Saint-Saëns, C.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 5: Rarities and Transcriptions

Artists

Geoffrey Burleson, piano

Tracks

1-2. 2 Bagatelles (1858)* [4:44]
3. Antwort (1866)* [3:06]
4. Fantaisie sur le Quintette de 'L'Étoile du Nord' de Meyerbeer (1858)* [4:59]
5. Valse du 'Prophète' de Meyerbeer (1857)* [5:53]
6. Fantaisie sur 'Lohengrin' de Wagner (1859) *[7:49]
7. Chœur des Derviches Tourneurs Tiré Des 'Ruines D'Athènes' de Beethoven (1869) [2:36]
8. Paraphrase sur 'Gallia' de Gounod (1871)* [8:54]
9. Scherzo sur 'Les Pécheurs de Perles' de Bizet (1886)* [9:13]
10. La Mort de Thaïs - Paraphrase de Concert sur L'Opéra de Massenet (1895)
11. Improvisation sur la Beethoven-Cantate de Liszt (1870)* [11:59]
12. Africa, Op. 89 (version for solo piano) (1891) [11:32]

*world premiere recordings

Total Playing Time: 01:18:10

About Saint-Saëns, C.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 5: Rarities and Transcriptions

The eight world premiere recordings included in this programme are played from a treasure trove of unpublished manuscripts obtained by Geoffrey Burleson from the Bibliothèque national de France, each of them filled with strong and imaginative ideas. Further virtuosic rarities by Saint-Saëns include a solo transcription of his exotic Africa for piano and orchestra, and fantasies on works by Beethoven, Gounod, Liszt, Bizet and others.

"The shape of the Saint-Saëns achieved sublime results. The mysticism of the Thaïs paraphrase came like vapor out of the famous “Méditation,” leading to Gounod’s reaction to the destruction of the Franco-Prussian War, via Saint-Saëns's Paraphrase sur 'Gallia' de Gounod.  The original, haunting choral work was transformed by Saint-Saëns into a somber, focused lamentation. Burleson had the right measure of this, channeling the emotions with a focus that gave them a richness and cutting edge."
-George Grella, New York Classical Review

 

 

Saint-Saëns, C.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 5:  Rarities and Transcriptions - Naxos, Catalogue No: GP626, released on 09/2019

Naxos, Catalogue No: GP626, released on 09/2019

Order online: "Saint-Saëns, C.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 5: Rarities and Transcriptions"

Praise for Saint-Saëns, C.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 5: Rarities and Transcriptions

"The shape of the Saint-Saëns achieved sublime results. The mysticism of the Thaïs paraphrase came like vapor out of the famous “Méditation,” leading to Gounod’s reaction to the destruction of the Franco-Prussian War, via Saint-Saëns's Paraphrase sur 'Gallia' de Gounod.  The original, haunting choral work was transformed by Saint-Saëns into a somber, focused lamentation. Burleson had the right measure of this, channeling the emotions with a focus that gave them a richness and cutting edge."
-George Grella, New York Classical Review

"It seems quite bizarre that we are still discovering works by such famous composers as Saint-Saens with eight world premiere recordings on this one disc. They form part of a treasure-trove of unpublished manuscripts residing in the Bibliotheque National de France that have been obtained by Geoffrey Burleson as part of his a researches in realising a totally comprehensive survey of the composer’s music for solo piano. We have now reached his fifth volume described as ‘Rarities and Transcriptions’, and if you think these will be mere trifles, just turn to track 4, the virtuoso Fantasy on the Quintet from Meyerbeer’s opera, L’Etoile du Nord. And so we proceed through the composer’s fascination with the theatre in his younger years that provided him with the showpieces to feed his audience’s appetite for such works on his concert tours. Likewise they now demand a performer who can produce the wealth of power and volume required to fulfil the extended Fantasy on themes from Wagner’s Lohengrin, passages seeming to require three hands, and even more so in the formidable toccata created from Beethoven’s incidental music to The Ruins of Athens. Capturing the scale and weight of Gounod’s Gallia for soloists, chorus, organ and symphony orchestra, is followed by a scherzo created from Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers with its abundant right hand decoration. A slight relaxation in the paraphrase on Massenet’s opera Thais, and the Improvisation on the work Liszt composed for the dedication of Beethoven’s Monument in Bonn. Lastly a performance of the composer’s score for piano and orchestra, Africa, a feast of technical bravura. My personal thanks to Burleson for introducing us to this wealth of music, and for his superb performances that have been so truthfully placed on disc."
-David Denton, David's Review Corner

"The eight recordings included in this program are played from a set of unpublished manuscripts obtained by pianist Geoffrey Burleson from the Bibliotheque nationale de France, each of them filled with strong and imaginative ideas"
-Hank Zauderer, My Classical Notes