The Saint-Saëns thread

josh

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For Requiem freaks like Josh - here is a site that lists 5,000 or so of the buggers! :shock: :D http://www.requiemsurvey.org/requiems.php
Wow. I was actually looking for a list of requiems recently but didn't find anything like that.

There are some surprises in there - Schumann's done loads and I didn't know Bruckner had done some either, nor Haydn, Liszt, Elgar, Stravinsky, Goreki.

There are also a huge number of C20 requiems - I'm impressed that many were written in that century.

I guess it's the kind of thing every big composer had to have a crack at. It's strange that Bach didn't do one, or was that because a Lutherian wouldn't do a requiem?

- - - Updated - - -

Oh yes, his Requiem is very nice, in a third tier kind of way... First tier would be Mozart, Brahms and Faure
Hah..

What SS Requiem version would you recommend Pete?

 

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JANDL100

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Having been impressed by the YouTube link I gave, I've just ordered the Mercier recording.

Perhaps he'll make it into my 2nd tier after all. ;-)

 

Klassik

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Is your 1st tier only for the absolute greats like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert?
Let me first say that Klassik is glad that the ranking of composers no longer seems to be a thing at the Wigwam!  The Wigwam must have been going through some troubled times five years ago.  :eek:   Let me then add that Klassik can already hear @Le Baron pounding his fist on the table when he sees that Schubert was put in a list of greats.   xD   Of course, Klassik does not disagree with Le Baron in that regard.   ;)

Anyway, on to Saint-Saëns.  Klassik notices that there is a strong focus on orchestral music in this thread, but Saint-Saëns wrote some good, IMO, chamber music as well.  Saint-Saëns wrote some interesting sonatas for woodwind instruments which are worth checking out (maybe I'll post about those at some point), but I'm going to focus this post on his piano trios.  Oh dear, I hear @Le Baron pounding the desk again.  :D   Anyway, I think the two piano trios, which were written quite a number of years apart from one another, might be Saint-Saëns' finest works.  They're accessible, dramatic, move along with nice rhythm, and they don't linger on too long like a lot of other Romantic works. 

I'm sure there are some excellent performances of the Saint-Saëns piano trios, but Klassik recommends the Trio Wanderer CD from Harmonia Mundi France.  Trio Wanderer did a magnificent job, IMO, with the Felix Mendelssohn piano trios with their ability to play at a fast tempo which seems to fit Mendelssohn's music without the sense that they were missing any of the music.  They did a great job with the Saint-Saëns piano trios as well.  The pianist in particular put on an outstanding show, but everyone performed well and the sound quality is good as well.  Harmonia Mundi France re-released the disc in 2012 or 2013 and did so at a bargain price ($7.99 in the US at most stores).  That's what I own and it's a great buy at that price.  Interestingly, like some other Harmonia Mundi France CDs from that bargain series, the CD has a black data side kind of like a PlayStation 1 game CD.  Some older CD players may not like that, but it seems to read without problem on newer CD players.

Anyway, if $7.99 is too much, the entire album is available to listen on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mX6KGiLkL3ITbPbTncqalKdRxMjr2HdO8

 

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josh

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Well 6 years later, this came through the door today! Look forward to listening later...  (very gratified (yet somewhat saddened) to see this thread is still near the top of p1 of this sub-forum!)

71NQTlxvB-L._SX425_.jpg


( @JANDL100 @peteAllen@DeCameron  😛 )

 
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Klassik

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(very gratified (yet somewhat saddened) to see this thread is still near the top of p1 of this sub-forum!)
To be fair, this subforum has been pretty dead lately.  Klassik's post about the Saint-Saëns piano trios almost exactly a year ago seemed to be enough to keep this thread near the top.  :S

That said, a thread about Saint-Saëns is a worthy topic to be near the top of a classical music forum.  At least Klassik thinks so.  ;)   Klassik quite enjoys Saint-Saëns' orchestral works, but Saint-Saëns had some chamber works which are real winners.  The Carnival of the Animals is obviously the famous one, xD , but there are also the piano trios (along with the Septet and other chamber works for strings and piano that will surely infuriate @Le Baron including the absolutely obscure piano quartet in E which remained in manuscript form until 1992 :eek: ) Klassik mentioned earlier and, of course, the violin and cello sonatas which are excellent in Klassik's opinion. 

Here's to another year or more of Saint-Saëns appreciation.  :bouncey:

 

JANDL100

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What? 

I'm being poked to post about classical again? Ah, right, Josh is back.

