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Villa-Lobos: Symphony No. 6/ 7 (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra; Isaac Karabtchevsky) (Naxos: 8573043)

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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  • Villa-Lobos: Symphony No. 6/ 7 (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra; Isaac Karabtchevsky) (Naxos: 8573043)
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  • Villa-Lobos: Symphonies 3 & 4 (War And Victory) (Isaac Karabtchevsky, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra) (Naxos: 8.573151)
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  • Villa-Lobos: Symphony No 10 [Isaac Karabtchevsky, Leonardo Neiva, Saulo Javan] [Naxos: 8573243]
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Product details

  • Conductor: Isaac Karabtchevsky
  • Composer: Heitor Villa-Lobos
  • Audio CD (3 Sept. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B008N66JJ4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,252 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Symphony No. 6 On the Outline of the Mountains of Brazil - Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
  2. Symphony No. 7 - Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra

Product Description

Product Description

São Paulo Symphony Orchestra - Isaac Karabtchevsky, direction

Review

'Superior music… not a tune to be whistled. Villa-Lobos's description of a symphony's ingredients certainly matches these two colourful works.' **** --Daniel Jaffé, BBC Music Magazine - Dec.'12

Karabtchevsky makes Villa-Lobos s zigzagging, lopsided melodic line sound as boldly and brashly sculpted as Mount Rushmore, which, given that Villa-Lobos generated his melodic line by putting tracing paper over an image of the mountains around Rio de Janeiro, is exactly right... this does bode well for Naxos s projected complete Villa-Lobos symphony cycle. --Philip Clark, Gramophone January 2013

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is the beginning of a series that will include all of Villa-Lobos' surviving symphonies (his Fifth was lost). It is the second such venture and I'm delighted to see the OSESP take this on after their pretty impressive (to me at least) Choros and Bachianas series on the BIS label. The symphonies have never achieved the same popularity but most certainly deserve to be taken seriously. I read one reviewer describe his symphonies as Partitas, following the same formula and reflecting his love of Bach. Well here is the formula: Opening Allegro; Weighty Slow Movement; Lively Scherzo and Fast Finale. For such an outgoing, all-encompassing type of composer this might suggest much narrowed horizons. Andrew Clements in the Guardian described these two symphonies as "neo-classical". With that in mind I think we sorely need a definition of what constitutes "neo-classicism - number 7 is closer to Mahler and Ives than Stravinsky. Nearly all the symphonies do follow that plan but what those four movements contain do their best to avoid any formulas from start to finish. You'll struggle to pick out Sonata, rondo, passacaglia or any other conventional symphonic forms. What you get is closer to the all-embracing view that you might associate with Charles Ives, albeit with a harmonic language that owes more to European convention. Listen to both symphonies often enough and you will begin to pick up Villa-Lobos' take on symphonic development: it isn't a complete free for all.

His symphonies were composed, effectively, in two batches: The first five around World War One and just after, then the second batch from the end of World War Two to 1957.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9bdaffa8) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ca5bd20) out of 5 stars No Bach, no folklore, but still Villa-Lobos 27 Nov. 2012
By Dean Frey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The conventional wisdom concerning the 11 symphonies of Villa-Lobos (one, the 5th, is lost) is not positive. Critics either dismiss these works outright or damn them with faint praise. This is in spite of a fairly strong list of recordings, beginning with two versions of early works conducted by the composer, and coming to a climax in a complete series from the Californian conductor Carl St. Clair for cpo. The latter series (recorded earlier in this century) was fairly well received, but didn't help the symphonies to 'break through' even though Villa-Lobos's stock has risen so much in the past twenty years. I must admit that the symphonies don't feature much even in my own (very significant) Villa-Lobos listening.

So, are these works like the Bachianas Brasileiras with Bach or Brazil taken away? Or are they unfairly neglected masterworks from a genius of orchestration? Brazil's top orchestra, OSESP, and a senior Brazilian conductor, Isaac Karabtchevsky, aim to find out in a brand new project to record this music once again. It's an oddity that until now there have been no Villa-Lobos symphonies recorded by Brazilian orchestras, though we have recordings from Stuttgart, Paris, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Bratislava and Tenerife. We'll see if home advantage can tip the scales.

The first disc is very encouraging, with two works written towards the end of the Second World War. Villa-Lobos was at the peak of his powers when he wrote his 6th (1944) and 7th Symphonies (1945). In those two years he wrote the last two of his great Nationalist series, the Bachianas Brasileiras. As well, he explored more abstract music through his composition of the 8th & 9th String Quartets, the String Trio and the Duo for violin & viola.

I'm impressed with the 6th Symphony especially, and like that Villa-Lobos used 'millimetrization' (translating the contours of mountains into melodies) to build his melodies. George Gershwin used the same technique in some of his music. The 6th, with its craggy lines and shifting harmonies, seems a particularly cogent piece of music, considering Villa-Lobos's reputation for shapelessness and his occasional missteps into banality. This deserves to be Villa's most popular symphony. The 7th isn't as well-balanced or light on its feet, and at nearly 40 minutes goes on a bit long for its material. But OSESP and Karabtchevsky provide strong, idiomatic performances that show that even without Bach or Brazilian folklore, this music sounds only like Villa-Lobos. This music will never come close to the Bachianas, the Choros, or the great tone poems, but it's definitely worth a listen.
HASH(0x9b23c048) out of 5 stars Five Stars 26 April 2016
By Michael Gaffney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
good version of two elegant symphonies
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