One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


Plain text for smartphones
and printers

We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
Symphony no.6 On the Outline of the Mountains of Brazil (1944) [28:49]
Symphony no.7 (1945) [39:28]
São Paulo Symphony Orchestra/Isaac Karabtchevsky
rec. Sala São Paulo, Brazil, 21 February - 5 March 2011. DDD
NAXOS 8.573043 [68:18]

Experience Classicsonline

Over its first fifty years the São Paulo Symphony has never yet been regarded as one of the great orchestras of the world, despite the claims of its own publicity - though it does occupy a high rung in South America, where it also undertakes a good deal of worthy outreach work. Its numerous recordings on the BIS label have brought it some degree of recognition, albeit among mixed reviews. Its reputation will certainly grow further under the tutelage of Marin Alsop, recently commenced, and an appearance at the 2012 BBC Proms certainly boosted its visibility, although that performance did clarify the amount of work still to be done. Isaac Karabtchevsky, despite his Slavic-looking surname, was born in Brazil, and a long and decent, if rather low-key, career to date sets him fair to gel with the SPSO and get this first Naxos volume of Villa-Lobos's eleven symphonies off to a good start. Its competition is not invincible: a 7-disc boxed set in CPO, consisting of recordings by the Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart under American conductor Carl St Clair (777 516-2, 2009).
Naxos have sagely chosen to open with the composer's first two mature symphonies - numbers one to four are fairly early, some claim relatively immature, works and the Fifth has been lost (explaining why his last is numbered 12 rather than 11). After five in five years, Villa-Lobos waited 25 more before composing his Sixth and Seventh. They are both fleshy, big-boned works, the Seventh for its sheer length and huge orchestra, and the Sixth for its subject matter - Brazil's mountains. Naxos give it the rather unwieldy title 'On the Outline of the Mountains of Brazil', though according to other sources Villa-Lobos himself called it simply 'Mountains of Brazil' ('Montanhas do Brasil'). For what it’s worth, he also subtitled the Seventh 'Odyssey of Peace' ('Odyssé da Paz') - Naxos curiously omit that from the track-list. Either way, both symphonies are grandly romantic and atmospheric, bursting with drama, local colour and international appeal. In a discussion of his works in New Grove, Villa-Lobos's symphonies are barely mentioned, yet there is nothing in these two to account for such an omission.
Rather fancifully, Naxos's resident reviewer describes the sound quality of this recording as "quite superb". In fact, it is rather on the thin side - certainly in the strings - and audio is far from vivid anywhere, despite the impressive setting of the Sala São Paulo. Sound engineer Ulrich Scheider has immense experience at this level, with recordings going back twenty years, but somewhere along the way a few shortcuts have left a sound that a good pair of ears will rate no higher than comfortably acceptable. It may well be worth tolerating a few such rough edges for Villa-Lobos's riveting music. On the other hand, collectors who already possess CPO's set will not feel compelled to duplicate any part of it just yet, unless they would like, for sentimental reasons, a recording by a home-grown outfit.
Good notes by Brazilian guitarist and Villa-Lobos biographer Fábio Zanon even explain the composer's curious employment of a surprisingly avant-garde process he called 'millimeterisation' to come up with melodies for Symphony no.6. A footnote mentions that this cycle project uses "revised scores", but leaves it at that. The follow-up volume, featuring the Third and Fourth Symphonies by the same performers, is due for release in spring 2013 - will the necessary engineering tweaks have been made?

see also review by Dan Morgan

Collected reviews and contact at
Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:



































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.