Choros #11

Appleby Catalogue W number: 
Year Composed: 



This work for piano and orchestra is a landmark work from Villa-Lobos's most innovative period.  It's interesting, and instructive, to note that Villa's two greatest works for piano and orchestra (Choros #11 and Bachianas Brasilerias #3) are not included in the five Piano Concertos.
Choros #11 is dedicated to Villa's close friend Arthur Rubinstein.
Tarasti (1995) characterizes the work as "...a great late-romantic piano concerto which does not follow the structure of a classico-romantic piano concerto based on the sonata form but rather reminds one of a gigantic concerto grosso." (p. 131)
Here is Cristina Ortiz playing Choros #11 in a video from 2005, with John Neschling conducting the OSESP.

piccolo 3 flutes 2 oboes English horn
2 clarinets bass clarinet sop. saxophone alt. saxophone
requinta 2 bassoons contrabassoon 4 horns
4 trumpets 4 trombones tuba timpani
tam-tam reco-reco chocalhos xylophone
bells tambor bombo cymbals
tambourine celesta 2 harps strings

The autograph score is in the Museu Villa-Lobos.


Choros #11 is included in the important Villa-Lobos par lui-meme set.  The composer conducts pianist Aline Van Barentzen and the Orchestre Nationale de France in an energetic and authentic performance.

Luckily, especially considering the sound on the above disc, there's a good modern CD: Choros #11 (Ondine)

And there's an even newer performance, which probably goes to the head of the pack, from the new BIS series of complete Choros. Cristina Ortiz plays the piano, and John Neschling conducts the Sao Paulo SO:


The premiere of Choros #11 was on July 18, 1942, at Rio's Teatro Municipal.  José Viere Brandão played the piano, and VL conducted the Orquestra do Teatro Municipal.

As of August 2008, there's only the one record for Choros #11 in the HVL Concert Calendar database.  But that Florida Philharmonic concert was repeated in five venues across the state, so lots of Floridans are whistling these tunes.

Orchestral Works