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Bearing The Torch For The Villa-Lobos Legacy

'1'( JIIBIO
SAN'I'OS
C

opying licks oH 01 records is the usual way that aspiring rock guitarists learn
their crah. But Turibio Santos' son gal something out of the ordinary when he
asked his father to write oul some solos from an Ouy Osbourne album: Not

only is it a rare kid whose parents support his heavy metal ambitions. but Santos
also happens to be one of the world's most prominent classical guitarists. with
numerous recordings and editions to his credit.

"I have a good reputation with my son's fnends," the 45-year-old virtuoso
laughs, "because I help them play. But remember thaI kids in Rio also hear samba
and choro, and they make thelf own music. You can', avoid the fantastic chemistry
that happens when you mix music from different cultures."
While it seems Incongruous lor a distinguished musician to transcribe head
banger mUSIC, Turibio's openness to all kinds 01 sounds comes naturally, and IS an
extension of BraZIl's mUSical tradition thai goes back 400 years to lIs colonization.

ConMued on (ge s.c

B
82

GUlAII Pl.AVEAJtJAy,gag

D 0

TURIBIO SANTOS

Villa-LoOOs'

"'Suite Popwaire
Bresilienne"
By Diane Gordon

Am YEARS AFTER HEfTQR


Vtlla-Lobos composed Suite
Popufaire BresHienne (Popular Brazilian
Sufle). he told his friend HerminiO Bello de
carvalho, who was compiUng a sl of the
composer's gukar WQr!<s, thaI he was very
much opposed \0 the compositions being
grouped as 8 suite. Yet the musicolOgist
(eports thaI he discovered from Vlalobos
fits! wife, Mlndinha,
himself who gave them the title.
Even rT\O(8 mysterious Is thartha five
works-titled "Mazurt-;eChoro"
,
ChOro," 'ValSaChoro," "Gavotta-ChOro,
and "Chorinho"
,
aU1henlic choro,
forms of popular music. Santos explains:
''The piecss are hardly what lhe feal

chOroes would play. Villalobos called the


suile popular. beCause he used tunes
from popular music, but they are alilorms of
popular European music, with the exception
of 'ChOrinhO.' 01 course, when Brazilian
musicians play a vats (waltz). Of a mazul1Ul,
they sound different because ollhe
syncopatiOn. In a sense, chom is a miXlure
of European music and Alrican rhythm, with
differenl names such as samba, chachado,
and maxixe.
Suite Populaire BresHienne is pretty easy
10 play, and studenls lInd it to be a graat
Introduction to Vela-lObos' music, because
the Twelve StUdies and Five PreludeS are
really lor advanced players. 'ChofinhO' is
the only movemenlthat is a real ChOro,M rw

'Chorinho"
H_ VILLA-LOBO
("',h, ,on)

Brazilian musicIans have always dispia Yec!


an uncanny ability to abSOfb inlfuences htq
other cultures, with the end resuM S01"neho.
remaining inlensely Brazilian.
The country'S legendary comPOser
Heilor Villa-Lobos [1887-19591 once de_
clared,"I am 10IklOre!"-pointlflg out an
attitude that is sllll apparent In Santos' WOII!
today This inlluence is not an aCCident,
because as a child, Turibio was one of the
reciPIents 01 Villa-Lobos' massive camPol9
l
begun in lhe '3Os to set up programs!O the
Brazilian public schools with an emPhaSIS
on maintaining strong national musical
identity
In SanlOS' early teens. he had the
opponunity to anend music seminars
by Vllla-Lobos. and he became closely
assocIated with many 01 the composer 's
thai it was the
colleagues in Rio de Janeiro. Today. Ttrilio
is one of the world's loremost authorlhes Ql
the composer's guitar music, and he heacs
"
Rio's Vllla-lobos Museum. He is also the
author 01 HeilOf Villa-LoboS And The GUlf&'
respectively-ar
IWise Owl Music, dis!. by Guitar Solo, 1411
and are actually
Clement SI., San Francisco. CA 94118
which is devoted to the compose(s hie and
musiC.
Like Vitta-lobos. Turibio Santos came ICI
the guitar by way of the chOro. Brazil's
popular music. As a child in norlhern Brad'i
Sao LUIS Maranhao, he picked up the
Instrument al the age 011 O. When he was
12, he saw a film about Andres Segovia.
and became hOoked: "After t saw the rtlm,l
was so eJl.ciled and fascinated. I asked my
lalher 10 find a classical teacher for me. I
lirst studied with Antonio Rebello, a
ponuguese musician living in Brazil Whenl
was 16, the great Uruguayan glJl1anst 0sci1
Caceres came to Brazil. I went to see him.
and asked him lots of things about the
guitar,
to study with him"
Santos also worked with the Brazilian
composer Edino Trieger. In the '50s,
classical conservatories had yet to take IhB
guilar senously. so the young Santos reied
on privale lessons. At 19, he made IuS detd
as a recitalist in Rio, and he toured hiS
motherland. A year later. he made Classcal
guitar history by giving the lirst perlormanct
of Villa-Lobos' complete Twelve Studies
[Max Eschig. dis!. by G. Schirmer, 225 PaIt
Ave. So., New York, NY 100(3), at the
invitation ol tha Vitta-Lobes Museum.
Already established as a professional al21.

