Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The price alone recommends this one., 6 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Villa-Lobos: Symphony No. 6/ 7 (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra; Isaac Karabtchevsky) (Naxos: 8573043) (Audio CD)
Alan Boyes has given an excellent brief intro to Villa-Lobos' symphonies in his review so I'll just concentrate on the disc.

This is a great introduction to Villa-Lobos' symphonies. Both come from his later period - 1944 and 1945 and are easy and pleasant to listen to. No. 7 is a little more complex and may take more work. They both contrast the formal with the lyrical and atmospheric. They also demonstrate the huge range of textures and moods he can bring to his music.

The recording is superb and this is exactly the repertoire at which Karabtchewsky excels (as anyone who has his readings of the Bachianas or Forest of the Amazon will know). What came as a relief is that the recording engineers have not crashed the gig by intruding as they did for Neschling's Choros recordings. If they have here, they were not intrusive. This is how you'd hear the work on the concert stage - well-balanced with the occasional dense texture kept well under control.

There are two other recordings of the 6th: the Carl St. Clair/Stuttgart and Roberto Duarte/ Slovak Radio. Carl St Clair has also recorded the 7th. There is not much to choose between them. Carl St Clair is known for bringing great clarity to Villa-Lobos' polyphonic textures. He brings light and air through the sometimes dense passages and paces the scores well.

Duarte is a little heavier but his disc comes with the only recording of the ballet Ruda. Karabtchewsky is a brilliant Villa-Lobos interpreter particularly at contrasting the many moods. He takes a more languid approach with slow movements and that of the 6th is so very atmospheric, warm, almost scented, drifting its way through. The Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra is fully able to handle these works. And of course, the price of this disc makes it a firm recommendation.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Jan 2013 10:22:33 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Jan 2013 10:23:02 GMT
Well said. I couldn't argue with any of that. I'd say the Seventh is the more rewarding of the two if you make the effort. It is one of his richest where texture and colour are as integral a part of the form as thematic material (though that is under tighter control than might first appear to listeners too). It sounds a little like he's letting his hair down after imposing his thematic restrictions in the Sixth - it's certainly one of my favourite of his symphonies.
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