THE FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF MUSIC
PERFORMANCE ASPECTS OF STRING QUARTETS NUMBER 12, 13 AND 14 BY HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (Full Text in PDF format)
Juan José Gutiérrez
Heitor Villa-Lobos was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1887 and died in the same city in 1959. He is considered one of the most important composers of the twentieth century and is the author of seventeen string quartets that were produced during each of
the different periods of his career as a composer. The purpose of this treatise is to study String Quartets No. 12, 13 and 14 (which belong to Villa-Lobos’s late period) from different points of view such as form, texture, character, influences of Brazilian folk
music and of other composers. It also provides some possible approaches to the performance of these works. Contributing to the number of available sources about Villa-Lobos’s string quartets and stimulating the performance of these works are also among
the objectives of this treatise.
Each quartet is discussed in two chapters. One chapter deals with the piece making use of the Villa-Lobos literature, recordings by the composer of other of his works that may provide clues as to how to perform the piece in discussion and a careful study of the score from the performer’s point of view. The other chapter compares three different recordings of each of the quartets in study and discusses how each of the ensembles approached and solved the different performance aspects. The recordings compared are those of the Latin American Quartet, the Bessler-Reis Quartet and the Danubius Quartet.
Each chapter contains musical examples to help illustrate the passages that are discussed.