Choral music holds a central position in Villa-Lobos’s catalogue of works, but among these famous pieces is a series of little-known transcriptions for a cappella choir taken from the standard classical repertoire. They were intended for a teachers’ chorus and for use in schools, and through astonishing alchemy they achieve a true ‘orchestration’ of largely piano originals, adding a fresh new repertoire for vocal ensembles. This album also includes the first ever recording of Villa-Lobos’s complete set of a cappella transcriptions from Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier.
These transcriptions for unaccompanied choir of keyboard music by Bach, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Schumann, Massenet, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Villa-Lobos himself have to be heard to be believed. They are extraordinary.
– ClassicsToday.com (David Hurwitz)