Rudepoêma
by Heitor Villa-Lobos (1921-1926)
18 minutes

orchestration
by Richard Rijnvos (2010-2011; revision: 2014)



Heitor Villa-Lobos wrote his Rudepoêma between 1921 and 1926. It is considered to be his largest and most challenging work for solo piano.

Allegedly the piece has once been described by a critic as "Le Sacre du Printemps meets the Brazilian jungle". For the title of this work, as he also did for other compositions, such as Vidapura and Momoprecoce, Villa-Lobos telescoped two words together: rude, meaning 'rude', 'coarse', 'uncultured', 'discourteous', and poema, meaning 'poem'.

The inscription on Rubinstein's hand-written score reads:

"Mon sincère et grand ami, je ne sais pas si j'ai pu tout à fait assimilé ton âme avec ce Rudepoême, mais, je le jure de tout mon cœur que j'ai l'impression d'avoir gravé ton temperament, d'apres mon esprit et que machinalement j'ai ecri sur des pentagrama, comme un Kodak intime. Par consequent si c'est reussi, ce sera toujours toi le vrai auteur de cet 'œuvre. Ton Villa-Lobos".