. Quarteto de cordas da Cidade de São Paulo. / Heitor VILLA-LOBOS -Trio n° 1 em dó menor. Artistrio.
20:00 O BRASIL DE VILLA-LOBOS com Turíbio Santos.
January 25: 13:00 DELICATESSEN com Kika Leoi:
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART - Sonata para piano No.3 em si maior KV 281 (189f). Karl Engel (piano). / Max BRUCH - Romance em fá maior para viola e orquestra Op.85. Gerard Caussé (viola). Orquestra da Ópera de Lion. Reg.: Kent Nagano. / Johann Joachim QUANTZ - Concerto em mi bemol maior para corno da caccia, oboé, cordas e continuo. Ludwig Güttler (corno da caccia). Andreas Lorenz (oboé). Solistas da Virtuosi Saxonae. / Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - "Ária (cantiga)" da Bachianas brasileiras No.4. Flavio Varani (piano).
January 26: 10:00 CIRANDA - Academia Brasileira de Música:
Luís Álvares PINTO - Te deum. XVIII-21 Musiques des Lumières./ Manuel DIAS DE OLIVEIRA - Tractus para Missa dos Pré-santificados/ Te Deum Laudamus. Ensemble Turicum / VILLA-LOBOS - Remeiro de São Francisco. / Viola quebrada / Improviso no. 7. Robert Buonfiglio (harmônica de boca). Orquestra de Câmara de Nova York. Dir.: Gerard Schwartz/ Milton NASCIMENTO - Canção amiga. Ricardo AMADO (violino), Flávio Augusto (piano)./ VILLA-LOBOS - Prelúdio de Bachianas 4/ Modinha / Melodia Sentimental. Carlos Barbosa Lima (violão)/ Laurindo ALMEIDA / Dante VARELA - Batuque. Carlos Barbosa Lima (violão)/ Ernani AGUIAR - Sonatina no. 2. Ernani Aguiar (piano).
January 28: 20:00 O BRASIL DE VILLA-LOBOS com Turíbio Santos.
January 29: 13:00 DELICATESSEN com Kika Leoi:
Robert SCHUMANN - Fantasiestücke Op.73 para violoncelo e piano. Antonio Meneses (violoncelo). Gerard Wyss (piano). / Franz SCHUBERT - "Allegro vivace" da Deux Marches caractéristiques em dó maior, D 968 B, No.2. Yaara Tal e Andreas Groethuysen (piano). / Francesco CAVALLI - Lamento di Clori. Frederica Von Stade (mezzo-soprano) Orquestra de Câmara Escocesa. Reg.: Raymond Leppard. / Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - Desesperance. Davi Graton (violino). Scheilla Glaser (piano).
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Jardim, it turns out, wrote the book O Estilo Antropofágico de Heitor Villa-Lobos, which I talked about in the previous post. He conducts an impressive group of musicians:
Toninho Carrasqueira, flauta - Dilson Florêncio, sax - Luba Klevsotova, harpa - Maria Elisa Risarto, celesta - Mara Campos, Reg. Preparadora do Coro Feminino - Gil Jardim, Regente.
A Prole do Bebê nº1
Nahim Marum, piano
Epigramas Irônicos e Sentimentais
Claudia Ricchitelli, soprano - Nahim Marum, piano
Claudia Ricchitelli, soprano - Toninho Carrasqueira, flauta - Sérgui Burgani, clarinete - Watson Clis, violoncelo
Toninho Carrasqueira, flauta - Luis Carlos Justi, oboé - Sérgio Burgani, clarinete - Aloysio Fagerlande, fagote - Dilson Florêncio, sax - Silas Lima, harpa - Maria Elisa Risarto, celesta - Paulo Braga, piano - Elizabeth Del Grande, Ricardo Bologna e Eduardo Gianesella, percussão - Mara Campos, Regente Preparadora do Coro Misto - Gil Jardim, Regente.
The group of musicians includes the members of the Quinteto Villa-Lobos.
So, another disc with the Nonetto shows up, just when I'm complaining the loudest about not having one at hand.
A new book/CD-ROM has been published in Brazil: O Estilo Antropofágico de Heitor Villa-Lobos by Gil Jardim. This comes out of Jardim’s research at the University of Sao Paulo in 2002.
The book looks at the influence of Bach and Stravinsky on Villa-Lobos’s work, with a special focus on Bachianas Brasileiras #7 (according to this May 2006 article in Folha da Bahia.) I look forward to a closer examination of the book and CD-ROM, and puzzling through it with the aid of Google’s machine translation.
I’m hoping that I don’t get too many more translations like this one I came across in the Folha da Bahia article:
Fugas do cravo bem temperado = Leakage of carnation and temperate.
