- Bachianas Brasileiras No. 7, for orchestra, A. 247
- Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9, for chorus (or string orchestra), A. 449
- Bachianas Brasileiras No. 8, for orchestra, A. 444
This CD contains the last three of Villa-Lobos' "Bachianas Brasileiras," including both the orchestral and choral versions of the ninth. The São Paolo Symphony Orchestra and Choir certainly understand the indigenous musical forms that Villa-Lobos incorporated into these works that are an homage both to Bach and to the popular music of Brazil. Led by Roberto Minczuk, the orchestra bristles with energy in all of the works and brings a knowing lilt to the lighter movements. The CD is particularly valuable because it offers both versions of the ninth "Bachianas." The version for strings comes across as conventionally contrapuntal, elegant, and relatively restrained. The first movement of the version for chorus shows the influence of Renaissance and Baroque vocal music and has a hushed sense of mystery that is lacking in the instrumental version. The second, highly contrapuntal movement doesn't appear to have been composed with voices in mind, and though it is singable, it sounds like an arrangement -- in fact, it calls to mind the Swingle Singers' rendition of Bach, but without the backbeat. The piece would benefit from the Swingle Singers' light touch; the chorus here is ponderous and seems much too large for music that requires such fleetness.