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      Monuments of Latin American Music

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      Heitor Villa-Lobos

      Heitor Villa-Lobos

      Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos wrote 12 symphonies. The first one dates from 1916, the last one from 1957. His 6th Symphony, that bears the subtitle “On the Profiles of the Mountains of Brazil”, was written in 1944.  In composing this piece he used a method of his own, called “millimetrization”. He projected the outline of the “Serra dos Orgaos” (“Range of the Organs”) surrounding Rio de Janeiro, to graph paper. Subsequently, Villa-Lobos developed his melodies following these contours. The piece establishes an interesting compromise between this formalistic or “conceptual” approach and the use of themes inspired by Brazil’s indigenous and folk traditions.

      Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera wrote his Pampeana No.3 in 1954. It is considered the last work of the composer’s nationalistic period. Ginastera defined this work as a “symphonic pastorale” using melodic and rhythmic patterns from the Pampa’s folk music, the music of the gauchos. The Pampas are the vast plains comprising central Argentina, Uruguay and the south of Brazil. Not unlike Villa-Lobos, in this work Ginastera combines the folk-inspired materials with formal devices such as twelve-tones series, polytonality, the use a characteristic of a five note chord composed by the open tones of the guitar strings (E-A-D-G-B-E) and the typical pulse of rural milonga: eight 8th notes subdivided as 3-3-2.

      Villa-Lobos’ Etude No. 7 for guitar serves as an encore to this “monumental” program. The 12 Etudes were commissioned by Andrés Segovia and composed between 1925 and 1929.


      Heitor Villa-Lobos (Brazil, 1887-1959)
      Symphony No. 6 (1944)
      l. Allegro ma non troppo
      ll. Lento assai
      lll. Allegretto quasi animato
      lV. Allegro
      SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart
      Carl St. Clair, conductor

      Alberto Ginastera (1916-1981)
      Pampeana No.3 (1954), l. Adagio comtemplativo, ll.Impetuosamente
      lll. Largo con poética
      Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra from Venezuela
      Eduardo Mata, conductor

      Heitor  Villa-Lobos
      Etude No.7
      Eduardo Fernández, guitar

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