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Villa-Lobos - Guia Pratico Vols. 1 - 2

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Here are the first two volumes of Heitor Villa-Lobos' cycle Guia Pratico (Practical Guide). A prolific composer with a keen sense for education, Villa-Lobos collected and adapted native folksongs, much like Bartok did in Hungary and Tveitt in Norway. I love these simple yet idiomatic adaptations of catchy folk melodies, and have played them for a long time - even though John Robson got here before me by recording Volume 8. I'll dedicate these to him, he surely would have been mighty pleased to see more Villa-Lobos on the site. I feel connected to John by a desire to explore exotic repertoire like this.

    I am not quite done with the last item of Vol 2, Senhora Dona Viuva, which I think translates somewhat like 'Madame Lady Widow'. I had no time to complete this properly, so there's a bit of scar tissue here... plus an artificially amplified closing chord, in case you wonder why that sounds strange. This is one fierce and temperamental little widow you don't want to mess about with. Sheesh, the nails on that woman :roll: An irresistible piece though ! I will re-record it.

    Villa-Lobos - Guia Pratico - Vol. 1 - 1: Acordei de Madrugada (1:44)
    Villa-Lobos - Guia Pratico - Vol. 1 - 2: A Mare encheu (1:12)
    Villa-Lobos - Guia Pratico - Vol. 1 - 3: A Roseira (0:50)
    Villa-Lobos - Guia Pratico - Vol. 1 - 4: Manquinha (1:54)
    Villa-Lobos - Guia Pratico - Vol. 1 - 5: Na Corda da Viola (2:21)

    Villa-Lobos - Guia Pratico - Vol. 2 - 1: Brinquedo (0:59)
    Villa-Lobos - Guia Pratico - Vol. 2 - 2: Machadinha (1:16)
    Villa-Lobos - Guia Pratico - Vol. 2 - 3: Espanha (0:52)
    Villa-Lobos - Guia Pratico - Vol. 2 - 4: Samba-Lele (1:57)
    Villa-Lobos - Guia Pratico - Vol. 2 - 5: Senhora Dona Viuva (0:58)
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I randomly listened to some of these. Your playing is mostly fine although you should probably redo 1-2 because of the messy notes in the middle - also there is clipping near the end. And you already know what I said earlier about the end of the last piece...
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks. I've already redone that last one but it's still not perfect. She's almost too hot to handle.
     
  4. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    It seems you, me, and Monica have Spanish music fever lately?! That's a good thing. Villa-Lobos is such a prolific composer, I am more familiar with his music on guitar. I won't repeat what was already said, except for:

    Senhora Dona Viuva:
    Ever watch a flamenco or tango dancer? It seems that Senhora Dona shares a similar temperament. There is no way she's going to let you conquer her on the first or second try. The piece is magnificent, don't give up, she's worth the chase. The only way you will conquer this "piece" is to match her with your own moves: Improvise within the tastes of the music. Besides involving all the usual senses, Spanish music also seems to involve a unique kinesthetic sense - motion through surging rhythms, extreme dynamics, and contrasting harmonic textures (staccato and legato phrases intertwined, hence male-female choreography). I don't have the music, but I would add more rhythmic staccato the left hand around 33s-39s to give more conviction.

    When recording Spanish music, also try eating something hot with hot chili peppers to alert all the senses, including the kinesthetic one too. It'll make you really move next time you record the last one... My favorites are 1-2, 1-5, 2-1, 2-2, and of course 2-5 (the hot one!). You have your work cut out for you one this one, but I really like what you've done so far! Two very nice Suites, indeed!
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hell no, Villa-Lobos is not Spanish but Brazilian. I've been wanting to record some of these for a long time, and needed a break from Bach and Kapustin. But yes, I do get in Spanish mood from time to time. It's one of my great loves in music.

    I feel at ease with the Senhora if not for the fact she gets enormously difficult between 0:33 and 0:49. Surely there is more to be gained there, but I'm not up to it yet... Not sure whether I will be able to master this part the way it should go, but I'll have another go yet.
     
