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Heitor Villa-Lobos is generally acknowledged as Latin America’s foremost nationalist composer and his best known works, such as the Bachianas Brasileiras (Naxos 8557460-62), have tended to overshadow the rest of his work. Symphony No. 6, which launched his mature symphonic style, derives some of its themes from the contours of Brazilian hills and mountains, in a process devised by the composer to obtain a melody from an image by means of a graphic chart. The Symphony No. 7 is scored for a huge orchestra and is one of the composer’s most ambitious and significant statements. Both works represent the composer’s powerful desire to invent a specifically Brazilian idiom. This is the first volume of a complete cycle of the Villa-Lobos Symphonies.
Since its first concert in 1954, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra – OSESP – has paved a road of conquest, which has culminated today in being an institution recognized worldwide for its excellence. Having released more than 50 CDs, OSESP has become an inseparable part of São Paulo and Brazilian culture, promoting deep cultural and social transformations.
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Symphony No. 6, "On the Outline of the Mountains of Brazil"
I. Allegro non troppo
III. Allegretto quasi animato
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Symphony No. 7
I. Allegro vivace
III. Scherzo: Allegro non troppo
IV. Allegro preciso
“Karabtchevsky and the orchestra are on home terrain...Karabtchevsky makes Villa-Lobos's zig-zagging, lopsided melodic line sound as boldly and brashly scultped as Mount Rushmore...To continue the mountain-based metaphor, Karabtchevsky's performance has a sense of ascent: you can hear the different strata, feel air blowing through the structure”
“Karabtchevsky keeps this bustling music firmly under control at all times. It’s certainly a promising start to this cycle, even if the writing is competent rather than outstanding. No quibbles about the playing or recording though; both are splendid.”
20th September 2012
“The language of both works is essentially neoclassical, but the shapes of the melodies and the ways in which they are coloured are entirely Villa-Lobos's own. The SPSO make a good job of them”
10th November 2012
“Written for a huge orchestra, his "Symphony No. 7" opens in striking fashion, the Allegro vivace grabbing the narrative and dashing forward with it to its imposing climax”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.