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Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos 1-5; Wedding Cake Caprice-Valse
Camille Saint-Saens, Andre Previn, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Saint-SaŽns: Piano Concertos 1-5; Wedding Cake Caprice-Valse
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #2


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A very good collection of moving compositions.
C. B Collins Jr. | Atlanta, GA United States | 05/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"We heard the Piano Concerto No. 5 in F on National Public Radio and decided that we must have this piece of music in our CD collection. We selected this CD since the two CDs allowed us to purchase all 5 of Camille Saint-Saens' Piano Concertos. This CD has become one of our favorites and we play it often, discovering more interest in the work of Saint-Saens with each playing.

Camille Saint-Saens' sense of drama, his lyric runs, his ability to evoke mystery, all make this listening experience highly recommended. I am fascinated by the way Saint-Saens creates rich variations of his themes as he takes us from movement to movement. Saint-Saens has the ability to develop ethereal melodies and variations on themes that are hypnotic and mystical. His piano runs are pushed for dramatic effect. The creative and amusing variations of his themes are pleasant and amusing.

This CD is highly recommended. In addition to the 5 Piano Concertos, Saint-Saens' Wedding Cake Caprice and the Africa Fantaisie are included. I found Jean-Phillippe Collard's interpretation to be masterful and rich, capturing the vast complexity and variation that Saint-Saens created in his compositions."
A few comments on the Collard-Licad controversy...
Bruce H. Jensen | San Lorenzo, CA United States | 12/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The reviewers before this one provide excellent discussion of this set, and I would agree that it is a top-notch set of recordings and performances. We love this set, play it often, and would not part with any recording upon it.

The two versions of the popular and lovable Concerto No. 2 that are compared, those of Jean-Philippe Collard (this set) and Cecile Licade, are certainly different. Collard is decidely gentler, a bit slower and more "laid-back" in common parlance. Licade's is spritelier, a bit faster and of slightly higher energy. Does this make one better than the other? Subjectively it may, but it really depends on the person listening, and both performances are technically excellent and completely satisfying. If I *had* to pick one of the No. 2s, I would pick Licade because of the higher energy, but I would sorely miss Collard - and Collard comes with 4 other splendid concertos and a handful of other delightful pieces, while the Licade is paired with two other Saint-Saens concertos (violin and cello, both superb by the way) that are available elsewhere.

In any case, please do not feel that you are missing out on anything in Concerto No. 2 by purchasing one or the other - both are fine performances and beautifully recorded. None of these recordings or performances require any apologies."
An excellent recording of Saint-Saens Piano Concertos.
Stephen A. Williams | Salisbury, MD USA | 04/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This two-disc EMI Classics recording includes all of Camille Saint-Saëns' numbered Piano Concertos (1-5), and also includes his shorter "Wedding Cake" and "Africa" piano concertos. I've been enjoying this two-disc set immensely, and the recording quality is excellent. Even though the piano concertos do not follow each other in sequential order (Nos. 1, 2 and 4 are on Disc 1 & Nos. 3, 5 and the rest are on Disc 2), they do make sense.

There are other complete Saint-Saëns piano concertos sets on the market, but I think that for a price of less than $12 - you will be hard pressed to find any recording that gives you more bang for your buck. Enjoy!"