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Hector Villa-Lobos (1887 - 1959)

Villa-Lobos

Little Train of Caipira
(Toccata from Bachianas Brasilerias No. 2)

Heitor Villa-Lobos was born in 1887 in Rio de Janeiro, and died there in 1959. He learned music as a child, but when his father died his mother stopped his lessons. So he ran away from home with the help of an uncle, and travelled around Brazil listening to and writing down folk music. Eventually he became superintendent of musical education in Rio.

"Bachianas Brasileiras" is a series of nine suites that fuse the style of JS Bach with the folk music of Brazil. They were composed from 1930 to1945 and pay homage to the composer whom Villa-Lobos called "a mediator among all races" whose music is "deeply rooted in the folk music of every country in the world."

The final movement of Suite No. 2 of the "Bachianas Brasileiras" represents the journey through the villages in the Sao Paolo province of a little steam train used by farmers and berry pickers, the workers who were called "caipiras" by the Tupi Indians.

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