Soundbite 60: A sixty-word précis-review of the latest CD releases

Saint-Saëns
Danse macabre, Op.40
The Carnival of the Animals – Zoological Fantasy*
Allegro appassionato for cello and orchestra, Op.43**
Symphony No.3 in C minor, Op.78***
Samson and Delilah – Bacchanale****
John Ogdon & Brenda Lucas (pianos)*

Paul Tortelier (cello)**

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra [Christopher Robinson (organ)***]
Louis Frémaux

Orchestra of Paris Opera
Georges Prêtre****

Recordings dates and locations not documented; CBSO items produced between 1971-75 and Paris Opera taping is a 1963 production
CD No: CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 3 82233 2
Duration: 75 minutes
Reviewed: January 2007
A winning collection of Saint-Saëns favourites – Danse macabre is animated and spooky, the Carnival – ‘The Swan’ and other animals – is vividly characterised and attentive to detail and the symphony glows with warmth and vitality, the organ integrated but majestic. The recorded sound (expertly re-mastered) can be a tad distant, but all the performers appreciate Saint-Saëns’s craftsmanship and fund of invention.

 

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