Notes and Editorial Reviews
Ondine already has a fine recording of Choros No. 11, an hour-long concerto for piano and orchestra that runs continuously (and so is almost never performed live); but this one is even more atmospherically played and no less rhythmically charged. It's very nice to see Christina Ortiz back in the saddle for a major recording. As you may recall, she recorded a lot of stuff, mostly very good, for EMI, and also did the complete Villa-Lobos piano concertos for Decca. She probably knows the style and the music as well or better than anyone alive, and her playing here has real sweep and bravura, particularly in the quick outer sections of what is basically a three-movements-in-one sort of structure. The
work is one of the composer's major masterpieces, and with brilliant sonics, you'd have to be crazy not to buy this disc if you have even a shred of interest in Villa-Lobos.
Better still, unlike Ondine BIS offers couplings. Choros No. 5, subtitled "Brazilian Soul", is a five-minute piano solo that not surprisingly sounds like an extended cadenza from No. 11. Ortiz plays it with unaffected gusto and a powerful lyrical impulse. Choros No. 7 is scored for an exotic assortment of strings, winds (including saxophone), and offstage tam-tam. Now be honest: what music wouldn't be improved by the presence of an offstage tam-tam? (Okay, you caught me, I've played the part in question, so I'm biased). It's hugely fun and full of timbres and textures that you'll find nowhere else. If this disc signals the start of a complete Choros series with these forces on BIS, we're in for a real treat.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Chôros no 11 for Piano and Orchestra by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Cristina Ortiz (Piano)
Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1928; Paris, France
Chôros no 7 for Chamber Ensemble by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra Members
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1924; Paris, France
Featured Sound Samples
Chôros no 11 for Piano & Orchestra: I. Allegro preciso ma non troppo
Chôros no 5 for Piano "Alma brasileira"
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