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Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5
Cesar Franck, Camille Saint-Saens, Charles Dutoit
Saint-SaŽns: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

Jean-Yves Thibaudet tackles two great works of the French piano concerto repertoire which he has not previously recorded: Saint-SaŽns' Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 5. The recording also includes a lesser-known work by Cťsar ...  more »


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All Artists: Cesar Franck, Camille Saint-Saens, Charles Dutoit, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Title: Saint-SaŽns: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Decca
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 10/2/2007
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Concertos, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830), Instruments, Keyboard
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 028947587644


Album Description
Jean-Yves Thibaudet tackles two great works of the French piano concerto repertoire which he has not previously recorded: Saint-Saëns' Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 5. The recording also includes a lesser-known work by César Franck--Variations Symphonique pour Piano et Orchestre. Thibaudet is renowned for his interpretations of the French piano repertoire and his performances of works by Saint- Saëns, Faure, Ravel, Chopin and Messiaen have earned him critical acclaim. Jean-Yves is joined here by his long-standing friend and collaborator, Charles Dutoit, who conducts the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Their performance was recorded at the famous Victoria Hall in Geneva, a venue used for many years by Decca for some of its most iconic recordings.

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CD Reviews

Glittering, glamorous, exciting
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 10/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The dapper Thibaudet doesn't swim in deep waters, but when presented with glittering pieces that suit his own sophistication (he's the only pianist who comes onstage in coutrue), the results can be delightful. So it proves here. The two Saint-Saens concertos are exemplars of Gallic charm and sparkling technique layered with urbane seriousness. Like champagne, these works can't be allowed to go flat. Thibaudet and Dutoit make sure they never do, ot for a moment. It was smart to begin the program with Concerto #5, since its hurtlig virtuoso fingerwork show the soloist off at his best -- Thibaudet really does have technique to burn -- and the composer's flirtatins with "Egyptian" themes is amusing. This is Cairo as observed from a cafe table a Paris.

I've never been eprsuaded to take Frank's Symphonic Var. seriously: what's the point of faux Beethoven coming from a French composer? Thibaudet and Dutoit remain alert and lively, which helps. The program ends with Saint-Saens' Concerto #2, the most thoughtful work and rightfully considered the best of his five concertos. As with the earlier works, Thibaudet goes for flash, which seems to me to be the happiest course of action. In all, I enjoyed this CD more than any other I've heard from him."
Filled With Emotion, Charisma And Prodigious Musicianship!
Raymond Vacchino | Toronto, ON. Canada | 12/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As conveyed in Thibaudet's CD "Opera Without Words" he has an innate compassion for the human voice and the various qualities it can produce. As a result Thibaudet has developed the ability to create a tone color that balances vocal beauty. This unique quality is evident throughout this CD of the two Saint-Saens piano concertos.
In the Concerto No.2, in G minor, Thibaudet displays all of Saint-Saens' qualities as a composer. His distillation of style conveys skillful workmanship, with clear texture, invariable musical effectiveness and just enough emotional depth. The opening is rather haunting in approach and the needed serious mood is magnificently presented with two gently expressive themes and a powerful and brilliant climax for the piano leads us to the recapitulation of the first subject. In the second movement, Thibaudet conjures a delightful scherzo character with light and rhythmic chord playing of a Mendelssohnian type and brilliant displays of technical ability. Thibaudet enters the finale with a motivating temperament which superbly conveys the tarantella theme; salient features are a central episode with trills for alternating hands that are electrifyingly charged by Thibaudet bringing the interlocking passages of the coda to a dazzling close. The Concerto No.5 in F major, makes a less immediate appeal than the previous, however, Thibaudet's innate musicality comes to the forefront, never allowing the performance to lack vitality and great depth of feeling. The performance contains qualities of neatness, finish and superb clarity; and in the central movement Thibaudet provides interesting effects of rhythmic vitality and instrumental color that provides individuality and atmosphere. The quiet opening of the first movement in broken rhythm is pleasant with the necessary holding back of distinction well respected. The finale allows Thibaudet to make use of some virtuosity displaying brilliance that gives an expansive scope to the material. The Variations Symphoniques by Franck in the hands of Thibaudet become exceptionally brilliant with a fine sense of style. He is an excellent craftsman and well grounded throughout. His playing can always be counted on to glitter and flow with considerable emotional depth. With an unparalleled sureness and rapidity the variations become even more attractive than they actually are leaving them filled with intensity and productive power. This entire recording demonstrates Thibaudet's quintessential output and is truly a jewel to behold!

Author: Raymond Vacchino M.Mus. A.Mus. L.R.S.M. Licentiate(honorary)"
Saint-Saens Concertos
James W. Galbraith | Sunnyside, Washington USA | 03/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Classic pianism here. One of the best Saint-Saens recordings ever, in my opinion. I hope he does the other concertos and some of the incidental music, as well. This is just as good, if not more dazzling, than Stephen Hough's series. A definite buy."