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Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, September 2020

…The playing throughout this disc is very good indeed. The Naxos engineers have opted for a rather close spot-lit position for the solo players. … Conductor Isaac Karabtchevsky accompanies with flair and sensitivity. …These sound like carefully prepared and skilfully executed performances. © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Norbert Tischer
Pizzicato, September 2020

Camargo Guarnieri (1907-1993) is a prominent figure of the Brazilian National School. On this CD, in addition to Seresta for piano and orchestra, three of his seven Choros can be heard, all in concertante form, for bassoon, for flute and for violin.

The name Seresta, synonymous with serenade, may apply to the second, slow movement, but not necessarily to the two fast movements, which are very rhythmic and excited. Seresta is nevertheless an attractive composition, which is presented here in an excellent way. The three choros are also played at a high level. Excellent soloists, Alexandre Silverio on the bassoon, Claudia Nascimento on the flute and Davi Graton on the violin, as well as a colourful and agile orchestra under the direction of Isaac Karabtchevsky give the CD a high musical level. © 2020 Pizzicato

Records International, September 2020

Guarnieri’s catalogue of works represents a legacy of incalculable worth for Brazilian culture, as has his influence as a teacher on several generations of younger composers. His association with the poet and musicologist Mario de Andrade led to the birth of the Brazilian Nationalist School and the ideals of using traditional Brazilian music in classical forms. The series of seven Choros and the Seresta for Piano and Orchestra represent Guarnieri’s personal approach to the concerto form, with striking contrasts between potent rhythm and dense, emotionally charged soundscapes and melodies full of Brazilian inspiration. This volume forms part of the first complete recording of the Choros. © 2020 Records International

The Congleton Chronicle, August 2020

It’s so engrossing we’ve played it on repeat. © 2020 The Congleton Chronicle

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, August 2020

…Naxos now embark on Guarnieri’s Chôros and this is Volume 1 in that series. It will surely encompass all the Chôros, including those for viola, cello and piano and perhaps the two concertos for violin and the Variations for piano and orchestra.

Soloists and orchestra are well in tune with an attractive idiom. Guarnieri in his Brazilian direct-talking way finds more in common with the folk-camps of Kodály and Rózsa rather than those of Bartók and Schurmann. © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2020

Continuing Naxos’s recordings of music from South America brings together four works from one of the most prolific composers, Mozart Camargo Guarnieri.

Born in 1907 and musically educated in Sao Paulo and Paris, he became internationally known as a leading conductor of his time, travelling extensively in North America and Europe. In the field of composing he was largely responsible for the ‘Brazilanization’ in South America and in doing so was to introduce to that part of the world the seismic changes that had taken place in Europe with the dawn of atonality. If you change in the heading the words ‘Seresta’ and ‘Choros’ to the word ‘Concerto’ you will have moved those titles into the Western world of music. In both instances you have movements that offer a work where fast and slow tempos combine to give the soloist ample scope to impress the listener. The Seresta equally contains a modicum of a new tonality and rhythmic material that places it firmly in the 1960’s. It calls for a technically outstanding pianist, the Uzbekistan born, Olga Kopylova, exciting in the outgoing finale. Maybe the bassoon is too close to the microphone in the Choro with the orchestra rather as a backdrop, the Flute Choro much better in that respect. Moving to the full orchestra in the 1951 Violin Choro, the Brazilian dance at close of the opening movement is particularly likeable, while the finale’s Allegro ritmado is very enlivening, the timpani adding to the forward thrust. Davi Graton, the orchestra’s concertmaster packs pyrotechnics into the performance, obviously relishing the score. I recall the conductor, Isaac Karabtchevsky, for his award winning recordings of the Villa-Lobos symphonies on Naxos, and here again he obtains fine playing from the Sao Paulo orchestra. © 2020 David’s Review Corner

Rafael de Acha
Rafael’s Music Notes, July 2020

Throughout these quintessentially Brazilian chôros the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, led by maestro Isaac Karabtchevsky proves the ideal partner, claiming stage center at moments, self-effacingly supportive at others.

Violinist Gavi Graton excels in the tri-partite Chôro for Violin and Orchestra, ostensibly the most concerto-like of all three of the works in the album. In the first and second movements the soloist asserts his presence from the very onset with his handling of Guarnieri’s expansively melodic lines, against which the chamber orchestra provides passages of quiet support often alternating with massive fortissimo outbursts.

Naxos must again be saluted for its enterprising venture in the largely unexplored yet fertile field of Brazilian concert music. © 2020 Rafael's Music Notes Read complete review

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