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Saint-Saens: Complete Violin Concertos / Hoelscher


Release Date: 02/28/2012 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94308  
Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf HoelscherRalph Kirshbaum
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York PhilharmonicNew Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Yet another winner from Brilliantís constantly satisfying series of reissues.

It is a real pleasure to listen to the music of such a thoroughly professional composer as Saint-Saëns. Even when he is saying nothing very new or very profound the sheer craftsmanship and physical beauty of the music is very satisfying. Everything on this delightful set is worth hearing at least once, and most of it is a great deal better than that. Although the Concerto No. 3 is the only one to retain a place in the regular repertoire, albeit somewhat precariously, the others are at least as good. Indeed the first Concerto, which dates from 1859, some twenty years before the others, is in many ways the most immediately attractive. Its
Read more comparative brevity is a positive virtue in its avoidance of padding of any kind. All three are packed with opportunities for the soloist to show his or her abilities. Fortunately Ulf Hoelscher has the technique and artistry to take full advantage of this in terms of bravura display and, even better, in the soft and gentle sections. Admittedly he is not helped in this by an unnaturally forward balance. This means that at times some of the composerís delightfully detailed scoring is lost, but this is to nitpick when the overall quality of the playing is so high.
 
It is however the music even more than the playing which makes this an irresistible set. In addition to the three Concertos no fewer than nine shorter pieces featuring a solo violin are included. Only the Introduction and Rondo capriccioso and Havanaise can be said to be well known but all are worth hearing in their different ways. My own favourites are the two Romances, maybe too sugary for some but beautifully crafted and thoroughly memorable.
 
These two discs have previously been issued by Brilliant as part of a bigger set devoted to this composer and also several times by EMI Classics.
 
The two discs are well filled and have brief notes that are anomymous but interesting. Under these circumstances the general question of balance between soloist and orchestra is only a small blot on this otherwise admirable set. It would be a pity to deprive yourself of the considerable pleasure of these discs on that ground alone. All in all, yet another winner from Brilliantís constantly satisfying series of reissues. 

-- John Sheppard, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Violin no 1 in A major, Op. 20 by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
2. Concerto for Violin no 2 in C major, Op. 58 by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1858; France 
3. La muse et le poŤte, Op. 132 by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ralph Kirshbaum (Cello), Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; France 
4. Valse Caprice by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
5. Romance for Violin and Orchestra in C major, Op. 48 by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; France 
6. Romance for Flute and Orchestra in D flat major, Op. 37 by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; France 
7. Concerto for Violin no 3 in B minor, Op. 61 by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; France 
8. Havanaise for Violin and Orchestra in E major, Op. 83 by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; France 
9. Morceau de concert for Violin and Orchestra in G major, Op. 62 by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; France 
10. Introduction and Rondo capriccioso for Violin and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 28 by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; France 
11. Caprice andalous for Violin and Orchestra in G major, Op. 122 by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; France 
12. Le dťluge, Op. 45: Prelude by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher (Violin)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great 2CD set!! July 14, 2012 By Jerry G.  (Denver, CO) See All My Reviews "I have very little Saint-Saens in my collection other than mainstream. This was a great addition of seldom heard material. Great price and where else but Arkiv." Report Abuse
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