Saint-Saëns, C.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 3: Character Pieces

Artists

Geoffrey Burleson, piano

Tracks

6 Bagatelles, Op. 3

1. Poco sostenuto [2:29]
2. Allegro animato quasi presto [3:10]
3. Poco adagio [2:59]
4. Moderato assai [2:10]
5. Allegro molto [4:10]
6. Poco sostenuto [5:56]

Album, Op. 72

7. Prelude [3:26]
8. Carillon [4:26]
9. Toccata [2:19]
10. Valse [4:37]
11. Chanson Napolitaine [3:49]
12. Final [5:25]

Rhapsodie d'Auvergne, Op. 73

13. Rhapsodie d'Auvergne, Op. 73 [9:53]

Caprice sur des airs de Ballet d'Alceste de Gluck

14. Caprice sur des airs de Ballet d'Alceste de Gluck [12:03]

Les cloches du soir in E-flat Major, Op. 85

15. Les cloches du soir in E-flat Major, Op. 85 [3:14]

Romance sans Paroles

16. Romance sans Paroles [2:04]

Feuillet d'Album in A-flat Major, Op. 169

17. Feuillet d'Album in A-flat Major, Op. 169 [3:04]

Total Playing Time: 01:15:14

About Saint-Saëns, C.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 3: Character Pieces

Saint-Saëns’s first published works for piano were the vivid and characterful Six Bagatelles, Op 3. Album, Op 72 dates from his mid-career and teems with rich colours and textures—haunting and exciting alike. Elsewhere, in this third volume of the Complete Piano Music, we find the richly evocative tone poem Rhapsodie d’Auvergne, paraphrases, and some delicious encores.

"In the Op. 3 Bagatelles you hear the influence of Schumann, in writing as colourful as it is pianistically adroit.  The Op. 72 Album offers music of a fuller, more advanced idiom, with the shadow of Liszt in his later dark-hued manner hanging over 'Carillon' and with an elegant 'Valse' to follow.  The Rhapsodie d'Auvergne fizzes with energy after its folksong start and the ambitious 1867 Caprice has a notably witty finish.  Yet arguably the most personal voice is found in Les cloches du soir and in the concluding Feuillet d'album.  All of this music is played with verve and commitment by Burleson."
-Bryce Morrison, Gramophone

Saint-Saëns, C.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 3:  Character Pieces - Naxos, Catalogue No: GP609, released on 11/2012

Naxos, Catalogue No: GP609, released on 11/2012

Order online: "Saint-Saëns, C.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 3: Character Pieces"

Praise for Saint-Saëns, C.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 3: Character Pieces

In the Op. 3 Bagatelles you hear the influence of Schumann, in writing as colourful as it is pianistically adroit.  The Op. 72 Album offers music of a fuller, more advanced idiom, with the shadow of Liszt in his later dark-hued manner hanging over 'Carillon' and with an elegant 'Valse' to follow.  The Rhapsodie d'Auvergne fizzes with energy after its folksong start and the ambitious 1867 Caprice has a notably witty finish.  Yet arguably the most personal voice is found in Les cloches du soir and in the concluding Feuillet d'album.  All of this music is played with verve and commitment by Burleson.

-Bryce Morrison, Gramophone

On this volume, Saint-Saëns shows himself in every moment to exhibit the great craft of the composer and pianist who was admired by Liszt.  Geoffrey Burleson overcomes the difficulties of formidably demanding scores, playing at the same time leggerio and con fuoco.  To the great credit of this American pianist is his scintillatingly and never overly-dry staccato, a nuanced palette, and a variety of accents.  The Album, Op. 72, alternates virtuosic bursts (Prélude), ample space and expressive atmosphere (Carillon), and a fearsome Toccata.  A clear and vivid interpretation throughout. 

-Bertrand Boissard, Diapason (France)