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Saint-Saens: Cello Concertos, Carnival of the Animals / Jarvi, Bergen Philharmonic


Release Date: 01/29/2016 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 5162  
Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Truls Otterbech MorkHelene MercierLouis Lortie
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Neeme Järvi present this unusual collection of popular works by Saint-Saëns, for orchestra and piano or cello. Truls Mork, this season’s Artist in Residence with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, is the soloist in the two contrasted cello concertos. His ‘seemingly flawless technical command’ is tested in the suave, expressive, famous No. 1 as well as in the many taxing solo passages, huge leaps, and double-stopping flourishes of No. 2. The indefatigable duo Louis Lortie and Hélène Mercier join in the posthumously published Carnival of the Animals, after a highly successful recording of Concertos by
Read more Poulenc with Edward Gardner, Disc of the Week in The Sunday Times. They offer the original version, which features a glass harmonica (normally substituted by a glockenspiel). Louis Lortie is also the soloist in the entertaining fantasia Africa, which incorporates folk tunes of the different countries in which it was composed and which is brought off with consummate zest, as well as in the most characteristic and probably challenging of the composer’s keyboard pieces, the Caprice-Valse Wedding-cake, written for the second wedding of the composer’s virtuosic pianist friend Caroline Montigny-Rémaury.

Review:

This is one of those recordings where it seems invidious to look for faults and which just encourages you to sit back, relax, listen and wallow. Mørk brings his characteristic incisiveness and mountain-spring tone to the concertos.

The Grande fantaisie zoologique receives one of its most successful performances on disc (sans narrator) with just the right balance of instrumental virtuosity, sensitive musicianship and, where the opportunity presents itself, fun. ‘Le cygne’ is elegantly phrased and gracefully paced.

Lovely program. Lovely recording. What’s not to like?

– Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Cello no 1 in A minor, Op. 33 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork (Cello)
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
2.
Concerto for Cello no 2 in D minor, Op. 119 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork (Cello)
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; France 
3.
Carnival of the animals by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Helene Mercier (Piano), Louis Lortie (Piano)
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1886 
4.
Wedding Cake for Piano and String Orchestra in A flat major, Op. 76 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Louis Lortie (Piano)
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; France 
5.
Africa, Op. 89 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Louis Lortie (Piano)
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; France 

Featured Sound Samples

Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33, R. 193: I. Allegro non troppo
Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 119: I. Allegro moderato e maestoso - Andante sostenuto
Le carnaval des animaux, R. 125: XIII. Le cygne

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