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Three French Pianists - Chaminade, Saint-saëns, Diemer


Release Date: 09/05/2006 
Label:  Symposium   Catalog #: 1305   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Cécile Louise ChaminadeLouis DiémerCamille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Cécile Louise ChaminadeLouis DiémerCamille Saint-SaënsMeyriane Héglon,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In 2001 APR reissued for the first time in long-playing format the complete flat disc recordings featuring composer Camille Saint-Saëns at the piano, coupled with those by Cécile Chaminade. Symposium now offers the same material minus one Saint-Saëns selection (the Havanaise Op. 83 with violinist Gabriel Willaume), but adds the five solo sides by Louis Diémer (1843-1919), a pianist best known as teacher to Alfred Cortot, Robert Casadesus, Marcel Dupré, Eduard Risler, Yves Nat, and countless others. Which edition to buy?


On one hand, APR's clean, skillful transfers, extensive annotations, discography, and "complete Saint-Saëns" factor sell themselves. On the other hand,
Read more Symposium's noisier, relatively "non-interventionist" transfers give an impression of greater presence and amplitude. The bottom line is that these count among early recorded pianism's most fascinating and important documents. Although Saint-Saëns only recorded his own music, and mostly lightweight fare, his 1904 G&T sessions and 1919 Paris recordings reveal that the veteran musician still could tear up the keyboard. He often was criticized for being a cold and dry pianist, but evidently not on the recordings. Unbridled excitement characterize his improvised cadenza in Afrique Op. 89 and excerpts from the Second Concerto. The Rhapsodie d'Auvergne Op. 73 is represented by its final section, where the composer tosses off amazingly powerful and even unison scales and double thirds that would humble even today's budding virtuosos.


Four selections feature the composer's close associate mezzo-soprano Meyrianne Héglon. However, her warm, slightly heavy timbre is severely compromised by fuzzy, overmodulated sonics. Saint-Saëns' strong, authoritative support elevates the aforementioned Gabriel Willaume's straightforward, pure-toned interpretations of the Prelude from Le Déluge and the Elégie Op. 143. Likewise, Cécile Chaminade's seven 1901 G&Ts support the reputation she enjoyed as a pianistic firebrand. Her piano music may be light in content, yet it's skillfully crafted, idiomatically virtuosic, and full of charm. Chaminade plays her works absolutely straight, with an intensity and rhythmic drive that have nothing to do with the music's "salon-ish" connotations. For example, if you follow the score to Air de Ballet Op. 30, you'll hear that Chaminade really means the dynamics and expressive directions she writes.


Louis Diémer's solo recordings characterize the 19th-century French piano school's best aspects. Note the clarity, point, and control in rapid, detaché passages in Mendelssohn's Spinning Song and Godard's Valse chromatique, or the limpid pianissimo scales in Diémer's own, admittedly banal Grande Valse de Concert. Modern ears may not comfortably respond to Diémer's somewhat brusque and hard-nosed account of Chopin's D-flat Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2, yet it easily challenges any assumption that all 19th-century pianists took insane liberties with everything they played. All serious students of piano performance practice should investigate this release.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Air de ballet for Piano, Op. 30 "Callirhoë" by Cécile Louise Chaminade
Performer:  Cécile Louise Chaminade (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1901 
Venue:  London, Engalnd 
2.
Pas de écharpes, Op. 37 "Scarf Dance" by Cécile Louise Chaminade
Performer:  Cécile Louise Chaminade (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1901 
Venue:  London, Engalnd 
3.
Dances (3) anciennes, Op. 95 by Cécile Louise Chaminade
Performer:  Cécile Louise Chaminade (Piano)
Date of Recording: 1901 
Venue:  London, Engalnd 
4.
Les Sylvains, Op. 60 by Cécile Louise Chaminade
Performer:  Cécile Louise Chaminade (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1892; France 
Date of Recording: 1901 
Venue:  London, Engalnd 
5.
Danse créole for Piano, Op. 94: 2nd movement - Havanaise by Cécile Louise Chaminade
Performer:  Cécile Louise Chaminade (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1901 
Venue:  London, Engalnd 
6.
La lisonjera, Op. 50 by Cécile Louise Chaminade
Performer:  Cécile Louise Chaminade (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by c1890; France 
Date of Recording: 1901 
Venue:  London, Engalnd 
7.
Air de ballet, Op. 41 "Pierrette" by Cécile Louise Chaminade
Performer:  Cécile Louise Chaminade (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1901 
Venue:  London, Engalnd 
8.
Grand valse de concert for Piano in D flat major, Op. 37 by Louis Diémer
Performer:  Louis Diémer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1904 
Venue:  Paris, France 
9.
Chant du nautonier by Louis Diémer
Performer:  Louis Diémer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1904 
Venue:  Paris, France 
10.
Africa, Op. 89 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
11.
Valse mignonne in E flat major, Op. 104 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
12.
Valse nonchalante in D flat major, Op. 110 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
13.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22: Excerpt(s) by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
14.
Ascanio: Aria(s) by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
15.
Rêverie by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
16.
Samson et Dalila, Op. 47: Printemps, qui commence by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
17.
Mélodies persanes (6), Op. 26: no 3, La solitaire by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano), Meyriane Héglon (Alto)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
18.
Rhapsodie d'Auvergne for Piano and Orchestra in C major, Op. 73 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
19.
Le déluge, Op. 45: Prelude by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
20.
Elegie for Violin and Piano, Op. 143 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano), Gabriel Willaume (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 1919 
Venue:  Paris, France 
21.
Suite algérienne in C major, Op. 60: 3rd movement, Rêverie du soir by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
22.
Marche Militaire Française by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 
23.
Mazurka for Piano no 1 in G minor, Op. 21 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Camille Saint-Saëns (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862; France 
Venue:  Paris, France 
Notes: Paris, France (1904 - 1919) 

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