Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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jaan
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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by jaan » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:52 pm

You also can't do 2-3 on the final hammer on smoothly as you've just done 1-2 on the previous one; so now 2 has to quickly leave the b natural on the 5th string to get to the f# on the 6th. I'd say it's just a mistake.
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:04 pm

Ricflair wrote:I don't think training the 3rd and 4th fingers should be the most important consideration.
I agree in so far as the étude is not devised to train the fingers in any way at all - what I was inferring is that all the fingers should be fully capable in the first place.
Julian Ward wrote:I don't imagine for one second that this piece was conceived using any notation at all.
You may be correct but there is design, full of intent even if relatively simple in concept.
Julian Ward wrote:The slurred run has no special properties that require different voicings or positions so you can play it however you like that leads to the most economical shifting for YOU.
Here I disagree - I feel that it is better to understand what's going on rather than just choose a mechanically expedient solution.
Julian Ward wrote:None of you picked up on my earlier post about the way Sanel Redžić plays that section ...
I did watch it but held back from commenting as any less than positive remark usually leads to flaming from the less astute amongst us. All I will suggest is - listen with eyes closed - he doesn't achieve anything musically through the thumb over manoevre so what's the point?

Of course I do know what the point is - a visually flashy move that will please most of the guitarists in the audience, which I suppose is valid enough from a performer's perspective. I'm coming at it from the listener's point of view - aurally I would say that he undermines Villa-Lobos' concept of the passage completely.
Julian Ward wrote: I think VL lobos later decided it should be played faster, hence the repeats added for more musical balance.
I'm not aware of any evidence for VL having made those changes - do you know of some Julian? It's possible of course but, given that VL's manuscripts (not just for guitar) are usually impeccably transparent and informative and that the Eschig imprints appear to have been cobbled together by at least two musical incompetents, I'm inclined to lean towards the former's very clear instructions.
Julian Ward wrote:To me it doesn't work with 'no repeats' apart from maybe the decending diminished chord which gets rather boring!
To be fair, the whole thing is often delivered in an aimless, boring manner - no dynamic imagination, no attention to harmonic development, any number of pauses between position changes, every note of each arpeggio given the same delivery, lack of nuanced timbre except in the most crude and obvious manner (e.g. if a chord includes a minor 2nd) and absolutely not the slightest hint of impressionistic style.
Julian Ward wrote:There is an awful lot of over-thinking going on about this piece.
On the contrary - it appears that the great majority give it no thought whatsoever except in the fingering of this slur passage. A shame as it doesn't take a genius to bring the work to life.

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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by Julian Ward » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:32 pm

Hi Mark there was a major change yes... The original 1928 manuscript (that I have not personally seen) has no repeat markings. But according to what I read, he described himself (in reference to the later publications) that the first arpeggio should be forte and the repeat should be piano, like an echo. I still think you are over thinking the slurred passage! Lol :) :) It is twenty years since I played it. I might dust it off again!
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:45 pm

Julian Ward wrote:Hi Mark there was a major change yes... The original 1928 manuscript (that I have not personally seen) has no repeat markings.
Many years ago it was possible to donate recordings of his works to the VL Museum in exchange for copies certain manucripts. I've had them for decades now and know his fingerings extremely well. The 1928 copy of the Études is freely available these days by the way - should you be interested.
Julian Ward wrote:... according to what I read, he described himself (in reference to the later publications) that the first arpeggio should be forte and the repeat should be piano, like an echo.
I don't suppose that you can pinpoint the source of that for me?
Julian Ward wrote:It is twenty years since I played it.
Me too - but I've had a few diploma candidates working on it (and some of the others) recently so I happen to have been listening to it quite a bit ... in fact all the études are so firmly embedded after all these years that I can't imagine ever forgetting them, though I doubt I'll ever have reason to play them again.

Having said that I'm certain that I'd be hugely critical of what I did at the guitar if I could hear it now; typical gung-ho fashion (like most guitarists), fast and furious beyond necessity and informed by the models of the likes of Bream, Byzantine and Diaz - it's embarassing to think that I was proud of the achievement back then. I knew next to nothing of Villa-Lobos as a composer beyond a few of his simpler piano works e.g. Tristorosa and the beautiful Bachianos 4 (the last movement of which you might describe as attemped rather than played).
Julian Ward wrote:I might dust it off again!
Well worth it after 20 years I would expect. New perspectives and all that - I'd listen to some of the piano works first though; if you don't know them already you'll be amazed at how distinctive a voice he has and how convincingly he maintains it on an instrument with such poor resources as the guitar.

