The album, firstly released on 2008, was recorded at Teatro Auditorio de Cuenca, Spain. From now, "Villa-Lobos - A Prole do bebê" is available on Spotify. Enjoy it!
Piano works from Heitor Villa-Lobos
The Brazilian composer, Heitor Villa‐Lobos (1887‐1959, Rio de Janeiro) is considered the “greatest composer of Americas”. His importance inhabits in have reformulated the concept of musical nationalism in Brazil and was responsible for the approach of the musical vanguard's to the Brazilian panorama. His prolific compositions denote great spontaneity and improvisation, presenting an enormous instrumental colorful, multifaceted nationalism and varied experimental language.
The extraordinary contribution of Villa‐Lobos to the piano literature in the 20th century was due to his extensive mimetic and experimental work of new European stylistic styles, combined with his latent multifaceted nationalism. In this way, Villa‐Lobos composed two collections of works called “The Baby's Family”.
The first suite, composed in 1918, portrays different personalities and attributes of the dolls, becoming very famous thanks to the pianist Arthur Rubinstein. Each piece has a double heading indicating the material of the doll and its etnia, except Polichinelo that Villa‐Lobos had inspired in Commedia dell’Arte. Some pieces are based in traditional Brazilian child songs and the musical language has a strong influence of French Impressionism.
The second collection, composed in 1921, is one of the most complex works of Villa‐Lobos and deserves to be considered among the great achievements of piano literature in the 20th century. It is composed in nine movements that represent pictures of toy animals, but the pieces are essentially "transcendental studies" for piano. The range of characters and colors is supported by a great wealth of technical compositional devices, even evoking onomatopoeic sounds, persistent contagious popular rhythms of an unusual effects.
Another important serie of the composer is his "Choros" for various ensembles, inspirited from urban music of Rio de Janeiro early 20th century. In Choro n.5 Alma Brasileira (Brazilian soul), written for piano in 1925, we find typically Villalobian marks, including the use of ostinatos, syncope, polyrhythm, multi-textures and percussive dissonances.
Hommage à Chopin was composed in 1949 commissioned by UNESCO in commemoration of the anniversary of Chopin's death. Here it is clearly perceived how Chopin's discourse is represented through the language of Villa‐Lobos. The Nocturne is based on a languid melody presented in the left hand that evokes the romantic nature contained in the Brazilian musical inflections. The Ballad suggests, in its melodic outline, the principle of Chopin's Waltz Op. 64 No. 2.
I hope you enjoy his music!