Search - Camille Saint-Saens, Neeme Jarvi, Bernard Haitink :: The Best of Saint-SaŽns

The Best of Saint-Saëns
Camille Saint-Saens, Neeme Jarvi, Bernard Haitink
The Best of Saint-SaŽns
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #2


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Superb Collection
P S DEVADATTA | Wellington New Zealand | 11/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This was my first Saint-Saëns CD, and I did not quite know what to expect. It was love at first hear(?!). An excellent collection, ranging from the humorous "Carnival of the Animals" to the serious Organ Symphony. If you are not familiar with Saint-Saëns, I would strongly recommend this collection as a great introduction."
This is a must have CD
Maestro | 04/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I must admit that the Penguin Guide was overly critical of this CD. They said the recording of the Organ Symphony was not exciting and they are certainly far from being correct. The standard by which I judge the Symphony is mainly (if not almost) purely based on the finale. Out of the recordings I have heard this is the finest account. I found the Ormandy version a bit too fast forsaking the majestic feel. The Levine version is well played, but there just seems to be some issue with balance and heaven forbid the Berlin Philharmonic percussionists making a mistake near the end (they played 2 bars late). Dutoit's account is fairly similar to this recording, but I find Edo de Waart's recording has a more 'natural' and richer sound. There is something magical in the finale, the organ is brilliantly captured throughout. Polished, balanced, finely controlled tempi and well-executed this is the best version of the Organ Symphony. If you're starting a Saint-Saens' collection, this 2CD set will certainly not disappoint. The accounts of the other pieces are first-rate."
Melodic phrasing
D. Sandoval | Northern Frontier | 05/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Camille Saint-Saens was merciless in composing a score, often demanding performances that crowded the very limits of what is possible. Consequently, there are a lot of recordings that are frustrating to listen to because one can hear where the work is close but unfulfilled. This anthology of recordings compiled by Philips is the holy grail of Saint-Saens because the choice of conductors and artists was obviously based on melodic phrasing. There is no better performance of the seamless second movement or of the third movement's full string-section counterpoint in Violin Concerto No. 3. This CD set has the best Danse Macabre ever done; people think they know this symphonic poem, but unless they have heard the one conducted by Bernard Haitink, they have not. This Danse Macabre is symphonic perfection. Again, people think they know the Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, but the one with Henryk Szeryng playing violin and conducted by Edouard Van Remoortel transcends and bewilders the mind. Both piano concerti, No 2 and especially No. 4, these works open a new musical paradigm, the piano played by Michele Campanella in No. 4 making music only Saint-Saens knew a piano could make. The undeniable conclusion is that the performances were searched for and chosen as a tour de force of melodic phrasing, with an impressionist composer who imagined brilliance beyond this world."