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Saint-Saëns: Symphonies, Vol. 2 - Symphony no 3 "Organ"; Symphony in A major; Le rouet d'Omphale, Op. 31 / Malmo SO, Soustrot

Album Summary

>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Symphony no 3 in C minor, Op. 78 "Organ"
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Symphony in A major
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Le rouet d'Omphale, Op. 31
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Inspired by Liszt, to whose memory the work is dedicated, Camille Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3, with its inclusion of organ and piano, broke new ground. For the composer this work represented 'the progress made in modern instrumentation', the end result being both spectacular and grandiose. By contrast the Symphony in A, his first completed symphony and a youthful piece, fully reveals his admiration for Mozart, whilst Le rouet d'Omphale, dating from the 1870s, is an impressively atmospheric tone poem. Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 are available on 8.573138.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
The organs aside, both of the organ symphonies are very nicely done. I found the Malm playing a little more expressive.

The filler pieces on the two discs show different aspects of the composer. Soustrot is in the midst of recording all the Saint-Saens orchestral works. (Symphonies 1 & 2 were reviewed by me last issue.) Here the extras are one of the tone poems, Le Rouet d'Omphale, written on a mythological legend of Queen Omphale and Hercules (1872), and the Symphony in A. This is his earliest completed symphony (1850), which joins several symphonic fragments before the first numbered symphony appeared as Opus 2 in 1855. (The other unnumbered symphony, Urbs Roma, comes from 1856.) Given the age of the composer, the symphony is a remarkable piece, reminiscent of Mendelssohn, early Schubert, and Mozart (particularly the main theme of the Jupiter finale).

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Malmö Concert Hall, Malmö, Sweden (08/26/2013-08/30/2013).



Reviews

"Half a League Onward"
Some 36 years separate the Symphony in A Major and the so-called Organ Symphony or Symphony No. 3, Saint-Saens undisputed masterpiece. The Symphony in A Major is cast in the standard 4 movement format and scored accordingly. Considering the fact that it was composed by a teenager is remarkable in its own right. The level of maturity and craftsmanship exhibited in its writing make it all the more extraordinary. The sundry influences are readily apparent. On balance this is a very attractive composition. Maestro Soustrot and the Malmo S.O. turn in a stylish performance. Its a viable alternative to the classic Martinon/lO.R.T.F. version which is unexcelled in terms of lightness of touch and transparency of texture. The Symphony No. 3 is up against formidable competition. The first movement is quite good: impassioned, pliant and muscular. The Larghetto is somewhat compromised by a slower than usual tempo, depriving the music of its full measure of elegance and songful simplicity. Following an energetic Scherzo with strangely reticent tympani, percussion and piano, Maestro Soustrot and the orchestra really let it rip. No fussing or lingering here. You can clearly hear the conductor exhorting his colleagues onward, much like Errol Flynn in Charge of the Light Brigade but with more positive results. The well judged accelerando in the coda culminates in an exciting finale. Throughout, the virtual pipe organ software, Hauptwerk, activated by a Hoffrichter console is a credible facsimile. Not the last word in Organ Symphonies, but a good one which more often than not rises to the challenges posed by this great work. Le rouet dOmphale, a Beecham specialty, receives a nicely articulated reading, convincingly paced and shaped. Sound and production are excellent. Superb liner notes by Keith Anderson.




Submitted on 05/08/15 by Allen Cohen 
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Works Details

>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Symphony no 3 in C minor, Op. 78 "Organ"
  • Performer: Carl Landstrom (Organ)
  • Conductor: Marc Soustrot
  • Ensemble: Malmo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Malmö Concert Hall, Malmö, Sweden (08/26/2013-08/30/2013)
  • Running Time: 36 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1886

>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Symphony in A major
  • Conductor: Marc Soustrot
  • Notes: Malmö Concert Hall, Malmö, Sweden (08/26/2013-08/30/2013)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1850

>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Le rouet d'Omphale, Op. 31
  • Conductor: Marc Soustrot
  • Notes: Malmö Concert Hall, Malmö, Sweden (08/26/2013-08/30/2013)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1872