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Saint-Saens: La Princesse Jaune, Suite Algerienne / Travis

Release Date: 10/24/2000 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 9837   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Maria Costanza NocentiniCarlo Allemano
Conductor:  Francis Travis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra della Svizzera ItalianaCantemus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Once again, Chandos scores big with this release of two obscure works of Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921). Both recordings have the hallmarks of Chandos engineering: a rich, yet fully articulate studio sound (for Suite algérienne) and a warm, carefully balanced live (or performance) recording of La Princesse jaune. In the latter there is virtually no ambient audience sound, no coughs, no applause; but all the verve of a live performance is there. Both works come out of Saint-Saëns' love of postcards and their evocative images of faraway places. Suite algérienne (1879) is based on the composer's love of Algeria (he would eventually die there) and is a picture postcard tour of
Read more the region that was once a French colony. Also included here is a lighthearted rendition of the famous "Marche Militaire Francaise" which is commonly excerpted or performed on its own.

La Princesse jaune (or The Yellow Princess) was first performed in 1872 and arose from an opera commission. Saint-Saëns chose to do a small operetta instead. It's for two solo voices and an off-stage choir and centers around a man who, tired of his wife, has a drug-related hallucination, imagining a better life with a Japanese woman. His wife sings to him while he's in the dream-state and becomes the Japanese lover. When he awakes, he realizes his love for his wife was never stronger. It's a rather pleasant divertissement, more melodious than dramatic, and it's a very strange topic for an operetta. These are, admittedly, minor works, but they are very well performed and allow us to get a glimpse of one of the last great French Romantic composers at work before Impressionism put them all out of business. Highly recommended.
--Paul Cook, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Suite algérienne in C major, Op. 60 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Conductor:  Francis Travis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; France 
Date of Recording: 06/01/1999 
Venue:  Swiss Radio Auditorium, Lugano 
Length: 19 Minutes 46 Secs. 
La princesse jaune, Op. 30 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Maria Costanza Nocentini (Soprano), Carlo Allemano (Tenor)
Conductor:  Francis Travis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantemus,  Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
Date of Recording: 01/13/1996 
Venue:  Live  Swiss Radio Auditorium, Lugano 
Length: 43 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: French 

Sound Samples

Suite algerienne, Op. 60: I. Prelude
Suite algerienne, Op. 60: II. Rhapsodie mauresque
Suite algerienne, Op. 60: III. Reverie du soir
Suite algerienne, Op. 60: IV. Marche militaire francaise
La princesse jaune (The Yellow Princess), Op. 30: Overture
La princesse jaune (The Yellow Princess), Op. 30: Outsou Semisi Kamini (Utsu Semisi Kamini) - (Lena)
La princesse jaune (The Yellow Princess), Op. 30: J'aime dans son lointain mystere (I love the distant mystery) - (Kornelis)
La princesse jaune (The Yellow Princess), Op. 30: Je faisais un reve insense (I have dreamt a foolish dream) - (Lena)
La princesse jaune (The Yellow Princess), Op. 30: Vision dont mon ame eprise (Vision, whose voice my loving heart pursues) - (Kornelis)
La princesse jaune (The Yellow Princess), Op. 30: Ah! Quel nuage d'or (Ah! what golden cloud) - (Kornelis, Lena, chorus)
La princesse jaune (The Yellow Princess), Op. 30: C'est ainsi que ton image (Thus, o pure beauty to whom my love belongs) - (Lena)
La princesse jaune (The Yellow Princess), Op. 30: Ce doux mot qu'ignorant de moi-meme (Sweet words that I have not understood) (Kornelis)

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