Recital & lecture in Porech/Croatia

Presentation of music score and CD of 12 Etudes by Heitor Villa-Lobos transcribed for piano by Julija Bal

Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887 –1959) was the most significant composer in Brazilian art music. Written in Paris in 1929, and dedicated to Segovia, his 12 Etudes for guitar are considered as a true concert works (like Chopin’s etudes, they are showing a level of difficulty and beauty that is above a simple study). It should be borne in mind that Villa-Lobos’ ideas in Etudes were created for the specific sound of one particular medium - the guitar, and its unique characteristics. To avoid potential loss of the original character, Julija gave herself a kind of freedom, almost that of a composer, while retaining the most important musical features of Villa-Lobos’ etudes: context, essential melody, tonality and form.  Inspired by a series of technical elements of guitar playing introduced by Villa-Lobos, she tried to apply a similar idea to her transcriptions. Exploring some current technical practices of piano playing and integrating them into the music, she succeeded in introducing a way of "upgrading" those compositions and thus not disturbing its context. 

The lecture-concert has four parts:

 - Describing different influences of European and Brazilian art and popular (Choro) music of early 20th century to Villa-Lobos, and the opposite reflection to Brazilian music today, (mentioning connections with Stravinsky, Debussy, Nazareth, Rubinstein, Jobim…), pointing out and demonstrating on piano some common compositional characteristics in harmony, rhythm, phrasings.

- Short introduction to general problematic of transcribing music, pointing out some solutions reflected in 12 studies.

- Explaining didactic dimension of version for piano, over viewing modern elements of piano technique used in this opus (usage of middle pedal, echo, specific kinds of tremolo etc.)

- Integral performance of the 12 Etudes by Heitor Villa-Lobos transcribed for piano by Julija Bal