I don’t know enough about Portuguese to know why this happened. Machine translation is a work in progress, I guess. I’m not complaining; I couldn’t do so much of my Villa-Lobos work without it.
The Nonetto is currently without a modern recording easily available in North America and Europe. I hope this will change shortly. Earlier this year, Conductor Adrian Leaper performed the Nonetto in Madrid with the RTVE Symphony & Chorus. Here is a reference to the concert, which was recently played on Spanish radio:
06:00 ORQUESTA SINFÓNICA Y CORO DE RTVE
CICLO COMPOSITORES IBEROAMERICANOS (XI)
DIRECCIÓN: ADRIÁN LEAPER
ORQUESTA: ORQUESTA SINFÓNICA DE RTVE
Desde el Teatro Monumental de Madrid, actuación de la Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE que, bajo la dirección de Adrián Leaper, interpreta "Sesemaya" de Silvestre Revueltas, "Nonetto, para coro y orquesta" de Heitor Villa-Lobos y "Serenata concertante Op. 40" de Juan Orrego Salas.
There is a new Brazilian version of the Nonetto, from the Sociedade Musicale Bachiana Brasileira, available on CD and DVD. You can hear the Nonetto online on the excellent Bachiana Brasileira website (it's on the CD Obras Raras na Música Brasileira de Concerto - choose the final track in the Flash player.) The DVD is called Quadros de Uma Alma Brasileira, and you can preview four of the tracks online in low or high resolution. Unfortunately, the Nonetto video isn't online, but you can see and hear portions of the work on the Documentario (special features) portion of the site.
The works on the DVD were recorded almost exactly a year ago, December 15, 2005, at the Sala Cecília Meireles.
This is a very, very exciting project. I can't find a place on the website where you can order the CDs or DVDs directly, but read this recent post in Tumbling Villa-Lobos to find out about a Brazilian onine retailer who sells the DVD.
The CDs and DVDs on the Bachiana Brasileira website include many other rare Brazilian works; I'll be featuring it in a future post on the Magazine.
There are two famous recordings of the work from the 40s and 50s; it would be great if both were re-issued.
On a Capitol LP (CTL 7037), the Roger Wagner Chorale and the Concert Arts Ensemble performed two chamber works with chorus: the Quatour and the Nonetto. The sound on the disc was demonstration quality; the final movement of the Nonetto was included on Capitol SAL-9020 "Full Dimensional Sound: A Study in High Fidelity."
Here is a citation to a contemporary review:
- Villa-Lobos: Nonetto, for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Harp, Celesta, Battery, and Mixed Chorus; Quatuor, for Flute, Harp, Celesta, Alto Saxophone, and Women's Voices by The Roger Wagner Chorale and the Concert Arts Players, Roger Wagner, Villa-Lobos
Author(s) of Review: Richard F. Goldman
The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Jan., 1954), pp. 157-158
Villa-Lobos thought very highly of Roger Wagner and his singers. Here's a quote from the official RWC website:
"Roger Wagner deserves all my admiration for his dedicated work...a notable achievement in technique and sound as well as perfect interpretation."
The second disc, "Festival of Brazilian Music," was released as a 78 rpm album by RCA Victor: disc #LCT 1143. In the Nonetto, Hugh Ross conducts the Brazilian Festival Orchestra and the Schola Cantorum. The album also includes Bachianas Brasileiras #1 (with Walter Burle Marx conducting the Brazilian Festival Orchestra); the Quatour (with the great Brazilian soprano Elsie Houston, soprano and Ross/Brazilian Festival Quartet/Schola Cantorum); and Cancao do Careiro (sung by Elsie Houston, accompanied by Miguel, piano). This album was recorded in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art and the Commissioner General from Brazil. Another record number for this set is Victor DM-773(5).
Here's a short review from the May 19, 1941 issue of Time Magazine:
A Festival of Brazilian Music (Victor; 10 sides; $5.50). First big phonographic collection of works by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazil's No. i composer and one of the lustiest living. Beautifully recorded by Soprano Elsie Houston, the Schola Cantorum, conducted by Hugh Ross, a scratch orchestra under Burle Marx. Villa-Lobosities: a Bachiana Brasileira for eight cellos attempting to fuse the spirits of Bach and Brazil; a Nonetto for chorus and small orchestra, purporting to describe Brazil's geography.
So, besides the advantage of having the Nonetto on CD, a reissue of this set would provide us with another rarely heard work (the Quatuor), plus a chance to hear the legendary Elsie Houston.
Let's get to work on these re-issues, record companies!
