Choros #10

Appleby Catalogue W number: 
Year Composed: 


This work looms large in the body of music written by Villa-Lobos.  In some ways you can regard it as Brazil's answer to Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

" has been considered by all sources as one of his most successful compositions - as a significant work both in the esthetic and formal sense." - Eero Tarasti (1995), p. 123.

Choros #10 is one of the works that has a connection to bird song.  One of the major players is the Azulao da Mata, which has an amazing song, which you can hear in this video:

Thesis: Boéssio, José Pedro. 1996. Choros no. 10 by Heitor Villa-Lobos: aesthetic connections with the Week of Modern Art. Document (D. Mus.)--Indiana University, 1996.

The work, subtitled "Rasga o coração," is dedicated to Paulo Prado.


Large orchestra: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, saxophone, 2 bassoons, contrabasson, 3 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, strings, piano, harp, and VL's usual galaxy of percussion (tam-tam, tamborim, caixa, tambor, caxambu, 2 puitas, bombo, reco-reco (1 big, 1 small), chocalhos de metal, chocalhos de maderia, 2 timpani).


Villa-Lobos, Heitor, and Catullo da Paixão Cearense. 1928. Chôros (no. 10); Rasga o coração, pour orchestre et chœur mixte. Paris: M. Eschig. This is one of the first scores to be published in the Villa-Lobos Digital project of the Academia Brasileira da Música.  


There are a number of first-class versions of this work available on CD:

Here's a link to a video of the last section of Choros #10 conducted by Eleazar de Carvalho (a pupil of Koussevitzky) from 1988: 


The premiere performance was on November 11, 1926, at the Teatro Lírico in Rio, with the Grande Orquestra & Coro da Empressa Viggiani, and the Deutscher Mannerchor, all under the direction of the composer.Considering the resources required to stage this big work, it's become quite popular, with fifteen records in the Villa-Lobos Concerts database as of July 2009.See this post in The Villa-Lobos Magazine about a Villa-Lobos Festival 2007 performance in Rio.

Orchestral Works
Choral Works