Album: Heitor Villa-Lobos Symphony No. 6 'On the Outline of the Mountains of Brazil'; Symphony No. 7 (Naxos)

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The Independent Culture

Heitor Villa-Lobos eschewed the use of folkloric effects to lend a national flavour to his symphonic works.

He did, however, employ a weird system, "Millimeterization", to determine pitch, duration and melodic contour of his Symphony No. 6 by mapping on graph paper the outlines of various Brazilian mountain ranges – hence the steep angularity of some of the melodic themes produced. The third movement is the most successful, its restless flow reminiscent of North Americans such as Copland and Gershwin. 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.

Download: Symphony No. 6; Symphony No. 7