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VILLA-LOBOS // Do Brasil

Wilhem Latchoumia,

Heitor Villa-Lobos was a key figure in twentieth- century Brazilian music, an instinctive creator with a luxuriant imagination, at once provocative and conformist. He forged a personal style by founding his idiom on the melodic and rhythmic traditions of his country and enriching it with all the innovations he found among his contemporaries. His protean music captivates the listener with the diversity of its aesthetic orientations, which exalt his ardent patriotism and find expression in vast epic scores or, on the contrary, in delicious, piquant miniatures.

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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.


Chôro n° 5 W205


  • Alma brasileira / Brazilian soul 4’41

Chôro n° 2 W198


  • Transcription for piano : Villa-Lobos 2’54

Ondulando, estudio op.31 W82


  • Undulating, étude 4’12

Cirandas W220 (excerpts)


  • n° 3 Senhora dona Sancha (Madame Sancha) 1’43
  • n° 6 Passa passa gavião (Go away, go away, hawk) 1’22
  • n° 15 Que lindos olhos (What beautiful eyes!) 4’31
  • n° 10 O pintor de Cannahy (The painter of Cannahy) 1’57
  • n° 9 Fui no Tororó (I went to Tororó) 2’08
  • n° 4 O cravo brigou com a rosa (The carnation quarrelled with the rose) 1’46
  • n° 2 A condessa (The countess) 3’02
  • n° 8 Vamos atrás da serra, Calunga (Let’s go to the other side of the mountain, Calunga) 3’02
  • n° 5 Pobre cega -Toada da rede (Poor blind woman – Net song) 1’25
  • n° 16 Có-Có-Có (Cheep, cheep, cheep) 2’12

La caixinha de música quebrada W256


  • The little broken music box 2’45

Nenê vai dormir W53


  • Baby’s going to sleep – Suite infantil n°1 2’46

New York Skyline Melody W407

  • 2’25

    Rudepoêma W184


    • Savage poem 20’40

    Wilhem Latchoumia is a highly unusual kind of pianist, equally successful and charismatic in contemporary music and the mainstream repertory. The French musician is known for his skill in devising programmes that venture well off the beaten track and his ability to create an immediate and joyful rapport with audiences.

    He pursues a brilliant career as a recitalist, concert soloist and chamber musician in France and on the international scene, where he appears in the most prestigious venues. He works with the leading French orchestras and with other international formations of the front rank. His taste for contemporary music has earned him the favour of such composers as Pierre Boulez, Gilbert Amy, Gérard Pesson, Philippe Hersant, Michael Jarrell, Jonathan Harvey, Pierre Jodlowski and Francesco Filidei.

    Born in Lyon in 1974, Wilhem Latchoumia studied in the class of Eric Heidsieck and Géry Moutier at the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse of his native city, where he obtained his Premier Prix with congratulations by unanimous decision of the jury. He completed his training with Géry Moutier in the postgraduate class in Lyon, then became a student of Claude Helffer and attended masterclasses by Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen and Pierre-Laurent Aimard. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in musicology. Having received awards from the Hewlett-Packard Foundation (‘Musicians of Tomorrow’, 2004) and at the twelfth Montsalvatge International Contemporary Music Competition (Girona, Spain), he achieved dazzling success at the Orléans International Piano Competition in 2006, where he won the Premier Prix Mention Spéciale Blanche Selva and five other prizes.

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