HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Chôros - Vol. 1 - No. 11 for Piano and Orchestra, No. 5 "Alma Brasileira" for Piano, No. 7 "Settimino" for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, Violin and Cello.
Catalogue Number: 03J004
Description: The largest of the series, the Chôros No. 11 (1928) is like a mighty river of melody, sweeping through widely varied landscapes of emotion. Brazilians thought of themselves as melancholic in those days and much of that comes through in Villa-Lobos' syntheses of popular and art music, especially here towards the end of the first movement and all through the slow one. The pianist is rarely silent for the entire 63 minutes of this work and there are no breaks between movements. The note is an eye-opening reappraisal of the so-called "Brazilianess" of Villa-Lobos and argues that the composer assumed this mantle (rather than spontaneously channeling the "Brazilian soul") and carefully grafted popular elements onto a personal style which was quite Gallic until around 1920. Alma Brasileira is practically a pops piece now but the much lesser-known Settimino of 1924 is a catchy little nine-minute piece with a lot of echoes of The Rite of Spring. Cristina Ortiz (piano), São Paolo Symphony Orchestra; John Neschling.