Plucked from the series of nine works entitled Bachianas Brasileiras, the number 5 Aria, arranged by the composer for Voice and Guitar, is a must try for both guitarists and sopranos.
The opus reflects both the composer's Brazilian heritage and his lifelong admiration for the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The fifth entry in the series (1938-1945), which has emerged as the most popular of the composer's works, further suggests the scope of his sonic imagination in its unusual scoring for soprano and eight cellos. This powerful and haunting work is more intimate with solo guitar, but none the less beautiful.
Like most of its companion works, Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 exhibits characteristics of a Baroque suite, those of Bach in particular. The first movement, an adagio Aria, is marked by a particular lyrical expansiveness. The more spirited Danza, noted the composer, "represents a persistent and characteristic rhythm much like the emboladas, those strange melodies of the Brazilian hinterland. The melody suggests the birds of Brazil."