Bach in the Rainforest

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A fierce desire that laughs and cries.

-Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5

As the title suggests, Heitor Villa-Lobos’s 9 suites for a variety of instruments and voices, marries the baroque master’s counterpoint with traditional Brazilian folk songs. No. 5 of the Brasileiras is the composer’s most famous of the series, and is almost unbearably exquisite, for soprano and 8 cellos. Villa-Lobos conducts his “Orchestra” with the soprano Bidu Sayao. Unquestionably, it’s the best performance available.

Another notable feature of this 7″, 2-eye label release is the cover design. With its textured pink background and almost sketch-like drawings, I have a feeling it might be one of Andy Warhol’s designs, which appeared on a handful of Columbia’s 7-inchers in the 1950s. But it’s difficult to tell because it looks nothing like a banana.

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