Saint-Saëns: Works for Piano & Orchestra Alexandre Kantorow, Tapiola Sinfonietta & Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Composer: Charles Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)
- Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921): Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22, R. 190:
- 1Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22, R. 190: I. Andante sostenuto12:30
- 2Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22, R. 190: II. Allegro scherzando05:48
- 3Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22, R. 190: III. Presto06:12
- Wedding Cake, Op. 76, R. 124:
- 4Saint-Saëns: Wedding Cake, Op. 76, R. 12405:53
- Allegro appassionato in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 70, R. 37:
- 5Saint-Saëns: Allegro appassionato in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 70, R. 3706:02
- Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 17, R. 185:
- 6Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 17, R. 185: I. Andante11:45
- 7Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 17, R. 185: II. Andante sostenuto, quasi adagio08:04
- 8Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 17, R. 185: III. Allegro con fuoco06:41
- Rhapsodie d'Auvergne, Op. 73, R. 201:
- 9Saint-Saëns: Rhapsodie d'Auvergne, Op. 73, R. 20109:58
- Africa, Op. 89, R. 204:
- 10Saint-Saëns: Africa, Op. 89, R. 20410:17
Info for Saint-Saëns: Works for Piano & Orchestra
In 2019, Alexandre and Jean-Jacques Kantorow’s recording of the last three piano concertos by Camille Saint-Saëns earned the highest praise around the world, including a Diapason d’or de l’année, Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and top marks and recommendations from the leading German web sites Klassik Heute and Klassik.com. The Kantorows’ orchestra of choice was the Finnish ensemble Tapiola Sinfonietta, and they have now returned to Helsinki to record not only Saint-Saëns’ first two concertos, but all of the remaining works for piano and orchestra.
Presented on this amply filled disc, the programme spans 33 years, the earliest work being Concerto No. 1, regarded as the first significant French piano concerto and written by a 23-year old composer. Ten years later, in 1868, Saint-Saëns composed the Concerto in G minor, a work which at first met with consternation although Liszt – who was present at the first performance – thoroughly approved of it. The work, which begins with the soloist playing what resembles the improvisations of an organist, soon became popular however, and remains one of Saint-Saëns’ best-known works. The shorter pieces which make up the rest of the programme were written between 1884 and 1891, and could be said to erveal different aspects of the composer: Wedding Cake was written as a wedding present to a close friend, in Rhapsodie d’Auvergne Saint-Saeëns explored French folk music, while Africa is a piece of pure Orientalism, reflecting his lasting affection for North Africa.
Alexandre Kantorow, piano
Jean-Jacques Kantorow, conductor
Having brought out his first CD last year to critical acclaim, Alexandre has released his second, on the BIS label, that onsist of three of Liszt’s piano concertos, recorded in Finland with the Tapiola Sinfonietta under his father, conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow.
Alexandre has been performing these concertos live as part of his international concert schedule, taking in Osaka, Japan, under Augustin Dumay, and Taipei, Taiwan. He’ll also be playing other pieces by Liszt nearer to home, on tour with the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire.
France gets a new concert hall this year, in the form of the much anticipated Philharmonie de Paris, and Alexandre has performed Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy there as part of the inaugural season.
Brahms is another of Alexandre’s favourite composers, and he is looking forward to performing his Piano Concerto No. 2 early in the year.
Born in Paris in 1997, Alexandre fits his many professional engagements around his studies at the Paris Conservatoire, under Franck Braley. A full-time career as a soloist beckons, but Alexandre still enjoys performing with other musicians too. LAst summer, for example, he’ll be playing chamber music at festivals in France, as well as performing Addinsell’s film music the Warsaw Concerto, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in its original version with jazz band.