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Villa-Lobos Live!

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Audio CD, 2 July 2002

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Product details

  • Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.09 x 12.63 x 1.37 cm; 80.32 Grams
  • Original Release Date ‏ : ‎ 2002
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00006H329
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating

Product description

In October 1954 Felicja Blumental was the soloist at a concert celebrating the anniversary of the City Of São Paulo, which was conducted by Villa-Lobos. On this occasion, Felicja Blumental played Bachianas Brasileiras No. 3.

Villa-Lobos was so impressed with Felicja Blumental’s performance that he promised to write a piano concerto for her. The fifth is dedicated to her and received its World Premiere at the Royal Festival Hall in London, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on May 8, 1955.

On 25th May 1955, the concerto was recorded at a live performance with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Villa-lobos at the Musikverein in Vienna.

A typical Felicja Blumental recital would present both more and less familiar works. A program given at the Anglo-Brazilian Society in London on November 15th, 1949 included Handel and Beethoven. The second half was devoted to the music of Brazil, and included Villa-Lobos' Chôros No. 5 'Alma Brasileira', A Mare Encheu, Garibaldi foi a Missa and his Dança do Indio Branco, as well as Francisco Mignone's Serenata Humoristica.

The "Bachianas Brasileiras" represent one of Villa-Lobos' most successful experiments. As the name implies, the form and style are meant to suggest both Bach and Brazilian national elements. The third, for piano and orchestra, is one of the most ambitious of the whole series of nine.

Each of the four movements of the Bachianas Brasileiras No. 3 has a conventional musical title and, in addition, a Brazilian subtitle The first movement, "Preludio," is a ponteio, indicating a kind of folk music of the Northern interior. The second movement, "Fantasia," is subtitled devaneia, or revery. The third, an aria, is subtitled modinha. The modinha is a type of Brazilian love song, known also in Portugal.

The finale is a brilliant toccata, called picapoo, or "woodpecker," evoking a particular dance of the states of Northern Brazil. After a prelude by the orchestra, the piano enters "meccanicamente" with a rapidly drummed dance rhythm. The whole movement is a dance evocation, with rhythm and brilliant percussive effects taking precedence over melodic invention. The Brazilian local colour is more evident in this movement than in any of the others.

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Marco A. Guerra
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have !
Reviewed in the United States on 7 December 2018
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