he then won Paris' prestigious ORTF


International Guitar Competition in Pa
Four years later, he was the lirst ClassiCal
guilarist to record the entire Twelve s,u6efI
Since lhen, Santos has concertIZed
eJl.tenslvely, recording with many 01 the
world's leading orchestras. He has 18
albums on Erato, and many more on RC\
Musical Heritage Society. and other 1ab8b
HIs lecordings and over 30 votumes
transcriptions (alt published by ax E
reveal his eclectic tastes and applec18\1Ct1
lor both classical and traditional mUSIC '"
TuriblO's most recent project IS an aJbtJfll "l

t,JS

.1956 Editions Mex Eschlg Used by permission from Associated Music Publishers,
behalf 01 copyright owner Editklns Max: EschIg,

84

GVITAJI PUoVEA/I.'.A.V 1989

Brazilian popular music with guitarist

CHORINHO

TURIBIO SANTOS
Francisco Fnss and percuSSIOntSl RICCI,
Costa, 10 be released by Kuarup
RIO Branco. 277/1801, CEP 20047. RIO
Janeiro, Brazil]
AJong WIth his career as a concert
Santos also heads the gUlla,-onenteo
Orquesua de VloIoes do RIO JaneU'o 8
modern IncarnaTion 01 the c/lofoes
have slfolled the streets 01 Rio lor many
many yeats

DIscosl

vh.o

such a greal gUiISUS/'


Not truel AJllhe lesllmony ol t "oCt"
gUl1<irlslS say thai he
1he one known as Dooga
stands out as the first
samba in his music. I have an
wChofos
01 j
not a V1I1UO$O,
you necessarily have
write lor it
Brazilian {JUIla'lsrs seem to ""'"
{rom classical/a popular muSic.
ThaI's nghl lOOk al Radames Gna
who is conSIdered 10 be one 01 8rUIrs
greatest composers. He also arlanged
popular muSIC lor radIO and televIsIOn .... 1eI
yeals ago. I asked him to wrile S(lI'T'IeII'If'
lor gUitar, whICh I've edrted-II'S titled
Brasiliana
ESChIQi II has truee movements "BossI
Nova:' "Vals," and "Choms.H b\Jl1he
harmony IS much more like conlempontY
classical musIC. and no! like the trad
chOros. &111. it IS very Brazilian
sounds like an mptOVlsallOo. because he
loves to build harmonies. Irs brilliant. bIJ
very dlHicult to play
Whal other Brazi/lall muSIC nave yov
WOIlled With?
I've also edited musIC by Joa o
Pernambuco I t8831947). whO was a

.ne.,_

"sill

chorao best known for his compoSl1101'1


"Sons De Cartlhoes"-"The Souod 01
BeBs " He was conSIdered one 01 me rrt1I
promlMm oflhe chOroes. and he wrdft
many compoSiUons. and made many

recordings.
How much comPOSing have yOU
I wrole Silt Preludes. and I've eo,led
'NOrks by Bach. Alben iz. BeelhOven. sor

