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Bach: Piano Transcriptions Vol 10 - Camille Saint-Saens, Isidore Philipp

Bach,J.s. / Vlaeva
Release Date: 10/11/2011 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67873   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Camille Saint-SaënsJohann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH-SAINT-SAËNS Ouverture, BWV 29. Adagio, BWV 3. Andantino, BWV 8. Bourrée, BWV 1002. Andante, BWV 1003. Presto, BWV 35. Introduction and Air, BWV 15. Fugue, BWV 1005. Read more class="ARIAL12b">Largo, BWV 1005. Récitatif et Air, BWV 30. Gavotte, BWV 1006. Air, BWV 36. Choeur, BWV 30. BACH-PHILIPP Concerto in a (after Vivaldi), BWV 593. Concerto in d (after Vivaldi), BWV 596 Nadejda Vlaeva (pn) HYPERION CDA67873 (77:09)


Having given us some fascinating examples of re-imaginings of the Baroque composer’s works through the lenses of such formidable Romantic composers and arrangers as Busoni, Reger, Feinberg, Rummel, d’Albert, and others to date, Hyperion’s Bach Piano Transcription series has now, with the current offering, reached number 10. Featuring the reworkings of both Camille Saint-Saëns and Isidore Philipp, this is an intelligently programmed recital. Two larger suite-like collections of transcriptions by Saint-Saëns are composed of smaller items (from cantatas and solo violin movements), worked out in rather meticulous detail, with especially clear and transparent textures. Two larger works, transcriptions by Philipp of compositions by Bach, in turn inspired by Vivaldi concertos, are used in intermediary and concluding roles. Where Saint-Saëns’s textures are lean, Philipp’s are full-bodied, even thick at certain moments; the juxtaposition of the two transcriber’s works arranged in this way make the performance all the more coherent—almost like a true recital—in the creation of two halves of equal length, of equal importance, yet with enough variation to keep the listener’s interest. This is no small feat considering that these are all transcriptions of the same composer’s works.


Nadejda Vlaeva, a young Bulgarian pianist who has studied with some formidable teachers including Anton Dikov, Jan Wijn, Ruth Laredo, and Lazar Berman, possesses just the right temperament for this music. She works to bring out the special character of each selection. From the grandiosity of the D-Minor Concerto or the Ouverture, BWV 29, through the more lyrical and tender moments of the Adagio and Andantino movements (from the cantatas BWV 3 and 8, respectively), to the more lighthearted yet spirited playing of the dance-inspired movements from the solo violin works, Vlaeva always has a special sound in mind. This may be a truly romantic sound, but one need just listen to observe how well it works here. Given the rather talented pianists that Hyperion has chosen to record this series, it is only a wonder as to where they will go next. To which re-creative minds will this series now turn? That is a question to which I eagerly await an answer. As for the present: exceptional music, interesting transcriptions, clear sound, and excellent performances. Get it and enjoy your dose of 19th-century Bach.


FANFARE: Scott Noriega


------

It’s salutary to realise that this is now the tenth volume in Hyperion’s ‘Piano Transcriptions’ series, one that is proving outstanding in every way. Whereas volume nine was devoted to transcriptions by a phalanx of British composers — Berners, Goossens, Howells, Fryer, Bax, Borwick, Bantock.— this one concentrates on two Frenchmen. The majority of works are from the two sets of transcriptions published by Saint-Saëns, but there are also two big Bach-Vivaldi transcriptions by the great pianist Isidore Philipp.

Saint-Saëns’ transcriptions were published in 1862 and 1873 and were clearly helpful in propagating Bach’s works domestically and professionally in France. They are also stunningly impressive in their own right. For both sets he chose music from cantatas, and solo violin works. The earlier set opens with the Ouverture from Cantata No. 29 in which Nadejda Vlaeva displays a splendid sense of colour and rhythmic energy, applying bass accenting with apposite weight and voicing appealingly. The Adagio from Cantata No. 3 is full of expression and then pealing vehemence, Saint-Saëns exploiting the rapid oscillation between the two for its full effect. The richly plangent Andantino from Cantata No.8 is one of the disc’s highlights. The single movements from the First Violin Partita and the Second Violin Sonata are deftly played, and fully assured contrapuntally. As ever Saint-Saëns knows how to end a sequence and as with his fabulous Études, he ends the first set with a scintillating transcription of the Presto from Cantata No.35.

For the later set he took the Fugue from the Third Sonata for Violin, adding its Largo for good measure — and there’s plenty of panache and bravado here, and effulgence in the latter movement. The piece that ends this second set, the Choeur from Cantata No.30, is textually quite thick, and genuinely celebratory.

Isidore Philipp (1863-1958) was a friend of Saint-Saëns, and a most distinguished musician in his own right. In 1935 he recorded some of his friend’s cello music with Paul Bazelaire, a disc still available on Pearl. His rich, powerful transcriptions of the two Bach (after Vivaldi) concertos are resplendent, exciting, virtuosically inclined in their extrovert intensity, and their richly refined and rewarding slow movements. Their confidence, dramatic octave doublings, and swagger, make for blistering, and wholly marvellous listening.

As ever Hyperion’s booklet is first class in all respects and the recorded sound is perfectly judged.

Bulgarian pianist Nadejda Vlaeva proves a heroic interpreter of these works, driving through with panache, rounded tone, richly balanced chords, strikingly intimate gestures and intense, but never tone-forced, splendour.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Wir danken dir, Gott, BWV 29: no 1, Sinfonia in D major by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
2.
Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid, BWV 3: no 1, Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
3.
Liebster Gott, wenn werd' ich sterben?, BWV 8: no 1, Liebster Gott, wenn werd' ich sterben? by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 09/24/1724 
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
4.
Partita for Violin solo no 1 in B minor, BWV 1002: 7th movement, Tempo di Bourée by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
5.
Sonata for Violin solo no 2 in A minor, BWV 1003: 3rd movement, Andante by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
6.
Geist und Seele wird verwirret, BWV 35: no 5, Sinfonia in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
7.
Concerto for Organ solo in A minor, BWV 593 (after Vivaldi) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Isidore Philipp 
8.
Denn du wirst meine Seele nicht in der Höllo lassen, BWV 15: Denn du wirst meine Seele nicht by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
9.
Sonata for Violin solo no 3 in C major, BWV 1005: 2nd movement, Fuga by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
10.
Sonata for Violin solo no 3 in C major, BWV 1005: 3rd movement, Largo by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
11.
Freue dich, erlöste Schar, BWV 30: Kommt, ihr angefochtnen Sünder by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
12.
Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006: 3rd movement, Gavotte en rondeau by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
13.
Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36: no 7, Auch mit gedämpften by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
14.
Freue dich, erlöste Schar, BWV 30: no 12, Freude dich, geheilgte Schar by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Notes:  Arranged: Camille Saint-Saëns 
15.
Concerto for Organ in D minor, BWV 596 (after Vivaldi) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nadejda Vlaeva (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Isidore Philipp 

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