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Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 27 - Saint-Saëns / Oramo, Hough

Album Summary

>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Concerto for Piano no 1 in D major, Op. 17
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Concerto for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Concerto for Piano no 3 in E flat major, Op. 29
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Wedding Cake for Piano and String Orchestra in A flat major, Op. 76
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Concerto for Piano no 4 in C minor, Op. 44
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Concerto for Piano no 5 in F major, Op. 103 "Egyptian"
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Rhapsodie d'Auvergne for Piano and Orchestra in C major, Op. 73
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Allegro appassionato, for piano (also with orchestra ad lib) in C sharp minor, Op. 70
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Africa, Op. 89
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"...Few non-French pianists have managed to make the whole range of Saint-Saens's works their own. Where Hough succeeds is in both the depth of expression he brings to the music's Romanticism and the energy with which he effortlessly traverses the passages where there seem to be more notes than music... The accompaniments from the CBSO under Sakari Oramo are handsomely played..." ***** -BBC Music

'Superlative' (The Independent)

'Superb' (The Guardian)

'A delightful set that does this underrated composer full credit' (Classic FM Magazine)

'It is unalloyed pleasure to sit through all five at a sitting... the quite outstanding pianism of Stephen Hough makes this an unmissable addition to anyone remotely interested in the barnstorming, physically exhilarating concertos of the late nineteenth century' (International Record Review)

'Superb... Hough's new set in Hyperion's outstanding Romantic Piano Concerto series sweeps the board' (The Guardian)

'Marvellous performances, full of joy, vigour and sparkle. The recording is in the demonstration bracket and this Hyperion set includes no fewer than four encores. An easy first choice' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
If Saint-Saëns's idiom once answered - and maybe still does - to qualities fundamental to the French musical character, it must be said straight away that Hough sounds the complete insider. He commands the range of the big statements, whatever their character, as well as sparkle and panache, a sense of drama and seemingly inexhaustible stamina; and he can charm. Yet perhaps most delightful is the lightness and clarity of his decorative playing.

It's a bonus for the virtuoso passages not to sound hectic or overblown - for Saint-Saëns, virtuosity always had an expressive potential. There's an air of manufacture about the writing sometimes, certainly, but as Hough knows, there must be nothing mechanical in its delivery.

Sweeping across the keyboard, dipping and soaring through the teaming notes, he flies like a bird. He manages to convey what makes these pieces tick: fine workmanship, fantasy, colour, and the various ways Saint-Saëns was so good at combining piano and orchestra. The orchestra has plenty to do. These scores are textbooks of lean but firm orchestration from which at least one major French composer learned (Ravel, another eclectic, who must have seen the 'old bear' as a kindred spirit). The days are past when the CBSO under Louis Frémaux was considered Britain's 'French' orchestra, but with Sakari Oramo it does splendidly here, playing alertly with its inspiring soloist as he does with it (another plus). The recording balances are fine, with lovely piano sound and plenty of orchestral detail in natural-sounding perspectives.



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Works Details

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Concerto for Piano no 1 in D major, Op. 17
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Ensemble: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1858

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Concerto for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Ensemble: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1868

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Concerto for Piano no 3 in E flat major, Op. 29
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Ensemble: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1869

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Wedding Cake for Piano and String Orchestra in A flat major, Op. 76
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Ensemble: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1885

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Concerto for Piano no 4 in C minor, Op. 44
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Ensemble: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 24 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1875

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Concerto for Piano no 5 in F major, Op. 103 "Egyptian"
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Ensemble: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 27 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1896

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Rhapsodie d'Auvergne for Piano and Orchestra in C major, Op. 73
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Ensemble: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 9 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1884

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Allegro appassionato, for piano (also with orchestra ad lib) in C sharp minor, Op. 70
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Ensemble: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 5 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1884

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Africa, Op. 89
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Ensemble: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 1891.
  • Running Time: 9 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1891