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SAINT-SAENS, C.: Music for Wind Instruments - Sonatas / Romance / Tarantelle (Canada's National Arts Centre Wind Quintet, Lemelin)

Composer(s):Saint-Saens, Camille
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.570964
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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Celebrated as one of the most successful and gifted composers of his day, Saint-Saëns wrote music for woodwind instruments throughout his long career. This recording presents music from his early days as the bright young thing on the Parisian music scene to the last year of his life. Canada’s renowned National Arts Centre Wind Quintet joins Stéphane Lemelin, a laureate of the Robert Casadesus International Competition, to interpret these assured and beautiful works which combine virtuosity, gentle wit and thoroughly French charm.


Charming chamber works by Saint-Saëns, from various stages of his life
Review By MW91388,February 2011

Saint-Saëns believed his chamber works were some of the most important pieces he composed. The pieces on this disc were all composed at important times in Saint-Saëns' life, creating a contrasting (and interesting) listening experience. The Tarantella for Flute, Clarinet and Piano, the earliest work on the CD, was written when the composer was 22, and was inspired by a recent trip to Italy. Youthful and energetically melodic.

The Caprice on Danish and Russian Airs for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Piano and the Romance (arranged for horn and piano) were both written at the height of Saint-Saëns' career, during the time he wrote the Symphony No. 3 'Organ' and the Carnival of the Animals. These two pieces are more virtuosic; the first one is colorful, and each instrument is more....

Light, attractive wind music from Saint-Saens gets fresh treatments!
Review By dc92823,January 2011

This new Naxos disc featuring the members of the Canadian Arts Centre Wind Quintet offers a fresh, clean and very pleasant look at the wind music of Camille Saint-Saens. The booklet notes, by Matthew Swann, correctly point out that Saint-Saens was writing very spare, but lush, Romantic music at the same time that his contemporaries, from Debussy to Schoenberg, were to trying some bold, new things.

Saint-Saens stuck to his ideology and his belief that melody and harmony, in their traditional guises, still had (and have) plenty to offer the composer. The member of the CAC Wind Quintet perform separately and in small groupings on this disc and accompanied with sensitivity by pianist Stephane Lemelin.

The first work on the disc is a charming rarity, the "Caprice more....

Review By Dario Miozzi, Musica,September 2011

Review By Gonzalo Pérez Chamorro, Ritmo,April 2011

Sin ser una música de cámara de primera fila, algunos intérpretes excepcionales se han acercado a ella, dando la sensación de ser mucho más de lo que en principio aparenta. Alguno de esos intérpretes es Richard Stoltzman, que grabó (RCA) junto a la pianista española (?) Irma Vallecillo una maravillosa Sonata op. 167 de Saint-Saëns, que es la obra de mayor valor del catálogo de cámara con instrumentos de viento del francés. Esta no llega a la densidad de Stoltzman, pero es más que digna y abandera un disco con un nutrido grupo de obras para instrumentos de viento, como el Capricho sobre motivos daneses y rusos op. 79 (nada que ver con la versión de Postnikova

Review By Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone,March 2011

Gallic charm and exuberance in chamber works from the end of Saint-Saëns’s life

Saint-Saëns’s acute ear for the personality of particular instruments is nowhere more conspicuous than in the three sonatas that he composed in the last year of this life, 1921. These final forays into the realms of chamber music also show Saint-Saëns winnowing his style, so that, while still having recourse to the generous fund of lyricism on which he had always been able to capitalize, he now wrote with conscious economy of means.



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