Notes and Editorial Reviews
The primary novelty here is the piano-solo original version of Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4, an interesting alternative to the more familiar setting for orchestra. There seems little question that the latter is preferable on purely coloristic grounds, particularly in the second-movement chorale and the dance-finale. Jean-Louis Steuerman plays very well, however, and it's only in that energetic last movement that he sometimes gives too much emphasis to the left-hand accompaniment (at a tempo perhaps a touch too frantic). But then if you have the orchestral version in your ears, as I do, your expectations in terms of textural balance naturally will be different from what can be achieved on solo keyboard. It's a fine performance.
Both wind players sound terrific in the brief and quirky Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6, and soprano Donna Brown sings (and hums) really beautifully in the popular No. 5. I was particularly taken with her clarity of diction and accuracy of intonation in the rapid-fire second movement. Here, and in Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1, the cello section of the São Paulo Symphony plays magnificently, with incisive rhythms (check out the first movement of No. 1) and a big, rich tone. As usual, BIS's engineering is excellent. I look forward to the conclusion of this first rate series. It looks to be the Bachianas Brasileiras cycle of choice, assuming standards remain this high.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Bachianas brasileiras no 1 for 8 Cellos by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Donna Brown (Soprano)
Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1930; Brazil
Be the first to review this title