Piano

  • Villa-Lobos: Suite Floral Op. 97 - A Prole do Bebê No. 1 & 2

  • CD 2709

Jungle; Youth and Freedom

Not being trained academically permitted Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887–1959) to develop a very personal compositional style and technique; a combination of traditional Brazilian music with universal esthetics. At times violent and savage; at times sweet and inward; his music is filled with surprising turns. A veritable keyboard genius; he was also one of the most prolific composers of his generation; leaving behind some 2;000 works in various styles; most of which have yet to be discovered!

Written between 1916 and 1918; the Suite Floral; Op. 97; is articulated in three movements: “Summer Idyll” immerses us in Brazilian sunlight; one falls into a sweet lull in a hammock gently rocking in a warm breeze. “A Singing Country Girl” depicts a young; innocent maiden whose song is embraced throughout by a syncopated accompaniment. The middle section is marked by the use of pentatonic scales. “Joy in the Garden” gives expression to the exuberance of joy and perfect happiness. This third movement; completely bitonal; is constructed using appoggiaturas in the extreme ranges of the piano. The spirit of the jungle awakens in the repeated octaves in the bass; a register that Villa-Lobos loved to explore.

The cycle “The Baby’s Family” consists of three suites (often confused with the Children’s Suites). The first is a depiction of “The Dolls” and the second of “The Little Animals”. The third suite; “The Games”; unfortunately has been lost; it is only known that it was dedicated to games of sport. The suites evoke the atmosphere of the streets of Rio de Janeiro and were inspired by a number of folk songs. Deeply marked by the colors and accents of traditional national music; one can sense in these pieces all the colors of the Amazon forest; its luxuriant foliage; its superabundance and its variety. The harmonies are exquisite; the writing for the piano very inventive and virtuosic.

Joanna Brzezinska
(Translation: Mark Manion)

Villa-Lobos: Suite Floral Op. 97 - A Prole do Bebê No. 1 & 2
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