Heitor Villa-Lobos [ eɪˈtoʁ vɪlaˈlobus ] (born March 5, 1887 in Rio de Janeiro ; † November 17, 1959 ibid) was a Brazilian composer and conductor . He is the most popular and internationally best known composer of classical music in his country.
Villa-Lobos received his first musical lessons at the age of six from his Spanish-born father Raul (1862–1899), who lived in the Tijuca area of Rio de Janeiro, a librarian at the Brazilian national library and amateur musician who was married to Heitor's mother Noemia and who taught him to play the cello . The cello lessons were later continued with the cellist Benno Niederberger. While traveling with his family inland, he learned about Brazilian folklore at an early age . In Rio de Janeiro , it was the choros that caught his attention, a typical Brazilian musical genre played by local popular music ensembles called chorões . After the early death of his father, he worked as a cello player in coffeehouses and in small theaters; his first compositions were written around 1900.
Opinions about the composer's travels through Brazil and neighboring countries differ, especially since Villa-Lobos himself gives contradicting and very unlikely statements. It is certain that through his participation in traveling theaters he visited some northeastern states of Brazil and got to know the completely different atmosphere of rural Brazil there. Contrary to popular belief, Villa-Lobos did not conduct a systematic collection of folk songs on these trips . The little original material that the composer used in later works probably comes from the collection of the researcher Edgar Roquette-Pinto or is taken from other publications. Villa-Lobos tried to expand his rather inadequate knowledge of music theory by taking private lessons from Agnello Franca.
A decisive event for Villa-Lobos' musical development was in 1913 - in addition to his marriage to Lucilia Guimarães (1894–1966) that took place on November 12th - the visit to the Ballets Russes under the direction of Michel Fokine , through which he met the French Impressionists for the first time and various Russian composers came into contact. A similar visit to the ballet in 1917, when works by Igor Stravinsky were on the program. The first public performance of his compositions took place in 1915. He found an enthusiastic supporter of his music in Artur Rubinstein , who heard the music of Villa-Lobos while on tour in Brazil in 1917. Villa-Lobos dedicated the play Rudepoema , which premiered in 1927, to him. A friendship developed with Darius Milhaud , who was in Brazil at the time.
In 1923/24 Villa-Lobos spent a year in Paris on a state scholarship , where he gained important new impressions, met Andrés Segovia and, back in his home country, wrote some of his most important works. A second stay in Paris followed from 1927 to 1930. During this time he became the first Latin American composer to achieve international fame.
After returning to Brazil in 1930 he became director of the Academia brasileira de musica and from 1932 worked out plans for the government for music lessons. This also marked the beginning of his career as an important music teacher who had a lasting impact on music education in his country.
Another step towards international success was the composer's first visit to the USA for a concert with the Janssen Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles in November 1944. From then on, Villa-Lobos stayed in the USA every year until his death led the most renowned orchestras as a guest conductor. During this time most of his works were recorded, including a. with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra under Robert Whitney. Villa-Lobos wrote the orchestral works Erosão and Alvorada na floresta tropical for this orchestra , which premiered in 1951 and 1954. Since 1943 he was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters .
In 1959 Villa-Lobos died of cancer in his apartment at Rua Araújo Porto Alegre 56 in the center of Rio de Janeiro. His grave is on the Cemitério de São João Batista . Just two years after his death, all of his works were collected and stored in the Museu Villa-Lobos , which was founded in Rio de Janeiro on June 22, 1960 by ministerial decree. From 1961 until her death in 1985, Villa-Lobos' second wife, Arminda, was the director of the museum. She was followed by the pianist Sônia Maria Strutt (1985–1986) and the Brazilian guitarist Turibio Santos (since 1986).
Villa-Lobos has written more than 1,000 compositions in all traditional forms ( opera , orchestral music , chamber music , vocal music ), including twelve symphonies , five piano , two cello concertos and one guitar , harp and harmonica concert each , 17 string quartets and three piano trios . His works for guitar are part of the standard repertoire for soloists on this instrument.
The best known and most successful are the 14 choros and nine Bachianas Brasileiras works for various ensembles, in which the inspiration from Brazilian folklore is directly expressed. In the Bachianas Brasileiras , Villa-Lobos processed Brazilian folk melodies in suites in the polyphonic style of Johann Sebastian Bach , who had been one of his most important musical models since his youth. Less known are the works that are more in the European tradition and in which musical models from Romanticism , Impressionism and Neoclassicism are echoed.
