Villa Lobos

Villa Lobos Heitor Villa-Lobos Heitor Villa-Lobos was born on March 5th, 1887, in Rio de Janeiro. Villa-Lobos lacked much formal education, and found he had to make a living for himself. He proceeded to perform on guitar in local restaurants and theatre orchestras. The music he performed consisted of the popular music of the time in Brazil. This factor would play a major role in his compositions. His first published work was in 1908, titled Salon Waltz.

This was followed a year later by Canticos Sertenejos. Both compositions were based on Brazilian folk songs and popular music. In 1912, Villa Lobos went on an expedition of East Brazil. There he not only studied Indian music, but he also learned their culture, including their rites, myths, and dances. From this expedition he roamed all of Brazil absorbing all different ideas, and cultures. His style of composition is a compilation of his experiences and Brazilian native sounds of these roaming years.

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In 1919 the famous concert pianist Artur Rubinstein became interested in Villa-Lobos’s work. Rubinstein arranged for him to receive a government subsidy. With this Villa-Lobos moved to Paris and lived there for 4 years, thus adding even more to his catalogue of cultures. Although he is well known for his orchestral works, perhaps no other composer has had the impact on classical guitar that Villa-Lobos had. The Brazilian culture thrives on strong rhythmic structures, and sentimental melodies.

Villa Lobos transferred these characteristics into some of the most beautiful, and influential solo guitar music ever written. Villa Lobos composed 5 Preludes (Cinque Preludes) for solo guitar. These are some of the most challenging short pieces written for guitar in the 20th century. He also wrote 17 Choros, choros is the term for Brazilian pop music of the time. The instrumentation on these pieces range from solo guitar, to orchestral, to solo piano. Music.