For the final concert of the Fortas season, the entire National
Symphony Orchestra cello section comes together as one sonorous
unit all its own, to present a program encompassing much of the
scintillating—yet not often heard—repertoire for cello ensemble.
Among the highlights will be Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5,
Heitor Villa-Lobos’s famous work for eight cellos and voice
that pays homage to Bach and the folkloric music of Brazil.
Composed in two movements—an aria sung mostly in wordless
vocalise and a dansa—Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 will showcase
the NSO cello section at its best along with the superlative
musicianship and communicative stage presence of American soprano
Christine Brandes. The Cleveland Plain Dealer calls her voice
"a gleaming instrument, with a hint of an expressive vibrato,
a bull’s eye sense of pitch, and agility that honors every
florid passage she touches."