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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by Julian Ward » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:35 pm

Mark it might have been a thread on here? I certainly read it somewhere, and it was fairly recently. I will try to find it. Revisiting old repertoire is really great yes...

Like you, my teachings have brought me around to the old classics just recently. Nobody listens to recordings on here I notice much these days but I posted a new video recording of Capricho Arabe on this forum a few days ago that I last recorded 21 years ago... when I had just finished my student days.... Listening to that old recording, and listening back to the one I did the other day is quite fascinating. I am really embarrassed about my old student recording, I thought it was really good back then.....
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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by barcod » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:52 pm

Ricflair wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:34 pm
HVL's own fingering in the 1928 manuscript (which is pretty much the same as the example in the thread).
My copy has no fingerings; can you share the original?

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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by Ricflair » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:01 am

barcod wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:52 pm
Ricflair wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:34 pm
HVL's own fingering in the 1928 manuscript (which is pretty much the same as the example in the thread).
My copy has no fingerings; can you share the original?
It is available on IMSLP for free download. They are a little hard to read, but you can make them out.
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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by robert e » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:15 am

Excuse the butting in, but regarding the forte/piano iterations of each arpeggio, those were V-L's instructions to Abel Carlevaro, as related in Carlevaro's "Matsterclass" book on the etudes. Per the English translation, an "echo effect".

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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by Julian Ward » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:36 am

robert e wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:15 am
Excuse the butting in, but regarding the forte/piano iterations of each arpeggio, those were V-L's instructions to Abel Carlevaro, as related in Carlevaro's "Matsterclass" book on the etudes. Per the English translation, an "echo effect".
Thank you Robert. :)
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:32 am

robert e wrote:... the forte/piano iterations of each arpeggio, those were V-L's instructions to Abel Carlevaro, as related in Carlevaro's "Matsterclass" book on the etudes. Per the English translation, an "echo effect".
How polite you are Robert - "butting in" is the life's blood of a forum - more power to your butt ... and thank you.

I was hoping for something "from the horse's mouth" so to speak. I did have a feeling that Carlevaro had written something along those lines - an old memory dating from first publication of that volume (long discarded now).

As I understand it though, his comments have been described as "unreliable" in the years since; I don't recall exactly who said what - a vague recollection that it was perhaps Leisner and/or Santos during their investigations. I will have to dig out and poke around in some old papers.

I have to be honest - I would be very disappointed to discover that VL truly made that alteration as I find the repetions particularly gauche - not at all in line with his naturally more artful approach. Heard in sequence numbers 1, 2 and 3 become rather strange, even nonsensical suggesting a dearth of ideas (clearly not the case), the repeats of 3 losing the impact gained from following the free-running, impressionist inspired explorations of the first pair.

Bear in mind that almost everything about that first published edition, from Segovia's disingenuous and inaccurate preface through the careless typesetting to the technically uninformed annotations is - well there's no polite word. The later revised collection "edited" by Fred Noad is no improvement. At least the notes are in the correct order.

Still - que sera sera (pardon the dodgy Spanish), if he really said it I'll have to bite the bullet.
Julian Ward wrote:Like you, my teachings have brought me around to the old classics just recently ... I posted a new video recording of Capricho Arabe on this forum a few days ago that I last recorded 21 years ago ... when I had just finished my student days ...
Aagh! Capricho Arabe - a prime example and victim of musical Chinese whispers/dodgy editions. I expect that we encountered some of the same pitfalls - I spent such a great deal of time building up scale speed for that chromatic transition - what an idiot.

What's unfortunate is that the very same errors are being made time and time again to this day - I blame Edison.

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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by Crofty » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:58 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:32 am

Aagh! Capricho Arabe - a prime example and victim of musical Chinese whispers/dodgy editions. I expect that we encountered some of the same pitfalls - I spent such a great deal of time building up scale speed for that chromatic transition - what an idiot.

What's unfortunate is that the very same errors are being made time and time again to this day - I blame Edison.
I blame the Chinese...

On a serious note, and regarding the "Chinese whispers" syndrome which you and I have discussed often, I touched on this briefly in a comment about "the" Bach bouree.

