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Villa Lobos Heitor Choro 1

Villa Lobos Heitor, "Choro #1"

Fingering: Renato Bellucci

Heitor Villa-Lobos is without a  doubt my favorite South American Composer even more than Barrios Mangore. The main reason is that he has the ability to surprise me and introduce very poignant yet always very controlled harmony that I simply cannot resist. He worked with very simple elements and through his friendship with my teachers Segovia and Carlevaro he developed some of the best classical guitar music ever. The classical guitar needed fresh and first class original material to get established as a "serious" classical instrument. Although this effort was well intentioned, it really never served the guitar justly and actually brought about the birth of many mediocre not to say ugly pieces that simply for having been "originally written for the classical guitar" earned a place in the rankings and simply did not make the guitar shine. But the Villa-Lobos body of work, small, yet priceless is definitely not the case. Carlevaro worked very closely with Villa-Lobos with whom he studied Composition. Carlevaro added many beautiful guitar ideas toVilla-Lobos compositions because he knew the classical guitar thoroughly whilst the Brazilian Composer only knew the guitar superficially. Carlevaro gave me many useful insights when learning the piece and i share them with you here.

I also post Alvaro Pierri's rendition of the work for 2 reasons: 1) He is Carlevaro's most renowned student and he embodies the Carlevaro technique I teach on mangore.com fully (try to spot one string string squeak in his playing if you can) and 2) His interpretation is Fabulous !

Choro #1, Alvaro Pierri LIVE, Thrilling !

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Alvaro Pierri embodies Carlevaro Technique to perfection. He is a great musicain and his amazing control over the instrumnets enables him to play with stunning clarity and exhuberance. Everything is easy in Pierri's Hands because he possesses the right tool(s) for the job: The perfect technique, Carlevaro Technique.

Central Theme

This is the central theme and main musical idea around which Choro 1 gravitates. The theme is presented in sevaral occasions and each time the performer (see Pierri's interpretation) applies a different sound, speed or tempo in order to keep it interesting. It is amazing how many differet options a single 3-notes sequence develops in the hands of a Master player. Carlevaro who was both my teacher adn Pierri's insisted that the first time that a theme is presented, it must be presented in its most simple musical form (preferably using the open strings as much as possible) because the first time a theme is presented the harmonic progression is at cenerstage.  The other musical characterstics take the back seat.

Staff and Video 1

Give the piece a lively character enhancing the staccato rhythm which imitates the choro (crying) of a child. Bring out the 2 notes in blue in measure 5 played with the index finger. What you do is stiffen the i finger a little more than the other fingers or you bring it out more. You can read more on bringing notes out in chords in the Carlevaro Technique pages

Video 1
San Bernardino, November 10, 2014.

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