TURIBIO SANTOS

CHORINHO

and othelS. I also have several books


Brazilian songs tilled Chansons
Bresiliennes, but I consider mysetl rTI1JCh
mote 01 an Inlerpreter than a COI'Tlposef
How did you become the head 01 file
Villa Lobos Museum?
For many years II was run by AmI!
the WIdow 01 Villalobos, but she OtedW')
1985. Villalobos was born in 1887 Ilnd
the centennial two years ago. the board
directors found a beaUllfui hOuse lor the
museum In Bolalago. a sectIOn of RIO
are facilities thete for research ana
exhibitIOns, and it has a nICe garderllor
sma. concens-I'Ve performed thera
lt
.$GVOfBl lImes. Several years ago. Am"'l
aSked me 10 write somelhll"lg on VIIIal
and the gUllar, and today I'm the m
head.
Egberro GISfflO(I/i remarked lhal he
as/ofllshed /0 discover lha/lew Affle(
and European populal gUi/8I1SIS are
muSICally 1i/8J81e. Has knoWing hOw /0
and WIlle made a big difference lOt B
guirsfls/s?
Yes, bUl II haso't always been the
Pernambuco COtJdn', wnle one note 01
music. but he had a profound .,nuence
Villa-Lobos, and more Of less defined I
mUSICal language_ Bul all 01 the gleatest
guilarisls could read and wrlle muSIC
great Paraguayan vir1uoso/composet
Agustin Barrios i 1885-1944) was cia
trained. allhough his music rellects

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rr,oIs BrazIl's laurindo Almeida and


Barbosa-luna compose and
. Another big dlfference In Brazilian
IS that il has an historical basis. There
a tremendous muting of races in Brazil.
. Brazilian people halle come 10
lIlCIersland their cultural roots.
they are opening up and
ng It Because 01 racism In the past.
ns were ashamed 01 their miXed
, but now they are proud of it. One
moSI powerful aspects 01 Villa-Lobos'
was that he was close to all aspects of
n culture-African, European, and
He Iraveled throughout Brazil
all kinds 01 fOlk music Irs
nt lO remember that you can't
ate me ditferent influences-it's not
bIe to Iso/ate one particular kind 01
because they are so close and
N:I'Ie historically
Ameflcan awareness of Brazilian musIC
I to be growing, Some recOld
s are even calling it "Brazilian
ThaI's true, It's a fairly recent

!-"",,n,,, led by Gilb8l10 Gil and Milton

to, Joblm has been around for a


he's fantastic, too
Is /he nalJOllalistic tendency of B,aziltan
a unique phenomenon?
No! really, There's a strong tendency fOf
to want to protect their own cultures,
'Shouldn't become too eltaggeraled, It's
nt to find a balance. There's a new
eslln classICal musIc in Brazil In the
,we WIll halle more and more
as to perfOfm the besl
etahons 01 Villa-lobos. Most counlnes
10 p!'eserve their best music, and il's
ys!he mother COUntry Ihat helps a
In a natlOll like France, where
ale many good orchestras, you are
to halle wonderfuillersians 01 Ravel,
,and other composers, who are
mown but slill French, In the United
\s, !here Will be fantastIc lIerslons of

\'fllal do you think of Egberro Gismonri's


CaIPira (EMI, 31 C064422957 whICh
!es WOIks of Vil/a-Lobos by playing
on Synthesizers?
t kke II. But al the same lime I think thai
e's nothmg beuer than the originals,
Vllla-lobos was such a fantastic
r, and his arrangements are
eoibIe. But when a very popular guitarist
as Egberto does something like that.
people get Interested. U's great that
s ol people wanilO hear the
.,
iil musIC. When we did a Villa-Lobos
I 11'1 BrazIl recently, we had many
'. performers, but we atso had a
named Wager Tiso, who did a
as ho mage to him. Many people who
to Gismonli halle never heard Villa
so rl's an effective way 10 populatlze

Does Brazilian music have many styliStIC


'f lIOns?

es. but you're talking to Ihe wrong

because "m not such a pUliS!. In

O.!I)e style Isn't as ngld as Baroque. but

e ale Cer1am structures that people

.......

, . .. 'AA"oo.
0,..01"
. , ... . "'..,"', ,....... ..
have three different sections t
ordered A-B-A-C-A: lhe C part
a minor key. and a little slower
some of the besl choro music
PiltlngUinha, who IS a national
way he popularized our m,,,k,,,,,,,,
.oM
So you don',
stylistically COfrecl
particular kind
YOO

useEf.7i2
Villa-lobos
I don',
I
way, either. This Isn't 10 say
have a sense 01 history. QUite
He said that he considered
to be letters 01
an answer.
' that a nice
"

A SELECTED
TURIBIO SANTO
DISCOGRAPHY
Albums: Five
I
lar Music.
ablelrom
Sao

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