I am fairly certain that trying to learn "how" to play something, by listening to someone who you think is a bit better at it, is far more prevalent in the guitar world than for any other instrument.

I can of course provide no conclusive proof but my point in the bouree was that, rather than listening to guitarists playing one specific piece, it would be a much better use of one's time to listen to baroque specialists, on any instrument, playing a variety of bourees.

You made a similar suggestion re immersing oneself in VL's music for piano etc. in order to better understand his musical style.

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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by robert e » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:56 pm

How polite you are Robert - "butting in" is the life's blood of a forum - more power to your butt ... and thank you.
Thanks for the gracious welcome! But now you've encouraged me to continue butting in :D

I remembered that the story was told, with some gossipy color, in Escande's book about Segovia's time in Montevideo

https://books.google.com/books/about/Do ... nz51vDZ0cC

Leaving out the drama here: apparently Carlevaro (Segovia's student at the time) visited Villa-Lobos in Rio to premiere a couple of the preludes, and stayed with V-L to study the etudes. Carlevaro was rewarded with a prized stack of manuscript copies with V-L's own annotations from the sessions. (I think I read somewhere that there was a pianist assisting in this process...)

Anyway, Carlevaro's treatise I think is still in print, and pirate scans can be found online. About the only thing crystal-clear in it is that V-L wanted the arpeggio to begin forte, diminuendo from beat 3, and be followed by a soft echo-like repetition of the entire measure. Carlevaro devotes two pages of exercises and instruction to how to achieve this with both timbre and dynamics. He refers to his own numbered system of stroke types here, so one must be familiar with his method. Musician's tend not to be great writers, and in translation, one with his own unique pedagogic system and terms, well... I can see how people studying this might impugn his account just out of frustration and spite (just kidding!).

btw, does the arpeggio repetition and extended arpeggio ending remind anyone else of the Preludes in Bach's WTC? Is the word "Prelude" below the title of the manuscript on IMSLP a clue?

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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:47 pm

robert e wrote:He refers to his own numbered system of stroke types here, so one must be familiar with his method. Musician's tend not to be great writers, and in translation, one with his own unique pedagogic system and terms, well...
Carlevaro's "escuela" was one of the first pedagogic works that I owned, both original and in translation - probably still have them somewhere. The foundation of my technique lay in the School of Guitar, the "cuaderno" volumes (which I wore out), John Taylor's Tone Production on the Classical Guitar and Charles Duncan's The Art of Classical Guitar Playing. I wouldn't necessarily stand by everything in either of the methods today, we've moved on since then, but I'm not a Carlevaro basher.

Though I used lots of other material too e.g. Abloniz's Exercises for the left and right hands, Duarte and Zea's The Guitarist's Hands, etc., etc., it was Carlevaro's book that really opened a door for me - questioning the received wisdom ... re-examining technique and reults. Of course, his method has now been equally well scrutinised and rightly so. We now have the likes of Glise and Urshalmi shining new lights.

I don't have the Escande book as I have never been a fan of Segovia's playing but it looks worthwhile - I downloaded the Google pages and will look into finding a copy - thanks for the link.

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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by robert e » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:56 pm

it was Carlevaro's book that really opened a door for me - questioning the received wisdom ... re-examining technique and reults.
Me too! I hope no one got the idea that I had anything but respect and gratitude for Carlevaro's pedagogy. His language, however, is as difficult as any music pedagogue's. Par for the course.

I'm focused on Kappel these days, but I'll have to check out Glise and Urshalmi. Thanks!

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Re: Etude#1, Villa-Lobos, Bar 24

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:24 pm

robert e wrote:Excuse the butting in ...
Well thanks a lot Robert - your contribution set me not only to playing through all the studies again ... I'm now tossing back and forth between various versions.

The earliest (at least as far as I know) manuscript of the Études actually has the repeats included. In the "fair copy" of 1928 though they have been removed - this is the one in VL's hand intended for use by Eschig though the version they ended up using is the later one from 1947, copied by Arminda and in the Segovia archive. I haven't got my hands on that ... yet.

I still feel that the sans-repeats versions work better and am desperately working through reams of material, anecdotes, study notes etc. (I had to acquire a second, more comprehensive Portugese to English dictionary) in search of evidence to back up my memory.

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