Heitor Villa Lobos Prelude 3 – Trinity College 7th Grade Examination

Heitor Villa Lobos

Heitor Villa Lobos is South America’s best known & most respected composer. He was born in Rio Di Janeiro Brazil 5 March 1887 and died there in 1959.

He played cello, clarinet & guitar. Guitar players world wide are so appreciative of him because he wrote some of the instruments most important works. Villa Lobos wrote 5 Preludes for guitar and this is number 3.

Villa Lobos was a prolific composer. He wrote a wide variety of music for a range of instruments and ensembles including voice, orchestra & chamber music. After meeting one of the giants of 20th century piano, Arthur Rubinstein, he began to write for the piano. Villa Lobos and Rubinstein became great friends and Rubinstein suggested that Villa Lobos go to Europe to promote his music, so he went to Paris and had couple of long stays there from 1923.

While in Paris, Villa Lobos met and became friends with many of the worlds great musicians, composers and luminaries such as the artist Pablo Picasso and the great guitarist Segovia.

It was a very productive time for him, but then, he was always productive! He must have been enormously energetic and I often think that Villa Lobos must have been inspirational to be around.

Inside the Trinity College 7th Grade Exam

Prelude 3 is 7th grade Trinity guitar exam piece. I honestly think it really does sum up and represent the technical & musical standard & demands of 7th grade.

It is said that the 5 preludes were a product of Villa Lobos’s improvisation on the guitar and this piece, Prelude 3, certainly has the feel of improvisation. It’s a difficult piece but not impossible to get your fingers around yet it really requires a lot of musical expression to bring Prelude 3 to life.

When a guitar player does get the expression right, however, then we have a great and even “magical” performance.

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