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Camille Saint-Saëns

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


My Classical Notes

August 8

Cellist Sol Gabetta Performs

My Classical NotesI love the sound of the Cello, because of its deep and warm tone in the hands of a mature artist. This CD gives us a large variety of cello melodies as performed by Sol Gabetta: Casals: El Cant dels Ocells (Song of the birds) Chopin: Nocturne No. 4 in F major, Op. 15 No. 1, with Bertrand Chamayou (piano) Delibes: Les filles de Cadix Dvorak: Waldesruhe (Silent woods) for cello and orchestra, Op. 68 No. 5 Rondo in G minor for cello & orchestra, Op. 94, B. 181 Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 Fauré: Pavane, Op. 50 Rimsky Korsakov: Flight of the Bumble Bee Rossini: Largo al factotum (from Il barbiere di Siviglia) Saint-Saëns: Le carnaval des animaux: Le Cygne Tchaikovsky: Kuda, Kuda ‘Lensky’s Aria’ (from Eugene Onegin Andante Cantabile (from String Quartet No. 1 in D Op. 11) Vasks: Musique du Soir Vivaldi: The Four Seasons: Winter, RV297 All performed by Sol Gabetta (cello) Sol Gabetta is an exceptional young cellist, and this is an exceptional compilation of the work she has done in the recording studio so far in her short career. In addition to Elgar’s Cello Concerto, there are also some Elgar salon works, and a couple of really worthwhile short pieces by Dvorak: Silent Woods and the Rondo. The second dosc is mainly given over to short encore pieces such as, inevitably, Saint-Saens’s The Swan , and less obviously, Pablo Casals’s beautiful reworking of a Catalan folk song, The Song of the Birds. Here is Sol Gabetta in the Cello Sonata by Johannes Brahms:

My Classical Notes

July 15

More from Argerich and her Friends

On this interesting DVD, we have an opportunity to listen to music by Saint-Saens as well as joyous sounds of two piano music by Poulenc. The recorded concert features the following: Berlioz: Le carnaval romain Overture, Op. 9 Bizet: Carmen: Prelude to Act I Poulenc: Concerto in D minor for Two Pianos & Orchestra Rachmaninov: Romance in A major (6 hands) Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 ‘Organ Symphony’, with Christophe Henry (organ) The other performers are Martha Argerich (piano), Nicholas Angelich (piano) and Myung-Whun Chung (piano & conductor) of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France Martha Argerich and Nicholas Angelich join Myung-Whun Chung for a concert homage by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France to its conductor in the magical setting of the Théâtre Antique. The concert begins with Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, composed in 1844 and ends with Saint-Saëns’s Third Symphony in C minor. Between these two works, Martha Argerich and Nicholas Angelich join to interpret Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, a joyous score in the musical spirit of the 1930s. Here is Ms. Argerich in Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos:






My Classical Notes

January 18

St. Lawrence Quartet: Concert Review

Bing Concert Hall was just about filled to capacity on Sunday afternoon, January 17, 2016, as members of the SLSQ came on stage. They performed four compositions, and I enjoyed the concert completely. Here is the Program: Joseph Haydn: string quartet Op. 20, number 2 Ralph Vaghan Williams: On Wemlock Edge, for Temor, piano and string quartet Sergei Rachmaninov: Four songs for Tenor, piano, and Violin Saint- Saens: String quartet number 1 in E- Minor Paul Groves, Tenor, who sang in the second and third selections is a world-class singer, and so is pianist Laura Dahl. I apologize in advance: however, I want to concentrate my remarks on how much I enjoyed the Haydn. It is said that Ludwig van Bethoven so admired the Op . 20 quartets that he devoted time to copy them, so he could learn first hand and clearly understand Haydn’s approach to composition. I expected a conventional sounding quartet, and I was totally surprised by Haydn’s creative inventiveness. He gives the Cello a very prominent role in the first and second movements. The slow movement has several occasions where Haydn uses the music to achieve dramatic effects. The final movement features a neat Fugue, and the movement ends in an exciting flourish. There is no doubt in my mind again, that it was “Papa Haydn” who created a huge imapact on the development of all music that followed after Haydn died in 1809. Yes, Mozart had died earlier in 1791, but Beethoven lived to 1827, and all the other masters, such as Schubert were set to benefit from Haydn’s creative mastery. Here is the SLSQ in Haydn’s string quartet Op. 77 number 1:

Camille Saint-Saëns
(1835 – 1921)

Camille Saint-Saëns (9 October 1835 - 16 December 1921) was a French Late-Romantic composer, organist, conductor, and pianist, known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah, Piano Concerto No. 2, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor, and his Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).



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