- No. 1 O Imprevisto ("The Unforeseen") (1920)
- No. 2 Ascensão ("The Ascension") (1917)
- No. 3 A Guerra ("The War") (1919)
- No. 4 A Vitória ("The Victory") (1919)
- No. 5 A Paz ("The Peace") (1920 / lost)
- No. 6 Montanhas do Brasil ("The Mountains of Brasil") (1944)
- No. 7 (1945)
- No. 8 (1950)
- No. 9 (1951)
- No. 10 Amerindia ("Sumé Pater Patrium") (1952)
- No. 11 (1955)
- No. 12 (1957)
Symphonic poems and other works
- Suite Característica for string orchestra (1915)
- Tédio de Alvorada, Symphonic Poem (1916)
- Naufrágio de Kleônicos, Symphonic poem (1916)
- Danças Africana s (1916)
- Sinfonietta No. 1 (1916)
- Iára (1917)
- Amazonas, symphonic poem (1917)
- Dança Frenética (1918)
- Dança dos Mosquitos (1922)
- Francette et Piá (1928, orch. 1958)
- Rudepoema (1926, orch. 1932)
- O Papagaio do moleque, the Kite of the Guttersnipe, Symphonic Episode (1932)
- Caixinha de Boas Festas, symphonic poem (1932)
- Evolução dos Aeroplanos (1932)
- Mandú-Cárárá, profane cantata / children's ballet for mixed choir, children's choir and orchestra (1940)
- Suite Saudade da Juventude No. 1 (1940)
- Madona, symphonic poem (1945)
- Sinfonietta No. 2 (1947)
- Erosão (Erosion), symphonic poem (1950)
- Rudá, symphonic poem (1951)
- Overture de L'Homme Tel (1952)
- Alvorada na Floresta Tropical, Overture (1953)
- Odisséia de uma raça, symphonic poem (1953)
- Gênesis, symphonic poem (1954)
- Fantasia em Três Movimentos (1958)
- Suite No. 1 for chamber orchestra (1959)
- Suite No. 2 for chamber orchestra (1959)
Concerts for solo instrument and orchestra
- 2 cello concerts (1915/1953)
- Guitar concert (1951)
- Concert for harmonica (1955)
- Concerto for harp (1953)
- 5 concerts for piano and orchestra (1945/1948 / 1952–57 / 1952/1954)
- Fantasy "Mômoprecóce" for piano and orchestra (1929)
- Fantasia for soprano saxophone, three horns and strings (1948)
- Ciranda das Sete Notas for bassoon and string orchestra (1933)
16 choros (for different line-ups)
- Introduction to the Choros, for guitar and orchestra (1929)
- No. 1 for guitar (1920)
- No. 2 for flute and clarinet (1924)
- No. 3 for clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, 3 horns and trombone or for male choir or for both together (1925)
- No. 4 for 3 horns and trombone (1926)
- No. 5 for piano (1925) "Alma Brasileira" (Brazilian Soul)
- No. 6 for orchestra (1926)
- No. 7 “Settimino” for flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, violin and violoncello, with tam-tam ad lib. (1924)
- No. 8 for 2 pianos and orchestra (1925)
- No. 9 for orchestra (1929)
- No. 10 for choir and orchestra (1926) "Rasga o Coração" ("Heartbreak")
- No. 11 for piano and orchestra (1928)
- No. 12 for orchestra (1929)
- No. 13 for 2 orchestras and band (1929 / lost)
- No. 14 for orchestra, band and choir (1928 / lost)
- 9 Bachianas brasileiras (1930–45) (for various line-ups)
- No. 1 for 8 cellos (1930–38)
- No. 2 for orchestra (1930)
- No. 3 for piano and orchestra (1938)
- No. 4 for piano (1930–41); orchestrated in 1941
- No. 5 for voice and 8 cellos (1938–45)
- No. 6 for flute and bassoon (1938)
- No. 7 for orchestra (1942)
- No. 8 for orchestra (1944)
- No. 9 for choir or string orchestra (1945)
- Sonata Fantasia No. 1 ("Désespérance") (1912/13)
- 4 violin sonatas
- 4 piano trios
- Wind trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon (1921)
- 17 string quartets
- Wind quartet
- Wind quintet "Quintets en forme de Choro"
- Quintet for flute, violin, viola, cello and harp
- Mystical sextet
- Corrupio for bassoon and string quartet
- Fantaisie Concertante for piano, clarinet and bassoon (1953)
