Week 3: "Composer's Corner: Exploring Villa-Lobos"

Welcome to the Main Thread for the third week of "Villa-Lobos Voyage" practice challenge! 

  1. Select a mesmerizing piece from Villa-Lobos or a composer connected to his Brazilian heritage. Whether it's a soulful Villa-Lobos composition, a rhythmic Brazilian-inspired work, or a piece by another artist inspired by the Brazilian musical tradition, the choice is yours! 🎼

  2. Commit to regular practice and share your progress with the community. Strive to practice daily and upload at least two videos per week to showcase your musical voyage. This not only keeps you motivated but also allows you to share your artistic journey with our tonebase family. 🎥

  3. Share your favorite performance or recording that captures the spirit of the "Villa-Lobos-Voyage Challenge." Your submission will inspire others and create a vibrant collection of potential pieces for fellow members to explore. 🎧

↓ Happy Sharing! ↓

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  • HVL Prelude 2 (Aug 21)

    Not sure if there is any improvement. Feeling a bit like I’m stuck in a rut.

    Like 1
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Excellent Eric!  Great piece, which you are playing beautifully.  I like your dedication to continue fine tuning it.

      Like
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips This is coming along great, Eric. The B section still has some roughness but that is really difficult to get those very different sections to work together. You are getting close, though. 

      Like
    • Ernesto
    • Ernesto.1
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Choros Part A.... next to stitch all ABACCA together... really hard!

    Like 1
    • Ernesto
    • Ernesto.1
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Manage to have an acceptable run to all parts together. A few memory lapses, some misplaced fingers and other tired hands that lead to inaccuracies. Will try again later this week.

    Like 3
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ernesto It is really getting there almost, the beginning is especially lyrical and beautfiul. 

      Like 1
    • Ernesto Very nice, Ernesto.  You have the A section mastered and are so close with the other sections.  I look forward to hearing it again next week.

      Like 1
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ernesto Nice playing of this old favorite of mine, Ernesto!  Keep going to fine tune it.  Thanks for sharing it with us.

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ernesto This is great, Ernesto. You have a wonderful feel for this piece. I would suggest marking the problem areas and focussing on those. You are getting really close on this challenging piece.

      Like 1
    • Calin Lupa
    • Calin_Lupa
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Posting today the recording of Prelude no.1,  part 2. Some hesitations, enjoyable to play though, I love the alternation of playful and lyrical parts.  Will try to put it all together this week. 

    Like 2
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Calin Lupa Very nice. can feel your enjoyment through your playing too. 😄

      Like
    • Calin Lupa
    • Calin_Lupa
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Here is a recording of Etude no 1 , with repetitions. I tried to play the repeat more piano, like an echo , not very happy with the overall sound though... Will practice more this this week hopefully,  

    Like 4
    • Calin Lupa Excellent, Calin.  I think you are very close, and I like the echo effect by repeating the arpeggio piano.  Here is what Carlevaro who studied with Villa-Lobos wrote about this Etude, "Villa-Lobos' Study No. 1 creates an atmosphere of harmonic resonance, each note joining the other in an overall effect.  The composer himself insisted that the execution of this study should never be unruly, affirming that its beauty lies in the clarity of each note and in the different sonorities presented in each bar with its repetition.  In his (Villa-Lobos) opinion each arpeggio should be played forte the first time through (becoming piano on the fourth beat of the bar) and with an echo effect on the arpeggio repetition." (The Carlevaro Guitar Master Class, Volume III - the Guitar Works of Heitor Villa-Lobos 12 Studies)  

      Like 1
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Calin Lupa Sounds beautiful Calin!  This Etude is difficult to keep the arpeggio very clear, clean, and consistent throughout the piece, and you are handling it very well, Bravo!

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Calin Lupa Great work, Calin. This is brutal trying to maintain this relentless arpeggio, the only respite being a rapid fire slurred descending run - no rest for the weary! I would add to Dale's sage advice to make sure to maintain relaxed execution. At least that is what I always had to concentrate on.

      Like 1
      • Calin Lupa
      • Calin_Lupa
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Dale Needles thank you very much for the excerpt from Carlevaro, glad that the way I imagined the piece played aligns with his view.

      Like
      • Calin Lupa
      • Calin_Lupa
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney and Jack Stewart , thank you, indeed getting the clarity and consistency of the arpeggio is a big challenge here ...  I feel like one day works , the next day my nails are 0.5 millimeter longer and are not working as well.  

      Like
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Calin Lupa Jack Stewart Yes, I agree the nails are tricky.  Did you know that Christopher Parkening once said he asked his dentist to create a plaster mold of his right hand when his nails were perfect, so he could refer to it for the exact shape and length needed.  Very extreme, but I guess not surprising for a concert artist who wanted his tone and playing  to be as perfect as possible.

      Like
      • Calin Lupa
      • Calin_Lupa
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney I didn't know that, but I totally agree with him as nails can be a huge issue for concert artists.  Probably they all practice also with fake nails , just in case... ? 

      I never used fake nails, but I can see in the not so distant future a service to 3D-print your perfect fake nails . 

      Like
    • don
    • don.2
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    HVL Prelude no 5.

    Last update for the week. Managed to memorize (almost) the entire piece now. I'm still not 100% certain about the fingerings for section C. Gonna ask my teacher for advise when I have lesson this week. Appreciate if anyone has good suggestion for fingerings in Section C. 

    Like 2
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      don You are progressing very nicely on the piece.  My suggestion would be to practice it slower paying more attention to holding melody notes longer for legato,  correct rhythm and accurate notes. ( Even though you have it memorized, please review the score again). Take a look at  the Emmanuel Sowicz lesson for some suggested fingerings, although it looks like you are using his. (Section C is a bit tricky).  Lastly, listen to recordings of players you admire for ideas, and listen to yourself for the musical flow.  Hope this helps.

      Like
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney thats really good advice. I re look the score and indeed mis read some parts. Thanks. 

      Like
    • don If you give me your email address, I will send you Carlevaro's fingering.  

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Dale Needles Thank you so much, I've sent you a message. Thanks!

      Like
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      don Great, Don. Everything seems to be firmly under your fingers. You are at a really good point to start focussing on overall refinements.

      Like
    • Jack Stewart
    • Retired
    • Jack_Stewart
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    HVL Etude #5 complete but still rough

    Well I have managed to make it thru the entire etude but I still have difficulty maintaining a consistent performance. I have settle on my fingering, and I can pretty much play all sections accurately when they are separate (and I'm not recording). I think I am close enough to start focussing on phrasing and articulation. Hopefully I can get a good performance by the end of the challenge.

    This has been a frustrating experience because it didn't seem to be THAT challenging, technically. However, it sure has been challenging for me. I am glad I am learning this etude as it has always been my favorite of HVL.

    Like 5
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