Last of the series of five preludes for guitar, composed in 1940 (an alleged No. 6 was lost)
and whose property is the (poly)tonal playing and the corresponding change of harmonic
ranges, doubtless with the purpose of enriching the relative simplicity of the melody that
evokes a typical “seresta” (serenata).
The text (jrBustamante), inspired by the very structure of the prelude, assumes the
character of a poetic reflection in a “seresta” tone, as a tribute to the popular genius of
And hier we have prefered to maintain, respecting the melodic ductus, the original tonality.
Once there was a prelude without words composed by Villa for his guitar,
and some day a poet had the idea of making a song of it… that's all!
The simplicity of the melodic line suggests the lightness of glaring white clouds
wafting in the blue summer mornings or of an almost ethereal creature: a hummingbird!
Fleeting words… on the soft waving of the sea! A guitar lick? Ring-a-rosy?
A little song in light waltz rhythm… flirty? So it is. Hm! Hm! Hm! Hm!
A guitar lick? Prelude? Words, just words!
Ah, this passing cloud leaving its trace in the blue of summer mornings,
there goes my voice modulating the prelude-song… just so!
All the beauty of a guitar lick keeping in the mere beat of one verse
the word with charm or magical desire… to dream… to sing… to speak… of love!
Composition by A. Conde (dedicated to Carmen Durán) in form of fugue and variations, in a refined “modinha” (salon music) style.
Also in this work aims the lyrical text (jrBustamante), written directly on the original score, to become part of the existing structure
so as to achieve as close as possible a perfect fusion of poetic composition and melody with its rhythm and harmonic variations.
So many paths through seas and landscapes to the last bounds of dreams and illusions…
to dream… is necessary! So much yearning in form of a fugue and always after an ideal…
hoping to reach it!
So many promises… illusions… deceptions…
Ah, it's necessary to outline the ways, navigating to the sea edges, open-eyed… laughing and singing…
Here’s my plot, my personal matter, this joy of composing odes to life!
One of the most famous compositions of HVL and most performed in the world, here among us in a pejorative sense,
that is mistreated, and that with astonishing frequency, even by so-called big stars. Text by Ruth Valadares Correa.
VL's music saves it from a certain innocuousness.
This is what, in all artistic honesty, also aims our elaborate interpretive contribution, basically respecting the original, with
the creative and happy arrangement by A. Conde and the masterful, truly classic and refined interpretation of Carmen Durán
as well, without any vocal concession of questionable popular taste, still usual and present in the Brazilian and international
market, from which we prefer to distance ourselves, as they don’t honor in our opinion the Villa-Lobos’ original in any way.
Evening, a rosy, slow and transparent cloud over the space, dreamy and beautiful!
Softly arises the moon far away in the sky / Adorning the evening like a loving maiden
getting dressed up and dreamly attractive in deep longings to become beautiful
cries to heaven and earth the whole nature!
Birds become silent to its sad moans and the sea reflects all its wealth ...
Softly the moonlight arouses the cruel yearning that laughs and cries.
Imitation or strongly rhythmic variation, in a typical feel of northeastern “embolada” and even “forró”, a traditional
Northeastern challenge on the curious and quaint text (also Northeast!), commissioned to the great poet (from Pernambuco,
living in Rio and personal friend of VL) Manuel Bandeira, in a grand celebration of the vigor of his land with all the singing birds.
Irerê, my little bird from “sertão” of Cariri
Irerê, my companion, where is the guitar?
Where's baby? Where is Maria?
Oh, sad fate of the singing guitarist!
Without the guitar to sing his love
his whistle is your flute of irerê:
Then when your flute whistles over there,
one suffers not wanting to!
Your singing comes from deep within the backlands
like a breeze softening the heart.
Irerê, loose your singing! Sing more!
Sing more! To remember Cariri!
Sing, wren! Sing, little dove! Sing, irerê! Sing, sing, “sofrê”!
“Patativa”! “Bem-te-vi”! “Maria-acorda-que-é-dia”!
Sing, all of you, Birdies of the backcountry!
