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Saint-Saens: Piano Concertos Nos.2 & 5 etc
 
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Saint-Saens: Piano Concertos Nos.2 & 5 etc

15 Oct. 2007 | Format: MP3

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Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
10:01
30
2
11:17
30
3
5:43
30
4
15:46
30
5
11:15
30
6
5:38
30
7
6:24
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 15 Oct. 2007
  • Release Date: 15 Oct. 2007
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 2007 Decca Music Group Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:06:04
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LXX6QK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 389,387 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. P. Wright TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 May 2012
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Saint-Saens is not a composer I know well. I'm familiar with the pops, such as the Organ Concerto (thanks, Babe) and the Carnival of the Animals, but I have always heard them as backgrounds to something else, rather than taking time to sit and listen to them properly. Today I was working with Radio 3 on in the background, when this recording of the Piano Concerto no 2 came on. Work ceased as it invaded my mind and carried me away.

Another reviewer has complained about the speed of the 1st Movement of the Concerto No 2. I don't think the pace detracts from it at all, because of the clarity of Thibaudet's playing. For me, it dazzles and sparkles and dances and is quite bewitching. From this review one would have the impression that the whole disc is played at breakneck speed. This just isn't true.

As I said, I am not familiar with these pieces and this is the only recording of them that I have heard. Perhaps it is the custom to play Saint-Saens at a more stately pace. If so, forgive my ignorance, but I found both concertos showed a variety of pacing that conveyed the emotional sense of the music.

I love this recording. It is exciting, expressive and a joy to listen to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 28 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This well recorded disc from 2007 delivers an unusual coupling. The second concerto, played last on this disc, is by far the most popular of the three works. The Franck Variations are generally considered well worth listening to in their quiet and generally undemonstrative way, but are difficult to program on disc or 'live' mostly because of their non-virtuoso style and their length which falls well short of that normally taken by most concertos. Saint Saens' fifth concerto has never achieved the popularity of the second or fourth concertos but is generally preferred to the first or third.

Thibaudet delivers unusually strong, even forthright, performances of all three works. The Franck benefits from this approach as it seems a bigger, more dramatically substantive work in consequence. Good alternative and gentler versions would be those by Moravec, Rubinstein or Fleisher for example, but there is room for this relatively unsentimental approach too.

The Saint Saens fifth receives the same unsentimental approach and once again, this comes over as a stronger work as a result. The second concerto does not need such a tough approach as it is arguably the strongest work here anyway and is inherently full of Gallic charm and sparkle. In this performance there is less of the charm and sparkle and more of the concert virtuoso. However, the concerto is strong enough for this alternative view. Collard or Rubinstein offer more charm and Gallic wit in this concerto on CD and Bronfman is in a class of his own on a DVD with the BPO. That performance is so good that Bronfman is brought back no less than seven times by the audience during their interval break before he finally delivered what the whole audience craved - a short encore of exquisite poise to match that of the concerto.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Camil Moujaber on 6 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD
The first movement of concerto no. 2 is played at break-neck speed, which blows away the beauty of this movement and concerto. This alone made me decide not to buy this CD. There are better performances of this concerto around, so listen before you buy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Glittering, glamorous, exciting 2 Oct. 2007
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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, not for a moment. It was smart to begin the program with Concerto #5, since its hurtlig virtuoso fingerwork shows 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 persuaded to take Franck'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.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Filled With Emotion, Charisma And Prodigious Musicianship! 16 Dec. 2007
By Raymond Vacchino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
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)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Marvelous piano works played magnificently! 5 Jun. 2010
By J. Schofield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The pairing of Saint Saens piano concertos #2 & #5 is in itself, a great combination. The 2nd concerto never fails to delight. Saint Saens was a master pianist and this works shows his skill as both a composer and pianist. Are you in a down or bad mood? Flip on the piano concerto #2's second movement. The scherzo is delightful and sparkling, full of wit, humor and clever writing. The final movement offers the pianist opportunities to demonstrate their skills, with complex piano writing and wonderful orchestral accompanyment. In Jean-Yves Thibaudet's hands, the playing is electric, dramatic, passionate and witty. This is my new favorite of this concerto. The 5th, with its Egyptian influence, especially in the slow movement, is also much fun.

To hear a free stream of Jean-Yves Thibaudet playing the Saint-Saens 2nd concerto with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra live at Carnegia Hall recently, go to [...] and select the concert with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Msr Thibaudet. Select the 2nd hour broadcast(since most classical concerts are usually 2 hours long) and then sit back and listen to exciting and passionate playing! The Carnegie Hall audience certainly loved it. It may not be online for long before it gets archived. Then come back here and purchase the CD if you haven't already. You won't regret it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A convincing and powerful concept of all three works 28 May 2013
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This well recorded disc from 2007 delivers an unusual coupling. The second concerto, played last on this disc, is by far the most popular of the three works. The Franck Variations are generally considered well worth listening to in their quiet and generally undemonstrative way, but are difficult to program on disc or 'live' mostly because of their non-virtuoso style and their length which falls well short of that normally taken by most concertos. Saint Saens' fifth concerto has never achieved the popularity of the second or fourth concertos but is generally preferred to the first or third.

Thibaudet delivers unusually strong, even forthright, performances of all three works. The Franck benefits from this approach as it seems a bigger, more dramatically substantive work in consequence. Good alternative and gentler versions would be those by Moravec, Rubinstein or Fleisher for example, but there is room for this relatively unsentimental approach too.

The Saint Saens fifth receives the same unsentimental approach and once again, this comes over as a stronger work as a result. The second concerto does not need such a tough approach as it is arguably the strongest work here anyway and is inherently full of Gallic charm and sparkle. In this performance there is less of the charm and sparkle and more of the concert virtuoso. However, the concerto is strong enough for this alternative view. Collard or Rubinstein offer more charm and Gallic wit in this concerto on CD and Bronfman is in a class of his own on a DVD with the BPO. That performance is so good that Bronfman is brought back no less than seven times by the audience during their interval break before he finally delivered what the whole audience craved - a short encore of exquisite poise to match that of the concerto.

I would suggest that this disc is well worth considering for purchase if the program appeals and if you are prepared to consider a stronger, possibly tougher, approach to all three works than usual.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Saint-Saens Concertos 25 Mar. 2009
By James W. Galbraith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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