Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887 - 1959)
Uirapuru, W133 (Symphonic poem for orchestra) (1917)
Orquesta Sinfonica de RTVE
Carlos Kalmar - Conductor
Uirapuru is an orchestral piece with an elaborate program about the mythical Uirapuru bird in the Amazon jungle. Program notes:
"The bird's nightly song lured the Indians into the woods in search of the enchanting singer. In such a search, a gay group of young natives come upon an ancient and ugly Indian seated in the forest playing upon his nose-flute ... Suspecting the invasion of their forest by this unsightly old man, the natives beat him mercilessly and drive him out. Continued search for the elusive uirapuru by the natives is witnessed by all the members of the nocturnal animal and insect kingdoms ... A beautiful maiden appears—also lured by the sweet song of the uirapuru. Armed with bow and arrow, she catches up with the Enchanted Bird, piercing its heart, where-upon the singing Bird is immediately transformed into a handsome youth. The Happy Huntress, who has thoroughly captivated the handsome youth, followed by the amazed natives, is about to leave the forest when they are halted by the shrill unpleasant notes of the distant nose-flute. Suspecting the arrival of the ugly Indian ... the natives hide in the dense woods. The unsuspecting youth boldly confronts the ugly Indian who slays him with a perfectly placed arrow. As the Indian maidens tenderly carry the body to a nearby fountain, it is suddenly transformed into a beautiful Bird which flies, its sweet song diminishing, into the silence of the forest."