Check out this page on the Nonetto at the Heitor Villa-Lobos Website. It uses a new template for Villa-Lobos's works; some day in the future there will be a page on the site for each of the major works.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Earlier this week conditional approval was given for a new project costing R$867,000 (about $490,000), which will digitize the orchestral and chamber music scores of Villa-Lobos, and make them freely available online and on CD-ROM. The focus of the project will be on the Symphonies (none of which is easily available in study score format). A catalogue of the works in the project will have a print run of 1,800.
The project will take place in 2008, and will be complete in time for the 50th anniversary of Villa-Lobos's death in 2009.
Also included in the donation are 100 scores and 300 unpublished photos.
Now that Villa is 120, we're right back in another mini-boom of VL concerts. Villa's star has certainly risen these past few years! I've re-started the Villa-Lobos Concert Calendar, and the dates are filling up.
I'm struck by a number of things. First of all, the concerts are coming from around the world: Asia and Europe as well as the Americas. Secondly, it's no longer just about Bachianas Brasileiras #5. Once rare works are being programmed in multiple concerts. Next year you can hear the Ciranda das Sete Notas for Bassoon and Orchestra in New York, Berlin and Sydney, and the Saxophone Fantasy in Winnipeg, San Antonio and San Jose.
As I dig into the web more deeply, I'll be coming up with lots more concerts, especially from South America. Check the calendar regularly, so you can plan your Villa-Lobos listening. Also, send me a note about concerts I've missed.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
- March 27, 2008, 8:00pm – Opening Concert featuring VCU faculty, alumni, and guest artists in Concert Hall (pianist Sonia Rubinsky will perform on this concert).
- March 28, 2008, 9:30-11:00am – Sonia Rubinsky piano master class in Concert Hall.
- March 28, 2008, 8:00pm – VCU Symphony Concert in Concert Hall featuring saxophonist Albert Regni.
- March 29, 2008, 1:30pm – 3:00pm – String Master Class featuring members of Cuarteto Latinoamericano in Concert Hall.
- March 29, 2008, 3:30pm – 5:00pm The Brazilian Guitar – from Villa-Lobos to the Present, featuring VCU faculty/alumni/students/guest artists in Concert Hall.
- March 29, 2008, 8:00pm - Closing concert by Cuarteto Latinoamericano in Concert Hall.
The Villa-Lobos credentials of Sonia Rubinsky and the Cuarteto Latinoamericano are really solid - I've posted many times about both over the years. I wasn't familiar with the work of saxophonist Albert Regni, but learned lots more from this excellent Sons of Sound website. Nice to put a face to one of the people involved in the Twin Peaks music I love. Regni is Principal Saxophonist with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet Orchestras, and also Professor of Saxophone at The College of New Jersey.
Villa-Lobos wrote beautiful things for saxophone, and not just his 1948 Fantasia for soprano or tenor saxophone and chamber orchestra (which I assume Regni will perform with the VCU Orchestra in Richmond). There are also these important chamber works featuring the saxophone:
- the Sextuor Mystique, for flute, oboe, saxophone, harp, celesta and guitar (1917/1955)
- Choros #7 for flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, violin, and cello, with tam-tam ad lib. (1924)
- Choros #3 for clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, 3 horns, trombone, or for male chorus, or for both together (1925)
- the Nonetto, scored for flute/piccolo, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, celesta, harp, piano, percussion, and a mixed chorus (1923)
Friday, December 7, 2007
The Library of Congress 2006 National Recording Registry includes this recording project from the time of the Good Neighbour Policy.Native Brazilian Music. Recorded under the supervision of Leopold Stokowski. (1942)
Leopold Stokowski and his All-American Youth Orchestra performed in Rio de Janeiro as part of a goodwill tour to South America in the summer of 1940. Prior to his visit to Brazil, Stokowski asked composer Heitor Villa-Lobos to help him collect and record popular Brazilian music, of which the conductor was a great admirer. Villa-Lobos assembled an elite group of musicians, including Pixinguinha, Donga, Cartola, Jararaca, Ratinho and José Espinguela. Forty recordings were made onboard the ship carrying Stokowski and the orchestra. Seventeen of the recordings, embracing musical styles such as sambas, batucadas, macumba and emboladas, were released in 1942 by Columbia Records on a 78-rpm album, “Native Brazilian Music".
The story of this recording project is told by Daniella Thompson in Stalking Stokowski. What a great example of research in action!
Here's a review and story from Time Magazine, March 16, 1942, following the record's original release. The project is also mentioned in Harold Lewis's Presença de Villa Lobos essay at the Villa-Lobos Website.
So we're left waiting for Sony to release this music on CD - I wonder if that will ever happen? In the meantime, here's a link to the original 16 tracks from the Som Barato MP3 blog. I'll continue watching for the 78s (or the Museu Villa-Lobos LP) on eBay.