Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Georges Bizet, Camille Saint-Saens, Bernard Haitink|
Bizet: Symphony, Jeux d'enfants; Saint-SaŽns: Symphony No. 3
These Two Rarely Coupled French Romantic Symphonies Both Receive Outstanding Performances Here. Haitink and the Concertgebouw Made Some of their Finest Recordings During this Period as These Exceptionally Lush, Florid Read... more »
These Two Rarely Coupled French Romantic Symphonies Both Receive Outstanding Performances Here. Haitink and the Concertgebouw Made Some of their Finest Recordings During this Period as These Exceptionally Lush, Florid Readings of Bizet's Only Symphony and Orchestral Transcription of his Celebrated Four-hand Piano Piece Jeux D'enfant's (Children's Games) Attest. Edo De Waart and his San Francisco Forces as Well Deliver a Spectacular Performance of Saint-saens Grand Third Symphony with Organ Soloist Jean Guillou (Yes, the Same Jean Guillou who Years Later Would Go on to Record Those Legendary Organ Recordings for Dorian). All Here was Originally Recorded for Philips- and the Sound is as Remarkably Impressive Now as it was Back Then!
A Musical French Connection
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 12/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whatever wrong-headed notions we Americans may have about the people of France these days (and God knows we have PLENTY), one thing that cannot be denied is that country's history of giving us great composers over the centuries. This release on the Philips Eloquence label of music by two great Frenchmen, to wit Georges Bizet and Camille Saint-Saens, is proof.
The recording begins with Bizet's celebrated Symphony In C Major, a work he had composed in 1855, but which the world did not hear about until 1931, nearly sixty years after his death. In many ways, this work is Bizet's approach to the symphonies of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert, especially in the relatively modest amount of orchestral players the piece requires. The symphony is then followed by the composer's brilliantly orchestrated 1871 piece "Jeux D'Enfants" (Children's Games). Both it and the C Major Symphony receive excellent performances here, made in 1977 by an orchestra most often remembered for its Mahler and Bruckner--the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, led by its longtime music director Bernard Haitink.
The recording concludes with Saint-Saens towering Symphony No. 3, sub-titled the "Organ" Symphony because of the very prominent use of the organ within, as a sort of deep underlining in its second movement and as a showcase instrument in the blazing final movement. Dozens of recordings of this work are out there, including recordings made in the late 1950s by conductors like Charles Munch and Paul Paray; and this 1984 recording, made by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and its then-Music Director Edo De Waart and featuring organist Jean Guillou, joins that crowded field through the sheer sonic brilliance bought by the Philips engineers, and which, like Haitink's Bizet recordings, have been finely remastered for a new generation of listeners.
Anyone with a taste for mercurial French classical music of the mid-to-late 19th century should immediately snap up this recording. It is well worth the search."