Camille Saint-Saens - Cello Concertos - Natalie Clein, Andrew Manze, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Сomposer: Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
Artist: Natalie Clein, Andrew Manze, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Title: The Romantic Cello Concerto Vol. 5
Label: © Hyperion Records
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Duration: 59 minutes 48 seconds
Recorded: June 2013 at City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, Scotland
Natalie Clein adds a remarkable collection of Saint-Saëns’ music for cello and orchestra to her impressive discography. Clein first came to prominence when she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year award in 1994; it is appropriate that she performs the music of an extraordinary child prodigy.
The first cello concerto has always been one of Saint-Saëns’ most popular pieces, Casals choosing it for his London debut in 1905. It is a gloriously playful piece that carries the listener along on a melodic and emotional rollercoaster, from the jaunty opening to the eloquence of the second movement minuet, with a persistent yearning threading its way throughout. The second concerto will be less familiar to listeners. The soloist for whom it was written, Joseph Hollman, was an energetic, muscular player and Saint-Saëns seems here to turn his back on the suave style of the first concerto. When Saint-Saëns’ pupil and friend Gabriel Fauré chose the concerto as a Conservatoire test piece, the composer was duly grateful, but admitted ‘it will never be as well known as the first; it’s too difficult’. This it certainly is, with many solo passages, huge leaps and runs that require two staves to accommodate them, and a large amount of doublestopping. Natalie Clein meets these challenges with marvellous technique, musicianship and the passion for which she has become so well known.
This is a first-class recording, the fifth in Hyperion's series of Romantic cello concertos. Anybody wanting both Saint-Saëns's Cello Concertos and La muse et le poète really doesn't need to look any further. Natalie Clein is a comprehensively gifted player who performs these pieces with an ideal combination of warm-hearted expressiveness and astonishing technical agility. She also demonstrates a rare understanding of how the solo instrument is often woven into Saint-Saëns's beautifully written orchestral textures. And here, again, this release scores very highly. Andrew Manze and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra are the most imaginative and sensitive partners: alert to every detail of the faster music and most delicately poised in passages like the slow central section of the First Cello Concerto.
This is much the better known of the two, but Clein and Manze make just as convincing a case for the later Second Concerto, composed in 1902: this is a very different work, much more rugged and muscular, making formidable demands on the soloist. Clein plays it with all the requisite vigour and virtuosity and Manze and his orchestra are outstanding partners.
The other large work on this disc is the single-movement double concerto for violin, cello and orchestra composed by Saint-Saëns in 1909. Originally a piano trio, it was reworked by Saint-Saëns as what he described as a 'conversation' between the two soloists, written as a memorial to Mme Henry Caruette. The title was an invention be Saint-Saëns's publisher Jacques Durand to encourage sales. What matters is that it is a beautiful piece, tender, lyrical and often haunting. The performance by Antje Weithaas and Clein is just about ideal. This extremely attractive disc also includes Saint-Saëns's own version for cello and orchestra of the Allegro appassionato and the original version of 'Le cygne' (the only movement from Le carnaval des animaux that Saint-Saens would allow to be published during his lifetime).
Fascinating notes by Roger Nichols enhance this release and the recording is excellent, with a good balance between soloist(s) and orchestra. This is a most attractive disc in every way. The alternative RCA version of the three main works on this disc with Steven Isserlis (and Joshua Bell in La muse et le poète) is cheaper and features some superb solo playing, but the new Hyperion disc is in better sound and it has the benefit of Manze's finely shaped accompaniments as well as Clein's distinctive musical personality. Warmly recommended. --Nigel Simeone, International Record Review
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
Cello Concerto No 1 in A minor Op 33
1 Allegro non troppo[5'53]
2 Allegretto con moto –[5'02]
3 Tempo primo[8'53]
Cello Concerto No 2 in D minor Op 119
4 Movement 1: Allegro moderato e maestoso – Andante sostenuto[11'27]
5 Movement 2: Allegro non troppo – Cadenza – Tempo 1 – Molto allegro[6'26]
6 La muse et le poète Op 132[15'39]
Antje Weithaas (violin), Natalie Clein (cello), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Manze (conductor)
7 Allegro appassionato Op 43[3'57]
Natalie Clein (cello), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Manze (conductor)
8 Le cygne (No 13 of Le carnaval des animaux)[2'31]
Natalie Clein (cello), Julia Lynch (piano), Judith Keaney (piano)
Natalie Clein cello
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Manze conductor
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