Saint-Saens: Violin Concertos Nos. 1-3 CD
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Once dubbed the French Mendelssohn, Camille Saint-Saëns was a prodigiously gifted composer of sophisticated and appealing music much of which has been unjustly neglected in recent times. His three highly inventive and technically demanding violin concertos, of which the Second is arguably the most memorable and the Third the best known, abound in unforgettable melodies and expressive subtleties. The young Parisian violinist Fanny Clamagirand, who won First Prize at the 2005 Fritz Kreisler Competition in Vienna and First Prize at the 2007 Monte Carlo Violin Masters Competition, the competition of competition winners, is an ideal interpreter of this gorgeous French Romantic music.
Top Customer Reviews
The main draw, apart from the composer`s increasingly sure-footed artistry, is the incandescent playing of Fanny Clamagirand, all of 25 when she recorded this disc.
Her control is astonishing, and she sounds as if she emotionally identifies with this often ecstatic music of her homeland, while playing with great muscular energy and lack of self-indulgence.
The three concertos are presented in an odd order: #2, which the excellent booklet notes tell us was composed first, is here placed third; #1, composed second, is placed second, while #3 is the first to be heard. (Got that?) It`s instructive to occasionally play them in order of composition, where one can hear Saint-Saens` growing confidence as his orchestration breaks free from an almost Beethovenian stodginess in parts of the 30-minute "2nd" concerto, to come to fruition in the brief 13-minute "1st"; nothing against Beethoven, by the way.
The third concerto is a magnificent work, again lasting half an hour, which begins with a gloriously themed Allegro non troppo, which contains many adagio interludes and chances for the violin to take wing in some of the composer`s most unashamedly
emotive, expressive music.
Violinist and conductor give this irresistible music their all. The disc is worth buying for this last of the three concertos alone.
The music of Saint-Saens is sometimes damned with faint praise, but the more I hear of it, the more I am an admirer.Read more ›
Nos 1 and 2 are not as famous as No 3 but nevertheless all are gems in their own right and deserve to be more often played. The orchestral playing is clear and each of the instrumental passages highlighting soloist parts are well projected to accompany the main violin solo part and add to the sense of occasion. Orchestra and solist hold sway in turn and I can imagine it was a fun CD to record for all the musicians.
At around 70 minutes this recording offers excellent value.
Suffice it to say that these charming works ate very sweetly played by the young French violinist, Fanny Clamagirand. Not often can one enjoy so much pleasure for so little outlay. Nicely recorded too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very happy with purchase , this recording far exceeds my expectations, I think that it is superb.Published 20 months ago by Mavis
A wonderful performance of works which I not heard before and I am absulutel delighted with them. A geat discovery.Published on 1 Jan. 2013 by Strad