  6. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    I did use the term loosely. I wouldn't want to stereotype any composer by collectively grouping the music of all of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean nations as all "Spanish." He's definitely Brazilian, even though his father was Spanish. Great, we have a new strain: "Brazilian fever!" :)
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    So we're back to Piazzolla! (it's close - but I don't know any other Brazilian composers besides Nazareth and Nepomuceno)
     
  8. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    Monica... I have recorded some Miguez, Guarnieri and Oswald (the last one, you even said you enjoyed! hehe)

    Regarding Latin America music, I have the impression that Brazil's music is too different from the other countries' (maybe because it's the only country which speaks Portuguese). Of course each country has its own culture, but I feel that there are a kind of "flavour" that seems to be common. Mambo, merengue and salsa seem to be similar dances, while Brazilian ones are quite different. they are mostly derived from the "maxixe" (samba, forró, baião, etc.).

    as I'm not familiar to "Guia Prático", I cannot say much. I have to say also that the only folk song I have heard here in Brazil is "samba-lelê". all the others are unknown to me.

    I listened to "Na corda da viola" and "Samba-lelê" only.
    I think that "Na corda da viola" lacks fluidity, and the middle section's melody is not clear. "Samba-lelê" is a happy and dancing folk song, so I think it should be played more alive. but I don't know the score, so I can't say much. maybe Villa-Lobos wanted to change the mood of this song, like he did with Terezinha de Jesus (Terezinha de Jesus is a melancholic song in 3/4, but Villa wrote down as a dancing 2/4 maxixe).

    Senhora Dona Viúva may be translated as "Ms. Widow" or "Ms. Widow Lady"
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    The Samba-Lele is quite slow indeed, but I'm following HVL's metronome mark, for better or worse.
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh, yeah - you're right! I knew there were others.... :) I also agree about Brazilian and Argentinian music not sounding alike. Piazzolla sounds nothing like Villa-Lobos.
     
  11. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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  12. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Hey Chris,

    I have downloaded the music to listen to them more closely at home. I am enjoying what I am hearing. I'm not familiar with these pieces, but I have enjoyed several HVL works in the past. Thanx for bringing these to us.

    Scott
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Scott. I need to redo at least two of these, maybe 3, but the rest are ok I think.
    There is much to enjoy in HVL's vast and sprawling piano output, if you know where to look (it's easy to find music that consists of little more than grand gestures and overblown virtuosity).
     
  14. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

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    Hello, everyone!

    Nicely done Chris!!!

    The reason for us brazilians not knowing these songs anymore is that hardly any kids play "roda/ciranda" here anymore. All we know about is Nintendo, Playstation, XBox... and to think all I had was Atari 2600.

    Of the set, I only know "Machadinha" which is incredibly good (almost made me cry reminding my of my childhood :) , "Samba Lele", which is nice but does seem a little slow, and sounding more like a tango than a samba (but it still works!) and the Roseira... which has nice lyrics, by the way... is a bit too fast!!!! For the main theme, if you have the 5/4 edition, in which the melody has quavers, I think I might like it better around m.m.=92. But I'm sure you're again going by HVL's markings, so, you're probably right.

    But it's just my 0.02... well done!

    And Felipe! You had me really scared for a moment there, I thought at first you'd believed Piazolla was brazilian! About other brazilian composers, I've seen you mention Marlos Nobre! And we could add Guerra-Peixe and Camargo Guarnieri to that list!

    I believe Villa-Lobos vision on "Terezinha de Jesus" is called "Os tres cavalheirosinhos", Something like The three little gentlemen.

    Marcelo
     
  15. lisztzsil

    lisztzsil New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Chris, a very nice job overall. I agree with everything that has been said about blurred notes, tempi, articulation and moods, but just the fact that you've recorded them is worthy in itself. I consider the Guia Prático one of Villa's materpieces (also one of his largest sets); He also made arrangements of these songs for piano and children's choir (called "Canto Orfeônico" here in Brazil). Some CDs have these arrengements, which sound great in children's voice. However I strongly recommend that you listen to Anna Stella Shic's recording of the set. She recorded HVL's complete piano works, and the Guia Prático takes a bit more than one CD. She worked closely with Villa, and helped him improve many of his pieces, making them more pianistic. Her recording is sold by the Solstice lable.

    Best,
    Alexandre
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the replies Marcelo and Alexandre. Actually I had not planned these recordings... they just happened. I may have another go after some proper preparation.
     
  17. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,
    I listened to the first two with my mobile phone (the download is quite slow). I like them, they do have a spanish character and they sound nicely and musically played.
     

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