Upon return to Brazil, Villa-Lobos’s involvement with politics and educational music-making after the 1930 Getúlio Vargas coup meant that he was responsible for the organisation of a great many public ceremonies and events at which music was used to glorify the country’s achievements and aspirations and to stimulate a sense of unified nationhood. These activities reached their height in 1937. At one of the ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro that year, ostensibly celebrating the end of an academic period, a work for flute and guitar by Villa-Lobos, Motivos Gregos
, was first performed, which here included optional chorus and ballet. It was eventually published as Distribuição de flores
(‘Distribution of Flowers’) ‘based upon Greek motifs’. The short work evokes the same Greek antiquity in which Villa-Lobos had immersed himself during the composition of several early symphonic poems (1916), in turn stimulated by a love of classical myth instilled by his father.
from notes by Simon Wright © 1989