Researching for my topic on Heitor Villa-Lobos has been very interesting thus far. My project will focus on his travels however focusing on his Solo Vocal Art Song works (those with voice and piano). The reason being for this narrow of a topic is because after researching through my sources, I discovered that Heitor Villa Lobos has more undocumented works than anticipated. Also I felt that more of his popular works lie in orchestral and piano works. Since I am a singer studying Latin American and Spanish music, I felt it was important for me to find other works that are for vocal study that are not in the Latin American vocal repertoire main stream by Heitor Villa-Lobos.
One source that demonstrated the large amount of works (and also categorized them) was Heitor Villa-Lobos: A Bio-Bibliography by David P. Appleby. He is a professor of music and scholar of Brazilian composers at the University of Texas. I would say this source has become my new best friend and is quite wonderful. Not only does the source categorize the pieces by type (Orchestra, piano, solo vocal etc.) but also organizes them showing when add where they were performed, what collection they are a part of and more. An author I found to very useful (and is now my favorite) in researching for my topic was Lisa Peppercorn.
Her contribution to the topic of Heitor Villa Lobos included Villa-Lobos: The Music, The Villa-Lobos Letters, and Villa-Lobos: Collected Studies.
Both books are translations which not only present the history of Villa Lobos but also primary sources that demonstrated what he was doing at the time either before, during, or after a performance. Villa-Lobos: The Music focuses on the analysis of his style. For my purpose of study, it has a chapter dedicated to his works for voice and the obstacles he might have faced writing certain pieces. It also includes some musical excerpts of his processes. I really enjoyed reading some of the letters from The Villa-Lobo Letters because it really shows a deeper sense of Heitor Villa-Lobos character. It is also important (and also exciting) to note that this book not only has letters but pictures of programs, manuscripts, and pictures of Villa-Lobos to different topics he refers to in his letters which helps me as a reader understand what he is referring to. The last book of Peppercorn I found was extremely helpful in showing the studies of Villa-Lobos in various mediums such as newspapers, magazines, and journal articles. Some of which contain copies of originals. My other sources Villa-Lobos by Simon Wright, Heitor Villa-Lobos: Life and Work of the Brazilian Composer by Vasco Mariz, and Heitor Villa-Lobos: The Search for Brazil’s Musical Soul.
Through these sources, I am very excited to see what is in store for this map project. So far I am still in the process of reading and documenting notes but I feel it would be very beneficial not only to me but to other vocalists to discover the beautiful vocal art songs of Villa-Lobos and the journey of where and when they were performed as well as a brief history behind them.