Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Geoffrey Simon, London Philharmonic Orchestra|
Saint-Saëns: Requiem; Organ Symphony [Hybrid SACD]
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Sain-Saens Requiem & Organ Symphony
Roderick Gildea | Adelaide, Australia | 04/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Originally recorded in 1993, this CD has now been remastered for SACD systems. I actually purchased the CD for the performance of the "Requiem" but the inclusion of the "Overture to La Princesse Jaune" and the "Symphony No. 3 in C minor - Organ Symphony" is a marvellous bonus.
Saint-Saens' Requiem (Op.54) was composed in 1877 and has long been overshadowed by the more widely known Requiems by such luminaries as Verdi, Berlioz and Faure. Saint-Saens wrote his Requiem for a church setting rather than the concert hall and this performance was recorded in All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London. The Requiem is a moving and intimate work and, although written the year before the tragic deaths of Saint-Saens' young sons, it captures the intensity of sorrow that comes with the loss of a loved one. The combination of three major choirs - the Hertfordshire, the Harlow and the East London - together with the London Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Geoffrey Simon, has created an absolute gem that really deserves a wider audience. So whether you are a Saint-Saens aficionado or are simply a lover of sacred music, this would be a wonderful addition to your collection.
The Overture to La Princesse Jaune (Op.30) is an interesting piece and comes from a long-forgotten operetta about a Japanese princess. It reflects the European fashion for all things Japanese during the latter part of the 19th century.
The Symphony No. 3 (Op.78) is one of Saint-Saens more widely known works and although commonly referred to as the "Organ Symphony", the organ only appears in two of the four movements. Sain-Saens actually called this piece a symphony with organ which is a more realistic description. However, the Symphony No. 3 is a powerful work and the London Philharmonic give an exhilarating performance, ably assisted by the organ of Westminster Cathedral which is used to maximum effect by organist James O'Donnell.