Villa-Lobos’ “Ciranda das Sete Notas”: Brazilian Bassoon Bliss

The Ciranda is a traditional Brazilian children’s dance. In the ultimate expression of community, participants (including adults) join hands and engage in a round dance of moderate tempo.

The Brazilian composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959), was serving his country as minister for national music education when, in 1933, he wrote Ciranda das sete notas (“Round Dance for Seven Notes”). A single movement concerto for bassoon and string orchestra, the piece explores the sunny “seven notes” of the C major scale.

The piece opens with an exuberant C major scale in the strings which surges in contrary motion. It’s a suave, jazzy gesture which stylishly “raises the curtain” to introduce the star character, the bassoon. Following a series of pastoral adventures, the Concerto’s warm final section rises over an ascending ostinato. The bassoon’s final statement of the scale drifts off into jazzy, pan diatonic bliss, to be resolved by a single “C”in the strings.

This recording features the Uruguayan bassoonist Gustavo Núñez with Ed Spanjaard and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra:


  • Villa-Lobos: Ciranda das sete notas, W. 325, Gustavo Núñez, Ed Spanjaard, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amazon

Featured Image: “Rock formations and the Dedo de Deus (God’s Finger) peak in the background, at the Serra dos Órgãos National Park, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil,” photograph by Carlos Perez Couto

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

1 thought on “Villa-Lobos’ “Ciranda das Sete Notas”: Brazilian Bassoon Bliss”

  1. I don’t know about others here, but for me it’s another example of a lovely piece that I wouldn’t otherwise have heard. Thanks!


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