Choros #08

Appleby Catalogue W number: 

Written in Rio in 1925, Choros #08 is one of Villa's great modernist works.  It was dedicated to Tomás Téran, who played one of the pianos in the premiere performance in Paris.

Choros #08 is one of the first modern works to take advantage of a "prepared piano", a dozen years before John Cage invented the term.  See this post in Tumbling Villa-Lobos for a report on a 1945 concert in New York.

Listen to John Neschling conduct the Orchestre Sinfonica de Sao Paulo in Choros #08 at Mbaraka Músicas (click on Villa, ainda)   

Year Composed: 
Orchestral Works
piccolo 2 flutes 2 oboes English horn
4 clarinets bass clarinet saxophone 2 bassoons
contrabassoon 4 horns 4 trumpets 3 trombones
tuba timpani tam-tam xylophone
triangle bombo cymbals tambor de campo
caixa chocalhos de metal caracaxa nuita
matraca celesta 2 harps strings

Published by Max Eschig in Paris. 


It's great to have two three excellent performances of this difficult work available on CD:

Brazilian Extravaganza, with Eleazar de Carvalho (who studied with Koussevitzky) conducting the Paraiba SO, in a performance from 1988.


...and the famous CD of Choros 8 & 9 (Naxos), with the late Kenneth Schermerhorn conducting the Hong Kong SO, on Naxos (originally on Marco Polo, from 1994).


John Neschling conducts the Sao Paulo SO in this brand new disc from BIS.



The premiere performance of Choros #08 was on October 24, 1927, in Paris.  The Orchestra "Concerts Colonne" was conducted by Villa-Lobos, and the two pianos were played by Aline Van Barentzen and Tomas Teran.

Modern performances of this huge work are rare.  There's only a single record in the Concerts database as of August 2008, a recent one at the best venue in the world for Villa-Lobos music: the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus .