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Saint Saens: Romantic Cello Concerto Vol.5 [Natalie Clein, Andrew Manze] [Hyperion: CDA68002]

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • Saint Saens: Romantic Cello Concerto Vol.5 [Natalie Clein, Andrew Manze] [Hyperion: CDA68002]
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Product details

  • Conductor: Andrew Manze
  • Composer: Camille Saint-Saens
  • Audio CD (1 Sept. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00M2D7JJ8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,003 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor Op 33 Allegro non troppo [5'53]
  2. Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor Op 33 Allegretto con moto [5'02]
  3. Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor Op 33 Tempo primo [8'53]
  4. Cello Concerto No.2 in D minor Op 119 Allegro moderato e maestoso - Andante sostenuto [11'27]
  5. Cello Concerto No.2 in D minor Op 119 Allegro non troppo - Cadenza - Tempo 1 - Molto allegro [6'26]
  6. La muse et le poète Op 132 [15'39] with Antje Weithaas violin
  7. Allegro appassionato Op 43 [3'57]
  8. Le cygne [2'31] Natalie Clein cello, Julia Lynch, Judith Keaney piano

Product Description

Product Description

Natalie Clein adds a remarkable collection of Saint-Saëns' music for cello and orchestra to her impressive discography. Clein first came to prominence when she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year award in 1994; it is appropriate that she performs the music of an extraordinary child prodigy.

The first cello concerto has always been one of Saint-Saëns' most popular pieces, Casals choosing it for his London debut in 1905. It is a gloriously playful piece that carries the listener along on a melodic and emotional rollercoaster, from the jaunty opening to the eloquence of the second movement minuet, with a persistent yearning threading its way throughout. The second concerto will be less familiar to listeners. The soloist for whom it was written, Joseph Hollman, was an energetic, muscular player and Saint-Saëns seems here to turn his back on the suave style of the first concerto.

When Saint-Saëns' pupil and friend Gabriel Fauré chose the concerto as a Conservatoire test piece, the composer was duly grateful, but admitted 'it will never be as well-known as the first; it's too difficult'. This it certainly is, with many solo passages, huge leaps and runs that require two staves to accommodate them, and a large amount of doublestopping. Natalie Clein meets these challenges with marvellous technique, musicianship and the passion for which she has become so well known.

Review

Saint-Saens would have approved of this musical champagne. Performance **** Recording **** BBC MUSIC CONCERTO CHOICE --BBC Music Magazine, Oct'14

Natalie Clein is a comprehensively gifted player who performs these pieces with an ideal combination of warm-hearted expressiveness and astonishing technical agility. Warmly recommended. --IRR, Oct'14

Her spirit in this music is matched by that of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Manze, with passion, reflectiveness, architectural sweep and refinement in phrasing and dynamic colouring all finding common ground. Warmly recommended. --Gramophone, Awards issue, 2014

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

These are beautifully played and recorded interpretations of Saint-Saens's immortal masterpieces for solo 'cello. Natalie Clein, after a long absence from these shores, is rapidly forging herself a reputation as one of the UK's leading instrumentalists and this cd will enhance her reputation in repertoire that has had many fine interpreters. Her recordings of the Elgar 'concerto and the Brahms sonatas were, to my ears at least, all about subtlety and painting a sound world in colours so anyone looking for the searing temperament of du Pre may well be disappointed.

There is no sense of rosin and hair, (both human and horse!), being sent hurtling after Saint-Saens wonderful opening. Ms. Clein is a much more measured musician who has absolute contol of every single note of this score. There is a very real sense of her allowing the listener to supply some of the emotion required rather than pinning them back in their chair in sheer amazement.

Andrew Manze is superb in providing illumination in the orchestral score. Once again, I find myself hearing lovely moments of orchestration that I'd simply not noticed before. The BBCSSO play superbly and the Hyperion recording is, of course, outstanding.

If you're a fan of Ms. Clein, Saint-Saens or simply enjoy top class music making then snap this disc up immediately.
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4 1/2 stars -- Well-recorded, well-played, and well-accompanied -- my only reservation being the music itself, which I don't find as engaging as some of the music of Saint-Saens contemporaries, like Brahms, Sibelius, Franck, etc. But that's just me -- this is clearly well-wrought music, and there is considerable variety within the movements, even if the development is not as compelling as it is with, say, Brahms. But then, it seems that Saint-Saens was working in a consciously anti-Germanic mode (following the Franco-Prussian War), so we shouldn't hold that against him. What surprised me here was how much I liked the Second Concerto, the First being the only one I had known previous to hearing this performance. It's less elegant, to be sure, but it has some real rhythmic drive to it, and it demands a lot of the soloist, both in the double-stopping and in the deployment of the more extreme reaches of the instrument's range. Natalie Clein -- hitherto unknown to me -- is splendid throughout, and the pyrotechnics required in the Second Concerto do not in the least impede the determined forward motion of the piece. Her playing at the top of the cello's range at the end of the "Andante" section of the first movement is as pure as one could hope for. The First Concerto, of which there are many excellent performances, receives another one here. The second movement is as charming as ever -- it's the movement you're most likely to remember -- but Andrew Manze pushes the tempo along nicely in the outer movements while keeping the textures clear. I like too the balance of soloist and orchestra -- it seems a bit more natural than in Weilerstein's recordings of the Dvorak and Elgar -- and I assume that Clein's apparently less opulent tone is at least in part a result of the recording balance.Read more ›
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wonderful
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a good recording
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b7ab9e4) out of 5 stars 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b7ad930) out of 5 stars perhaps not great music, but very lovely performances 30 Jan. 2015
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
4 1/2 stars -- Well-recorded, well-played, and well-accompanied -- my only reservation being the music itself, which I don't find as engaging as some of the music of Saint-Saens's contemporaries, like Brahms, Sibelius, Franck, Dvorak, etc. But that's just me -- this is clearly well-wrought music, and there is considerable variety within the movements, even if the development is not as compelling as it is with, say, Brahms. But then, it seems that Saint-Saens was working in a consciously anti-Germanic mode (following the Franco-Prussian War), so we shouldn't hold that against him. What surprised me here was how much I liked the Second Concerto, the First being the only one I had known previous to hearing this performance. It's less elegant, to be sure, but it has some real rhythmic drive to it, and it demands a lot of the soloist, both in the double-stopping and in the deployment of the more extreme reaches of the instrument's range. Natalie Clein -- hitherto unknown to me -- is splendid throughout, and the pyrotechnics required in the Second Concerto do not in the least impede the determined forward motion of the piece. Her playing at the top of the cello's range at the end of the "Andante" section of the first movement is as pure as one could hope for. The First Concerto, of which there are many excellent performances, receives another one here. The second movement is as charming as ever -- it's the movement you're most likely to remember -- but Andrew Manze pushes the tempo along nicely in the outer movements while keeping the textures clear. I like too the balance of soloist and orchestra -- it seems a bit more natural than in Weilerstein's recordings of the Dvorak and Elgar -- and I assume that Clein's apparently less opulent tone is at least in part a result of the recording balance. As for Manze, I had thought of him as a baroque specialist, and he is, but he has things well in hand here, and the BBC Scottish Symphony sounds great.

Of the fillers, the most interesting is the orchestrated version of the late piano trio "La Muse et le Poete." It's a single-movement piece for violin and cello, and lasts about 15 minutes. There's plenty of variety in the single movement, from the rhapsodic to the rhythmically driven, and the music seems not to be over-inflated by the orchestration, which has plenty of color. The violinist Antje Weithaas and Clein interact beautifully, whether in conversation or blending, and the overall impression is very pleasing.
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