Saturday, June 14, 2008

What are you learning now?

This week I began learning Heitor Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras number 4. For longer than I wish to admit, I have had the Amsco publications volume of Villa-Lobos' solo piano music sitting on the piano at home. I have read through the notes several times and listened to recordings of both the solo piano version and the version for full orchestra, but I never took the plunge to dig in and actually learn the music. Since starting, there have been a few odd moments of deciphering an odd indication or two in the score. For example, there is a curious Da Capo al Segno at the end of the first movement that seems to go nowhere, as the only segno for the movement in my copy of the score is found over the meter signature of the first measure. This is far from causing enough annoyance to dissuade me from learning the music, but I do wonder how it will work out in performance. The music is lush and very gratifying to play at the piano, and for now, it has been a pure pleasure to immerse myself in these wonderful sounds. By the way, I heartily recommend the orchestra version in a recording with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the New World Symphony Orchestra.

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