My previous efforts were so popular that a new classical blog thread was started to avoid the one I ended up as the sole poster on. 🥳 

Saint Saens? The 2nd piano concerto is my favourite piece, his magnificent homage to Bach. Especially as performed by Dubravka Tomsic. You can find it on the streaming services by searching for "dvorak Tomsic" as it shares the album with the Dvorak piano concerto. 

 

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josh

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What? 

I'm being poked to post about classical again? Ah, right, Josh is back.
Yes, let's dust the cobwebs off this place!

My previous efforts were so popular that a new classical blog thread was started to avoid the one I ended up as the sole poster on. 🥳 
Oh no.. well let's revitalise it. Is @SSM still around?

The 2nd piano concerto is my favourite piece, his magnificent homage to Bach. Especially as performed by Dubravka Tomsic.
Interesting. I didn't know the 2nd PC was an homage to Bach. I'll go listen again. The version I have is Idil Biret and James Loughran conducting. I'll check Tomsic out.

 
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josh

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 Klassik quite enjoys Saint-Saëns' orchestral works, but Saint-Saëns had some chamber works which are real winners.  The Carnival of the Animals is obviously the famous one, xD , but there are also the piano trios (along with the Septet and other chamber works for strings and piano that will surely infuriate @Le Baron including the absolutely obscure piano quartet in E which remained in manuscript form until 1992 :eek: ) Klassik mentioned earlier and, of course, the violin and cello sonatas which are excellent in Klassik's opinion.
Interesting, I'll check some of those out thanks. BTW what's with the third-person referral?

 
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JANDL100

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The opening extended solo piano sequence is Bachian to perfection. Tomsic absolutely nails it in spine tingling fashion. 

 

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JANDL100

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No, ssm is no longer around here. 

I pmed him to check he was OK, and he replied that he now had better things to do. I think women were involved.  :p

 

Klassik

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Interesting, I'll check some of those out thanks. BTW what's with the third-person referral?
There actually are specific reasons for why El Klassiko speaks in the third-person at the Wigwam.  Without going into great detail, Klassik has found that Klassik's third-person posts are not nearly as misconstrued as Klassik's first-person posts and, thus, conversations are more successful.  Given that success, Klassik is sticking to the third-person.  ;)

 
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peter the butcher

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just found this page, and for those who enjoy the "Organ Symphony" (I collected a few of them, 8 versions) I would just like to recommend it transcribed for "solo" organ by the fantastic Jonathan Scott (he has 2 full performances, Hanley and Ripon) 

 
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Klassik

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El Klassiko was listening to Saint-Saëns again last night. While perhaps not Klassik's favorite Romantic era violin concerto slow movement, the slow movement for Saint-Saëns B minor (No. 3) violin concerto is quite a good listen. This is not the recording Klassik has on CD (Grumiaux), but this will work:


Also, El Klassko is a bit surprised that Danse Macabre has only been mentioned once in this thread...and even then, only in passing. It is a bit of a bon-bon, but a good one at that. At least Klassik thinks so. ;)

This recording is 'High Performance'. :D

 

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Klassik

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Klassik has an older complete CD set of Saint-Saëns piano concertos performed by Aldo Ciccolini and the Orchestre de Paris on EMI. These are recordings from 1970 or 1971 and were digitized in the mid-1980s. It's been around five years since Klassik has listened to any Saint-Saëns piano concerto and so Klassik had somewhat forgotten about the nature of these works. Since Klassik has been listening to quite a few Saint-Saëns here recently, Klassik decided to give the Saint-Saëns Ciccolini discs a listen this weekend.

Ciccolini's playing is certainly not on the flashy side. That said, while there are moments in Saint-Saëns' concertos which could call for some flashiness, for the most part, a flashy, firey performer is not called for. Perhaps there are some modern recordings which bring a bit more 'passion' to things, Klassik knows not since Klassik has not heard anything else, but Ciccolini's more subtle playing certainly does work in many places with these works. At least that is Klassik's opinion without hearing other performances. ;)

Saint-Saëns' G minor piano concerto is certainly his most popular piano concerto, understandably so, but Klassik was also quite charmed by the last concerto, the Op. 103 F major concerto, 'The Egyptian'. This programmatic concerto was written many years after the other piano concertos and incorporates Middle Eastern, Spanish, and Javanese themes into a general depiction of sailing. It's a good listen throughout. It might not be the most serious of the Saint-Saëns piano concertos, but it is a worthy listen in Klassik's opinion.
 

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