A champion of contrast and surprise, Villa-Lobos looks equally to the spirits of his ancestors and the primeval forces of nature in his native Brazil, a penchant that earned him the sobriquet ‘White Indian’. Deeply committed to the musical education of young people, he introduced into his piano works many folksongs, often collected by himself, to serve as a support for three cycles that are veritable keyboard encyclopaedias: Guia prático (Practical guide), A próle do bébé (The baby’s family) and Cirandas (Round dances). Among his other works for piano solo are Bachianas brasileiras no.4, Chôro no.5, and the magnificent Ciclo brasileiro, the last-named of which Wilhem Latchoumia recorded in 2008 in a programme entitled ‘Impressões’ that also included works by Guastavino and Ginastera.
A constantly evolving repertory
Wilhem Latchoumia’s solo albums and collaborations continue to explore new musical territory, and his repertory grows richer year by year.
Following his ‘Impressões’ album devoted to the music of South America on the Sony label in 2008, Wilhem Latchoumia wanted to delve deeper into the piano music of the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, whose output was monumental. This release journeys through the various influences on the composer, from pieces suffused with saudade, that wistful, uniquely Brazilian melancholy, to the complex virtuoso showpiece Rudepoêma, dedicated to the pianist Arthur Rubinstein, not forgetting the Cirandas (Brazilian nursery rhymes), tinged with folklore from many different sources.