São Paulo Symphony and Karabtchevsky Deliver with Villa-Lobos Symphonies

Volume five of Naxos’ Villa-Lobos Symphonies features three works written for American premieres. Symphony No. 8 was completed in 1950, No. 9 in 1952, and No. 11 in 1955. Despite the five-year span, the three works share several similarities. All three are relatively short works. Villa-Lobos’ motifs are almost epigrams, and yet these are densely-compact works. The symphonies are all neo-classical in general style, with just a trace of Stravinsky occasionally popping through.

The 8th Symphony was premiered at Carnegie Hall, with Villa-Lobos conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. The 9th Symphony was also premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra, this time under the direction of Eugene Ormandy. The 11th Symphony marked the 75th Anniversary of the Boston Symphony and was premiered with Charles Munch.

Of the three, the 11th is probably the most challenging. Villa-Lobos wrote to the strengths of the ensemble. To properly perform this work, an orchestra has to be nimble. The BSO was one such ensemble — the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra is another.

At this point in their cycle, Isaac Karabtchevsky and the São Paulo Symphony have become Villa-Lobos experts. They manage to capture the essential Brazilian essence of his work that gives it such vitality.

Another solid addition to this important series from Naxos. I anticipate the next volume will maintain the same high quality set forth in the first four.

Heitor Villa-Lobos: Symphonies Nos. 8, 9, 11
São Paulo Symphony Orchestra; Isaac Karabtchevsky, conductor
Naxos

More Recent Posts

  • WTJU Best of 2018: Peter

    Peter hosts Folk & Beyond Thursday afternoon from 4 to 7 (eastern). “There are loads more albums I enjoyed this year, but these releases kept finding their way back to my playlists throughout 2018.  As in past years, I am not including any local acts, as there are far too many which would take up […]

  • WTJU Best of 2018: Emily

    Emily hosts Something New on Wednesday afternoon from 4-7 (eastern). ARTIST (ALBUM) LABEL Fru Skagerrak (Ankerdram) Go Danish Folk Music The Andrew Collins Trio (Groove) Andrew Collins Trio Kieran Kane & Rayna Gellert (The Ledge) Dead Reckoning Ana Egge (White Tiger) StorySound Duck Baker (Les Blues Du Richmond/Demos & Outtakes 1973 – 1979) Tompkins Square Kittel & Co. […]

  • WTJU Best of 2018: David Soyka

    David Soyka hosts Jumpin’ on the Bed Saturday afternoon from 4-6 (eastern). ARTIST/ALBUM/LABEL Marianne Faithful/Negative Capability/BMG Bob Dylan/More Blood, More Tracks/Sony 13 Rivers/Richard Thompson/New West Courtney Marie Andrews/May Your Kindness Remain/Fat Possum Neko Case/Hell On/Anti Chris Smither/Call Me Lucky/Signature Sounds Aaron Kee Tajan/Karma for Cheap/New West Lee Ann Womack/The Lonely, the Lonesome and the Gone/ATO […]

  • WTJU Best of 2018: Steve Kindig (World)

    Steve Kindig co-hosts Beyond Borders, heard Wednesday afternoon from 12-2 (eastern). ARTIST/ALBUM/LABEL Fatoumata Diawara/Fenfo/Shanachie Absolutely my favorite world music release of the year. Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara has crafted an album of original songs that manages to sound both traditional and contemporary, with just the right amount of pop polish. The sound quality is spectacular! Friends […]

  • WTJU Best of 2018: Steve Kindig (Folk)

    Steve Kindig co-hosts Atlantic Weekly I, heard Saturday morning from 8-10 (eastern). ARTIST/ALBUM/LABEL I’m With Her/See You Around/New Rounder The all-star trio of Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan, and Sara Watkins combine their many talents to create tuneful, sophisticated acoustic music that’s hard to pigeonhole but easy to like. Smart songwriting and arrangements, crisp, clean, playing, […]

  • WTJU Best of 2018: Folk and World

    As they have for the last several years, a few of the WTJU announcers look back at some of their favorite 2018 releases (with one or two late 2017 and early 2019 pre-releases making the cut).  Because there were so many wonderful releases by local acts, most of the announcers chose to limit their lists […]