“Bem-te-vi”! Eh “sabiá”! Lá! liá! liá! liá! liá! liá!
Eh wild thrush, you singer! Lá! liá! liá! liá! Lá! liá! liá! liá! liá! liá!
Eh wild thrush, you sufferer!
Your singing comes from deep within the backlands
like a breeze softening the heart.
A. Conde’s original composition with text (in English) written later by jrBustamante. Introduction in Afro-Brazilian rhythm.
Orchestral instrumental theme with piano solo variations remembering Villa-Lobos. Contemporary jazz style. Theme for voice,
pop-jazz, which links to interactive end of turn-around type on the main theme cell with a strong style that fuses Afro-Brazilian
with symphonic-jazz feel.
Somewhere… on the other side there will be the grace of a smiling face for me…
on the other side it may sound my name and none will ever be the same…
on the other side must be my dreamy place on earth,
a star will shine, mine will be glory, a dreamy story of loving hearts.
Piano improvisation, original by A. Conde, formally following the classical romantic style and intended as a sort of link to the next piece of the program.
Also for this Choro we considered the possibility of joining words to the original melody of Villa-Lobos, commenting in
some way the structure of the composition “chorona”, which includes, as almost every piece of the series, significant subtitles,
in this case “Brazilian soul”. Also here it’s worth to emphasize the meticulous respect for the original structure of the work, as
both the arrangement of A. Conde as the text, inspired by Villa-Lobos instructions for the execution of the work, try to leave
intact the character of the same.
Misty, and quite distinct as a rhythmical murmur, is the most perfect advice for expressing through song
the deep variations and nuances, the essency of the Brazilian soul: rhythm, swing, sultry singing.
Come, my song! I will sing in major my musical praise to the Brazilian soul.
Come on, everybody, let us sing joyously to the rhythm of a “choro”
or a moderate march (aliá!… aliô!…) the gentle cadence of this “weeping” of my Brazilian soul!
Misty and quite distinct, a rhythmical murmur… this is the most perfect expression of the Brazilian soul.
Afro-Amazonian composition for low voice, percussion and bass, where the voice assumes a magical character of ethnic-
shamanistic evocation, emitting deep vocalizes ruled in a vocal sequence close to a syllabic “Auê” ... almost anticipating
the syncretism of the following piece.
It is our greatest artistic challenge to complete this project.
We have chosen in this case the second part of the original composition, in which the mixed choir
performs motives of the “Yara Schottisch” by Anacleto de Medeiros and of Parecis Indians lullaby
that Villa-Lobos used, as he usually did, according to his method, in many variations and with an
onomatopoeic text that he invented to mimic the speech of the Indians, but rather meaningless
here, excepted for the pure and simple musical / symphonic effect.
The original text of “Rasga o coração” (Rip the heart) by Catulo da Paixão Cearense could not be
used during the time it was protected by copyrights, and so Villa-Lobos only used the melody of
Anacleto de Medeiros resorting to vocalizes for the choir interventions. For a long time he was
accused of plagiarism. Today, released the text, at least a few phrases of Catulo’s poem are
eventually used in performances of the work, which however, for aesthetic reasons concerning
modern treatment, we prefer to adapt here in content and form, but trying to keep time to the
musical phrases of Villa-Lobos, arranged by Alberto Conde.
If you want to renew the illusions of the verb 'to love',
vague reflections about old ways of dreaming,
rip your heart, turn your attention
to the inflection of my singing.
Flourishes of singing and “choro”,
it's the Brazilian rhythm, it's my singing voice.
At this very moment I want this scent
smelling of heady flowers…
Come, if you want to read in its pulsing
some old illusions and vain predictions
of what would never happen even in a constellation,
where vaguely, gently sparkling, pure and abysmal,
in a universal dream, rests like a romantic ideal.
Look, then you'll see right there a voice
modulating sad verses of suffering
and songs of crying, moon rays,
magic signs, waters seeking their fountains.
(*) in italics: original expressions from the poem
by Catulo da P. Cearense, here paraphrased.
[Copyright © by jrBustamante, 2012]