Saturday, June 18, 2011

Heitor Villa-Lobos - The Complete Solo Guitar Music

2003; 23 tracks
Fabio Zanon, guitar

Heitor Villa-Lobos was Brazilian composer of modern classical music, as well as a leading composer of Latin American music. His style is derived from Brazilian folk traditions, as well as the classical European sounds of early 20th century classical music. After Villa-Lobos met with Darius Milhaud in 1917, a French composer who experimented with polytonality and jazz, the two influenced each other greatly. Milhaud gave to Villa-Lobos the a spectrum of new possibilities in the music of Debussy and Satie, and to Milhaud Villa-Lobos showed Brazilian folk and street music. Perhaps this is what prompted Milhaud to create his amazing Saudades do Brazil for piano.

This recording includes his Suite Populaire Bresilienne, Five Preludes, and Twelve Etudes.

Villa-Lobos' guitar music flourishes with colorful chords and tones, but it also is quiet - meditatively so. It is constantly changing, transmogrifying into new shapes and sounds as the landscape changes as well. From verdant hillsides to lulling cities above the clouds, I can actually feel myself melting away as I listen. In these pieces by Villa-Lobos, beauty is given a whole new meaning.

My favorite piece is the third of the Five Preludes, in A minor.



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