- Assobio a jato for flute and violoncello (1950)
- Prole do Bebê No. 1 (1918)
- Danças Características Africanas (1914/15)
- Suíte Infantil No. 1 (1912)
- Mazurka in D major (1899)
- Panqueca (1900)
- Suite populaire brésilienne (1908–1912)
- Choro No. 1 (1920)
- Chorinho , the 5th movement of the suite populaire brésilienne (1923)
- 12 Etudes (Paris 1929)
- 5 Preludes (Rio, 1940)
- Bachiana Brasileira No. 5, "Ária" (arranged by the composer for soprano and guitar)
List not exhaustive
Vocal and choral music
- Chansons typiques brésiliennes (1926)
- Nonetto for choir and ensemble (1923)
- Bendita sabedoria for choir
- Miniaturas for voice and piano (1917)
- Femina (ca.1908 / missing)
- Aglaia - Opera in two acts (1909 / lost)
- Elisa - Opera in one act (1910 / lost)
- Untitled "Comédia lírica" (1911 / lost)
- Izaht - Opera in four acts (1912–14 / [based on material by Aglaia and Elisa ] / Text by A. Júnior and H. Villa Lobos / World premiere (concert version): Rio de Janeiro on April 6, 1940 / (scenic): Rio de Janeiro on December 13, 1959)
- Jesus - Opera in three acts (1918 / manuscript [fragment])
- Zoé - Opera in three acts (1920 / manuscript [fragment: percussion parts])
- Malazarte (1921 / missing)
- Magdalena - "Aventura musical" in two acts (approx. 1948 / text by R. Wright, G. Forrest, FH Brennan and H. Curran / world premiere: Los Angeles on July 26, 1948)
- A menina das nuvens - “Aventura musical” in three acts (1952–58 / text by L. Benedetti / world premiere: Rio de Janeiro on November 29, 1960)
- Yerma - opera in three acts (1955–56 / text based on F. Garcia Lorca / world premiere [posthumously]: Santa Fe on August 12, 1971)
- Perpetual - opera in one act (incomplete)
- Amerindia (incomplete)
- Amazon Ballet (1917)
- Uirapuru - Ballet (1917)
- Caixinha de Boas Festas - Ballet (1932)
- Dança da Terra - Ballet (1939)
- Mandu-Cárárá - Ballet (1940)
- Rudá - Ballet (1951)
- Gênesis - Ballet (1954)
- Emperor Jones - Ballet (1956)
- Descobrimento do Brasil ( The discovery of Brazil ) - music for the film of the same name by Humberto Mauro (1938 / from it 4 suites for orchestra)
- Green Mansions - film music (1959 / arranged as orchestral work Floresta do Amazonas [ Forest of the Amazon ])
- Domingo Alzugaray / Cátia Alzugaray: A vida dos grandes brasileiros: Villa-Lobos . São Paulo, Brazil: Grupo de Comunicação Três, 2001, ISBN 85-7368-627-8 .
- David P. Appleby: Heitor Villa-Lobos: Bio-bibliography . Westport, Conn. 1982.
- David P. Appleby: Heitor Villa-Lobos. A life (1887-1959). Scarecrow Press, Lanham, Md. 2002, ISBN 0-8108-4149-5 .
- Joaquim Assis / Viana de Zelito Viana: Villa-Lobos: uma vida de paixão . Rio de Janeiro: Revan, 2000, ISBN 85-7106-201-3 .
- Gerard Béhague: Heitor Villa-Lobos. The search of Brazil's musical soul . University of Texas, Austin, Tex. 1994, ISBN 0-292-70823-8 .
- Anais Fléchet: Villa-Lobos à Paris: un écho musical du Brésil, Paris [u. a.] . L'Harmattan, 2004.
- Patricia Fleitas-González: A Study of Selected Choral Works of Heitor Villa-Lobos , Austin TX 1996, OCLC 37629815 (DMA Dissertation, University of Texas at Austin 1996, 111 pages).
- Garcia, Thomas G .: The "choro", the guitar and Villa-Lobos . In: Luso-Brazilian review. - Madison, Wis, Vol. 34 (1997), No. 1, pp. 57-66.
- Paulo Renato Guérios: Heitor Villa-Lobos: o caminho sinuoso da predestinação . Rio de Janeiro: Ed. FGV, Fundação Getulio Vargas, 2003, ISBN 85-225-0429-6 .
- Maria Maia: Villa-Lobos: alma brasileira . Rio de Janeiro: Contraponto Ed. ; Petrobras, 2000, ISBN 85-85910-31-3 .
