Author Topic: Camille Saint-Saëns  (Read 49270 times)

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Offline Scion7

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #180 on: August 27, 2017, 02:51:59 PM »
Glad you approve of his work.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline kyjo

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #181 on: October 25, 2017, 10:28:04 AM »
I was recently listening to all the Saint-Saëns piano concertos (with Rogé/Dutoit on Decca)- they're such delightful, engaging, and surprising works from beginning to end. I think they're all pretty much of equal quality, though no. 2 is the most often-played by a considerable margin, nos. 4 and 5 are played every once in a while, and nos. 1 and 3 are hardly played at all. Here are my impressions of each:

1: An absolutely delightful work. The outer movements are bright and energetic (with a memorable recurring horn-call motor in the first), but the slow movement is strikingly inward and eschews the sentimentality that one would expect from a slow movement of the time.

2: A grand, Bachian first movement, a skittering scherzo (with its catchy cello tune), and a headstrong finale.

3: Like the 1st, a very underrated work. The first movement has a motto theme that recalls that of Schubert's "Great" C major symphony. The slow movement is profoundly poetic, and the thrilling finale starts off with a startlingly chromatic introduction.

4: Like the 2nd, an ingeniously structured work. The second (final) movement has that hymn-like "big tune" that I can never get out of my head after I listen.

5: The first movement is decidedly restrained, but the extraordinary second movement is anything but. From its gripping, rhythmically complex opening through the lovely "Nubian love song" second theme, this movement is a masterpiece in itself. The energetic third movement is hugely entertaining.

Who else here loves Saint-Saëns' PCs?
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Christo

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #182 on: October 25, 2017, 10:40:55 AM »
Who else here loves Saint-Saëns' PCs?

I do, all of them - but the 'Egyptian' (No. 5) always held a special place for me.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #183 on: October 25, 2017, 10:43:21 AM »
4: The second (final) movement has that hymn-like "big tune" that I can never get out of my head after I listen.

I love it.

Sarge
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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #184 on: October 25, 2017, 02:13:24 PM »
Listened to the String Quartet No.2 the other day. Mmm... it's quite light. I'm not sure how fond I was of it. It was definitely the shred of the ghost of the Romantic Era, a pale, non-offensive, yet somewhat bland perfection that just didn't grab me.


I'm checking out his final works, the three sonatas, for clarinet, oboe, and bassoon. Already, I found nothing much that I could bite onto in the Bassoon Sonata, amiable as it is. Perhaps I look for things in SS that just aren't there?

I did enjoy the Violin Sonata No.1 in d-minor, though... Midori?...


Aaaand, this time around I snoozed at the 'Danse Macabre', OH NOES!!...


What are your Top SS Guilty Pleasures?? (haven't listened to the Sym3 in decades, forget what it sounds like)

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #185 on: October 25, 2017, 02:17:30 PM »
What are your Top SS Guilty Pleasures??

Nothing to be guilty of. I like his music unashamedly. He's a superb composer.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline kyjo

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #186 on: October 25, 2017, 02:58:38 PM »
Nothing to be guilty of. I like his music unashamedly. He's a superb composer.

+1 He's an unfairly maligned composer and his music has more depth than it's given credit for IMO.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #187 on: October 25, 2017, 05:23:16 PM »
+1 He's an unfairly maligned composer and his music has more depth than it's given credit for IMO.

+2 He’s simply remarkable. Love this man’s music!
Don’t forget your three A’s, folks: Arnie, Alban and Anton!


Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #188 on: October 25, 2017, 05:31:46 PM »
If I still listened to post-1830 music, I would definitely go back and listen to my rather extensive Saint-Saëns collection again. I have nearly all his chamber music, and quite a lot of orchestral too. Unlike Snipps, I found his (rarely recorded) string quartets to be quite interesting, surprisingly dissonant for a composer who was normally mainly consonant. Oh well, different tastes. :)

8)
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #189 on: October 26, 2017, 01:57:28 AM »
He is underrated and famous mostly for a very odd selection of his vast oeuvre. Obviously he was extremely gifted and put out a lot of stuff, so there are quite a few works that are somewhat fluffy.

-The violin sonatas are both very good; the first is more famous (and together with Franck's and Fauré's a possible inspiration for the famous Proust reference).

- The 3rd violin concerto is also justly famous (the others are shorter pieces but also worth listening to).

-A very funny piece that sounds almost neoclassical is the sextet with trumpet
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline kyjo

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #190 on: October 30, 2017, 04:49:20 PM »
He is underrated and famous mostly for a very odd selection of his vast oeuvre.

Totally agree - it seems strange to me that he is only known through a select few works when there are so many gems scattered throughout his output (it's a similar situation with Dvorak). Take his two cello concerti for instance - the first is nearly ubiquitous and rather overplayed, while the equally fine (if not finer) second is hardly played at all. Another work of his I think is quite underrated is his Piano Trio no. 2, which has the most magical opening and gorgeous (thought all too brief) slow movement. Also, his Cello Sonata no. 1 is a wonderful, passionate work which is hardly ever played.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #191 on: October 30, 2017, 05:37:43 PM »
Listened to the String Quartet No.2 the other day. Mmm... it's quite light. I'm not sure how fond I was of it. It was definitely the shred of the ghost of the Romantic Era, a pale, non-offensive, yet somewhat bland perfection that just didn't grab me.


