PRELUDE No.4 in E minor

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1 PRELUDE No.4 in E minor HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS ( ) The Cinq Preludes by Heitor Villa-Lobos are among the most popular pieces in the repertoire of the guitar. His works are not only musically striking but also highly original in their innovative technical requirements. Repertoire Level 4

2 1 G Prelude No.4 In E minor Heitor Villa-Lobos > > > > > >

3 2 f > > > > > > > > > > >

4 Prelude No4 in E minor Heitor Villa-Lobos P rest stroke may be used for the melody throughout this section. This will help achieve both the cantabile and the forte through fullness of tone. Section 1: The strong descending shape of the melodic phrases are end accented. this makes the first bar, for example, an anacrusis (upbeat) to the second bar. Imagining the dotted rhythm that ends the first phrase continuing, as an echo, can make their rhythm feel organic to the piece. gliss. between D & E. Some guitarists play only a few of them, others none, but Villa-Lobos is consistent with this indication throughout this section, so it needs serious consideration. Accent on syncopation? In any case, keep the intensity of the note alive through the tie.,, phrasing breath Counting in quavers helps with the dotted rhythms Villa-Lobos marks the first E to be played on but it can be played on if desired, to better match its tone with the rest of the melody. Sustain E through the bar. Important dynamic contrast between f melody and pp chords. Follow-through in RH chords, for good sonority in pp. Open E should be clear. 3

5 Balance the chords so that the discords are effective. This can be practised by playing the notes of the chord in groups of 2 and 3, so that the ear can appreciate the discords and judge their effectiveness in the full chord. Sustain A through the following chords - Play the open A distinctly but 'inside' the sonority of A This slide is impossible, but doing it in your imagination makes a difference and the motif sounds more organic to the piece. Q. What difference does this make to the notes, once they have been played? A. Your concentration in mentally sustaining the notes WILL communicate itself to the audience. Shape the melodic elements in the accompaniment. For example: E F# G D D# E Don t let this last chord lack tension. Give it suspense by sustaining it in your imagination. It will make the placing of the start of the next section much more effective, and the intent to sustain might well evoke a better 'touch' when playing the chord. 4

6 SECTION 2 Section 2 consists of two big arching phrases at a faster tempo - Animato The phrases will not always conform to the meter and trying to force them to do so will sound unnatural. To guide the LH in the zigzag moves up and down the fingerboard, it may be helpful to 'eye' the frets corresponding to the normal size noteheads, shown on the top stave, rather than trying to guide them all, especially when a tempo. Guiding also helps focus the concentration - concentration is not something abstract - one concentrates on something. Villa-lobos uses a favourite device - sliding chord shapes. The first big phrase uses these two LH chord shapes, with two 'rogue' chords - marked * Q. Shouldn't things just happen - automatically? A. They will. But things 'just happen' as a reward for good preparation. However, when they are not happening you need your base-line, your preparation, to fall back on FIRST ARCHING PHRASE pima played as controlled and articulate arpeggiato. The fingers cannot be brought back to the strings at the start of each arpeggio, or the strings will be dampened. (Playing this arpeggio as separate finger strokes, instead of arpeggiato, will make it difficult to achieve a fast tempo). LH must not damp open E, and do not let the open E become thin or harsh. Main melody with p is not hard to project above ima. It is also on the beat, making it more prominent. In the accompanying arpeggio the parallel sixths (on the half beat) in the first arching phrase and the parallel tenths on in the later second big phrase (starting at bar 19) must be heard clearly. 5

7 Listen for the voicing. Make sure it is audible and effective, but within the texture,. Variation of first 4 notes BRIDGE PASSAGE SECOND ARCHING PHRASE of first arching phrase A new sliding chord shape all the way to end of bar 30 6

8 Voicing Dampen the other strings with LH 1st finger or by angling the right hand to bring the side of p onto the strings at the same time as C is played. Count the long note! 1 The open B string can be played by the LH only. This RH fingering can give more control than starting with three thumbs, as if playing a mini strum. 7

9 This section is marked MODERATO - not as fast as the previous Animato and not as slow as the following Lento NOTATION: In this section all the harmonics are natural ones and are found on the fret for the note on the string indicated This harmonic may be more convenient on 9 th fret 8

10 Can be played arpeggiato, strummed, or as chord with dragged p 9

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