- Vasco Mariz: Heitor Villa-Lobos. Compositor brasileiro . Zahar, Rio de Janeiro 1983.
- Cornelia Napp: “Personal representatives” in music publishing cultural relations. The representation of Heitor Villa-Lobos in the USA . With time table "Villa-Lobos in the USA 1947–1961". Max Brockhaus Musikverlag, Remagen, 2010, ISBN 978-3-922173-04-5 .
- Ermelinda A. Paz: Villa-Lobos ea musica popular brasileira: uma visão sem preconceito . Rio de Janeiro: Eletrobrás, 2004, ISBN 85-904189-1-X .
- Humberto Mauro / Eduardo Morettin: Cine, música e historia: Heitor Villa-Lobos y “O descobrimento do Brasil” (1937) , in: Filmoteca <Valencia>: Archivos de la Filmoteca // Filmoteca de la Generalitat Valenciana. - Valencia,. - Vol. 41.2002, pp. 70-83.
- Ermelinda A. Paz: Sôdade do cordão: Villa-Lobos . Rio de Janeiro: ELF, 2000, ISBN 85-87913-01-8 .
- Lisa M. Peppercorn: Heitor Villa-Lobos. Life and work of the Brazilian composer . Atlantis, Zurich 1972, ISBN 3-7611-0362-X .
- Lisa M. Peppercorn: Villa-Lobos. Collected Studies . Scolar Press, Aldershot 1992, ISBN 0-85967-906-3 .
- Lisa M. Peppercorn (Ed.): The Villa-Lobos Letters (Musicians in Letters; 1). Toccata Press, Kingston-upon-Thames 1994, ISBN 0-907689-28-0 .
- Lisa M. Peppercorn: Villa-Lobos, the music. An analysis of his style . Kahn & Averill, London 1991, ISBN 1-871082-15-3 .
- Lisa M. Peppercorn: The world of Villa-Lobos. In pictures and documents . Scolar Press, Aldershot 1996, ISBN 1-85928-261-X .
- Heriqueta Rebuá de Mattos: The works for piano by Heitor Villa-Lobos. Syncretism of European and Latin American elements and contrast effects . Utz, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-8316-0053-8 .
- Loly Amaro de Souza: Heitor Villa-Lobos . São Paulo: Ed. Moderna, 2001, ISBN 85-16-02755-4 .
- Eero Tarasti: Heitor Villa-Lobos. The life and works 1887–1959 . MacFarland, Jefferson, NC 1995, ISBN 0-7864-0013-7 .
- Graham Wade: Approaching Choros No. 1 by Heitor Villa-Lobos . In: Guitar & Lute . Born in 20/1998. Issue 1. pp. 15-19.
- Ahygara Iacyra Villa-Lobos da Silva Jardim Waissmann: Villa-Lobos em família . Companhia Brasileira de Artes Gráficas, Rio de Janeiro 1990.
- Simon Wright: Villa-Lobos (Oxford studies of composers; 25). Oxford University Press, Oxford 1992, ISBN 0-19-315476-5 .
- Gerd Zacher: The guitar in the work of Heitor Villa-Lobos: Aspects of its importance for Brazilian national music and for the internationalization of music in the 20th century . Dissertation, University of Potsdam 2005.
- Dirk Zdebel: "Bach and I ...". The life and work of the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. In: Guitar & Laute 8, 1986, Heft 4, pp. 24-29 (part 1); 9, 1987, No. 2, pp. 51-55 (part 3).
- Heitor Villa-Lobos, Rio's musical soul. Documentation, 52 min., Book: Leonel Kaz, Mario De Aratanha, director: Eric Darmon, production: arte France, summary by arte
- Os Garimpeiros , documentary about gold diggers in the Amazon with music by Heitor Villa-Lobos Bachianas, director: Gaudenz Meili , 1986
- Literature by and about Heitor Villa-Lobos in the catalog of the German National Library
- Heitor Villa-Lobos website
- Museu Villa-Lobos
- Guitar website (here: article about Villa-Lobos)
- Riemann Musiklexikon , 1961, p. 852 f.
- Honorary Members: Heitor Villa-Lobos. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed March 26, 2019 .
- History of the Institution on the Museu Villa-Lobos website , accessed February 28, 2012
- Der Aufbruch der Brazilian Musik, Schott, September 25, 2008 ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- DMA dissertation = Doctor of Musical Arts
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Brazilian composer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||March 5, 1887|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Rio de Janeiro|
|DATE OF DEATH||17th November 1959|
|Place of death||Rio de Janeiro|