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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  • Just an update of my working on this Gavota. It was a very busy week and I couldn’t spend as much time to the challenge (and my other practice) as I had hoped for.

    anyway, not so much progress, unfortunately, but I did try to play a little more freely, and with more rubato. Some would say too much, others not enough….

    I will give it some more time and another try later….

    Like 4
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje Really love it. You play with such lush beautiful tone. I love the rubato, it flows very naturally. Thank you for sharing, this is definitely one of the piece that Im inspired to learn in future. 

      Like
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje yeah, this is why people play guitar. This is so lovely! Thank you! 

      Like
    • joosje So beautiful, Joosje!  You’ve inspired me to wake this one up and bring it to a new level.  I love your interpretation!

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

    HVL Prelude no 5. 

    Managed to almost memorize section A and B. It is so difficult to piece A and B together as they sounded so different and while I personally dont' mind some squeak, section B is too much sqeak for my liking and it seems impossible to remove them if I want to play the melody on the bass line. 

     

    Will try to work on the fingerings for Section C this week but looking at it, I think it will be challenge with the chords.

    Like 2
    • don Nice progress, Don. The A section is sounding really good. I agree that there are too many left hand squeaks in the B section. Try to employ some of Carlevaro's left hand technique by using the arm to lift the fingers off the strings before shifting. That should help. 

      Like
    • don really good, Don. It is coming together and your progress in short time is impressive. Just one little remark if I may. You could  focus even more on the melody lines. In A the upper voice  (moving to bass line at the ending of the phrase), and in B the bass line (moving to upper voice) you are making them sound nice already, maybe take even more time for phrasing of those main voices…. That is for me characteristic HVL style. But maybe others in the forum will share a different opinion….

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

      Dale Needles Thanks Dale. Is there any technique to do a slide without the squeak? I can lift my hand up or change fingering but then I have to sacrifice the gliss on the bass note but if I do the squeaks will come up. Thanks!

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

      joosje Thanks for the suggestion!

      Like
    • don First to say, Maestro Carlevaro was not a big fan of glissandos and used them sparingly.  In fact, in HVL Prelude 5, he does not use glissando in the B Section. Nevertheless, when playing glissandos on the bass strings, Carlevaro would always emphasize the use of the arm in moving the hand/fingers down the fretboard.  Additionally, if your finger has a rough callous on the tip, it will increase the string noise.  Sometimes it can help to angle your finger a little, so a softer part of the finger holds the strings down when doing the glissandos on the bass strings.  I hope this helps. 

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

      Dale Needles Thanks Dale! Do you have a link to Maestro Carlevaro’s performance? I cannot find it. Was watching other players play the B section and some just do away with the gliss and sounded as good too. Good tip about the fleshy part, I just tried that and it does work. Thank you!

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

      don Nice start on this great Prelude, Don!  Keeping going; you got it!!

      Like 1
    • don Unfortunately I do not know of any recording of Carlevaro playing Prelude 5, although he did include in many programs in the 1980s. 

      Like 1
  • HVL Prelude 2 B section (Aug 20)

    Here is another update of the B section. I think it's a bit more controlled, but still not fully there yet.

    Like 2
    • Eric Phillips wow, you did make it to the ideal tempo. And it sounds great., too. Just keep looking for some more feeling of ‘lightness’ in both hands. The easy movements will enhance the impression of speed. (Sorry if I don’t express myself correctly, but I think you get the idea) 🙂

      Like 1
    • joosje I know exactly what you mean. I need to stop using my “death grip”, especially in the left hand.

      Like
    • Eric Phillips I admire your dedicated work on this. You are nearly there. Look forward to hearing you put it all together.  

      Like 1
  • My update of prelude #2. I’m always messing things up at the end. Hope to be back as soon as I have the time to record again. In the meantime I planned to  practice the Hommage a Villa Lobos by the unforgettable Roland Dyens. For now Im working only on the 2nd (‘slow’) movement ‘Danse Caracterielle et Bacchianinha’. ? But, let’s be realistic, I dont think I can get even this one movement to recording level within the time frame of this challenge. 
    For your information I post the incredible recording of the Hommage by RD himself.  I’m curious to know what you think of it….

    Like 4
    • joosje Great work! You're doing a great job reducing the string squeak in the B section. And your work on the A section is spectacular, it's so beautiful!

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

      joosje Well done! It is already very nice! RD looks so young in the picture! It sounded really interesting and very technically challenging but can't say I know how to appreciate it. 

      Like
    • joosje Brava! Your progress with Prelude 2 is very impressive.  I like how you play the entire piece, but I particularly love the A sections. It flows so well with great musicality.  I also really like the RD Hommage. 

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

      joosje Wow! Very nice rubatos, they flow very natural!

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

      joosje This is so beautiful Joosje!  Your interpretation is wonderful both technically and musically.  Bravo!

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

      joosje Wonderful, Joosje. You have beautiful control of the A sections and the B section is very close also. As I mentioned to Eric, I find the B section really challenging to work musically with the outer sections. You are very close to getting it. Great job!

      BTW I have never attempted this piece so my observations are from the comfort of my sofa. 🙂

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

    Here is VL Prelude No.5.  I enjoy the lyrical works (like this one) of Villa -Lobos the most.  No.5 also has an interesting mix of different feelings --first section very light and lyrical, next more energetic, last  a bit more virtuostic.  Such a great composer!!

    Like 5
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney very nice! I came across Taso Comanescu playing this and it has become my favorite and your tone and pace sounded almost like it. 

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