Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



This study focuses on Villa-Lobos’s Segunda Sonata-Fantasia for Violin and Piano, written between 1913 and 1914. A brief biography of Villa-Lobos until 1915 provides the context of the period during which he composed the piece. Next, Villa-Lobos’s main influences are presented, a list that includes European nineteenth-century aesthetics, Impressionism, Brazilian popular music, Wagner’s motivic treatment, and Brazilian indigenous music. Next, the main compositional devices used by the composer are discussed, providing examples from the Segunda Sonata-Fantasia and from other pieces by Villa-Lobos. A structural analysis of the piece is presented, focusing on the form, thematic approach, and harmonic processes.

The next portion of this research is a comparative study of three recordings of the Segunda Sonata-Fantasia. The duos who performed in the recordings are: Claudio Cruz, violin, and Nahim Marun, piano; Jaroslav Šonský, violin, and Patrícia Bretas, piano; and Albrecht Breuninger, violin, and Ana Flávia Frazão, piano. In interviews, the three pianists shared their views regarding Villa-Lobos’s style, as well as specific aspects of the piece such as technical challenges, character, pedaling, balance, tempo, rubato, articulation, as well as problematic passages for the ensemble. The information gathered during the interviews, combined with the author’s own views, inform performance suggestions. These suggestions are primarily for pianists, since the piano is the author’s principal instrument.



Committee Chair

Gurt, Michael.