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Saint-Saëns: Music for Wind Instruments

Audio Samples

>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Caprice on Danish and Russian Airs for Piano and Winds, Op. 79
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in E flat major, Op. 167
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Sonata for Oboe and Piano in D major, Op. 166
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Sonata for bassoon & piano, in G major, Op. 168
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Romance for horn & piano in E major, Op. 67 (from Suite for cello & piano)
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Tarantella for Flute, Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 6

Album Summary

>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Caprice on Danish and Russian Airs for Piano and Winds, Op. 79
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in E flat major, Op. 167
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Sonata for Oboe and Piano in D major, Op. 166
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Sonata for bassoon & piano, in G major, Op. 168
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Romance for horn & piano in E major, Op. 67 (from Suite for cello & piano)
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Tarantella for Flute, Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 6
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

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.

"...performances that encapsulate the Gallic charm and finesse of the music. At the same time, the Oboe Sonata's mix of the pastoral and the perky is nicely established, as is the blend of warmth and bravura in the Clarinet Sonata...The unifying feature of this programme is the excellently judged piano playing of Stéphane Lemelin, who adds a discerning range of colour and spirit to the performances" -Gramophone Magazine (Editor's Choice - March 2011)

"A very enjoyable release...one graced by virtuoso, characterful and committed playing from the members of Canada's National Arts Centre Wind Quintet, and with some notable teamwork when required. The recording in its clarity and immediacy serves the music and performers admirably." -International Record Review

Fanfare
Players of Canada's National Arts Centre Wind Quintet are Joanna G'froerer, flute; Charles Hamann, oboe; Christopher Millard, bassoon; Kimball Sykes, clarinet; and Lawrence Vine, horn. They are joined by pianist Stéphane Lemelin. Performances and recording are excellent. For those who prefer their Saint-Saëns in smaller doses and at budget prices, this Naxos release is easily recommended.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada (06/07/2008-06/09/2008).



Reviews

Light, attractive wind music from Saint-Saens gets fresh treatments!
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 on Danish and Russian Airs" for flute, oboe, clarinet and piano. This is a very nice, short, foray into simple melodies given plain, but pretty, settings and the result is quite enjoyable. Clarinetist, Kimball Sykes, does a very fine job on the "Clarinet Sonata in Eb". This is one of the staples of the performing clarinetist repertory, and has been recorded and performed hundreds of times. Compliments to Mr. Sykes for not playing the finale needlessly fast (as sometimes happens) and to Mr. Lemelin for given the Lento the weight and the ponderous, strangely disconnected feel that it sometimes lacks. The "Oboe Sonata in D" is a well known piece among oboists and is almost 'Baroque' in its character. Charles Hamann plays it with charm and lilt. On to the "Bassoon Sonata in G", not quite as well known as the clarinet and oboe. The piece opens with a beautiful, then spritely, tone and the last movement does sound oddly plaintive and reflective before a final fluorish. Christopher Millard gives this work, one of Saint-Saen's last, a warm, sensitive reading. This disc closes with two more seldom heard gems. The "Romance" for horn and piano is brief and very pretty with a very interesting piano part. Lawrence Vine plays with a beautiful tone and a warm, calm approach. The "Tarantella" for flute, clarinet and piano was, apparently, originally written for flute, clarinet and string orchestra. This is a very early Saint-Saens work that captures the feel of the Italian dance form but still sounds "French". I do strongly recommend this disc either as one of "the choices" for any of the sonatas or for the charming compilation all on one disc that it is.
Submitted on 01/03/11 by Dan Coombs 
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Works Details

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Caprice on Danish and Russian Airs for Piano and Winds, Op. 79
  • Performers: Kimball Sykes (Clarinet); Joanna G'froerer (Flute); Charles Hamann (Oboe); Stéphane Lemelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada (06/07/2008-06/09/2008)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1887

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in E flat major, Op. 167
  • Performer: Kimball Sykes (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada (06/07/2008-06/09/2008)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1921

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Sonata for Oboe and Piano in D major, Op. 166
  • Performer: Charles Hamann (Oboe)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada (06/07/2008-06/09/2008)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1921

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Sonata for bassoon & piano, in G major, Op. 168
  • Performer: Christopher Millard (Bassoon)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada (06/07/2008-06/09/2008)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1921

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Romance for horn & piano in E major, Op. 67 (from Suite for cello & piano)
  • Performers: Lawrence Vine (Horn); Stéphane Lemelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada (06/07/2008-06/09/2008)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1885

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Tarantella for Flute, Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 6
  • Performers: Kimball Sykes (Clarinet); Joanna G'froerer (Flute); Stéphane Lemelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada (06/07/2008-06/09/2008)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1857