I'm checking out his final works, the three sonatas, for clarinet, oboe, and bassoon. Already, I found nothing much that I could bite onto in the Bassoon Sonata, amiable as it is. Perhaps I look for things in SS that just aren't there?

I did enjoy the Violin Sonata No.1 in d-minor, though... Midori?...


Aaaand, this time around I snoozed at the 'Danse Macabre', OH NOES!!...


What are your Top SS Guilty Pleasures?? (haven't listened to the Sym3 in decades, forget what it sounds like)

Here is a very fine indeed performance of the 3rd symphony.
[flash-425,350]https://www.youtube.com/v/DiqXgZVHePw[/flash]

But you have hit on something I think that those who do not care, or actual detractors, do need to know:
There is not one scrap of music -- from the fluffiest Wedding Cake, Caprice-Valse to his more/most earnest (Requiem (yes, he wrote one), Symphony no. 3) penned by Saint-Saëns that is not impeccably crafted.

Wedding Cake, Caprice-Valse
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiqXgZVHePw
Requiem
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDJhAtt7oBA

While, as the drift of your feelings towards nearly any or all his music, "That and the fare gets you on the bus."
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline amw

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #192 on: October 30, 2017, 06:48:56 PM »
My only problem with Saint-Saëns is that sometimes he tries to be serious and it doesn't work that well for me usually. I quite like a lot of the fluff and some of the larger works (the Piano Concerto No.5 is great for instance) but for whatever reason it's hard for me to take e.g. the Symphony No.3 or the sacred music seriously. All the chamber music I've heard is quite nice though.

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #193 on: October 30, 2017, 10:20:20 PM »
I've also been listening to his Piano Concerti. I listened to the Roge/Dutoit recording of the first, and now the Ciccolini/Baudo recording of the second. In the latter work it is remarkable how the almost Bachian opening flows into a 19th century concerto. Works of very high quality, and elegance, refreshingly lacking the overwrought quality that screams "profundity" in the warhorses of the time. I'm enjoying it a lot.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 10:34:08 PM by Scarpia »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #194 on: October 31, 2017, 07:51:09 AM »
I've also been listening to his Piano Concerti. I listened to the Roge/Dutoit recording of the first, and now the Ciccolini/Baudo recording of the second. In the latter work it is remarkable how the almost Bachian opening flows into a 19th century concerto. Works of very high quality, and elegance, refreshingly lacking the overwrought quality that screams "profundity" in the warhorses of the time. I'm enjoying it a lot.

Indeed. His piano concerti are quite fine. They’re certainly much more to my tastes than Liszt’s, Tchaikovsky’s, or Brahms’ PCs, but these particular concerti do have their own merits.
Don’t forget your three A’s, folks: Arnie, Alban and Anton!


Parsifal

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #195 on: November 01, 2017, 05:32:02 AM »
Listened to the second piano concerto again. An interesting structure, where the first movement has the general form and function of a traditional concerto opening allegro, but with the somber mood and tempo of a slow middle movement. This allows the second movement to be a scherzo, followed by the expected finale. A finely crafted and moving work. Ciccolini gives a fine performance.

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #196 on: November 03, 2017, 07:06:50 AM »
I know S-S 2 preceded it by decades, but it's a similar structure in some ways to Shostakovich's 6th Symphony. Slow movt. first, then a scherzo, then an even faster finale.

snyprrr

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns STILL TRYING
« Reply #197 on: November 03, 2017, 04:24:47 PM »
I listened to the 'Egyptian' PC... mm,... ok,... I was actually expecting just a little bit more, but, let me just say that I do not dislike CSS; this onr all the e didn't hit like I thought, after all the raves on this Page.

Maybe I need to find that Cello Concerto that'spaired with the Schumann...


...also didn't really care for the 'Carnivalof the Animals"


wow, my typings bad :(

snyprrr

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Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Reply #198 on: November 03, 2017, 06:17:31 PM »
If I still listened to post-1830 music, I would definitely go back and listen to my rather extensive Saint-Saëns collection again. I have nearly all his chamber music, and quite a lot of orchestral too. Unlike Snipps, I found his (rarely recorded) string quartets to be quite interesting, surprisingly dissonant for a composer who was normally mainly consonant. Oh well, different tastes. :)

8)

I'm curious as to your opinion here, based on your statement above, and our discussions in the HIP SQ arena, and such,... I feel that these SQs are like the "End of the End", almost in a 'Death in Venice kind of way... but it's hard for me to find any irony. I only listened to No.2 the other day.

Do you know where generally you found this surprising dissonance?Because I was like, whew, I thought there was gonna be at least a glimmer of dissonance but was struck by how typical everything sounded, as if no time has passed between Saint-Saens's childhood and his old maturity. I'm not saying I thought it sounded like old granny music, buuuut...... I heard no WWI echoes...


'll chk No.1 again...



WHAT ARE HIS THREE PERFECT CHAMBER WORKS?

snyprrr

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OK, I've now found the perfect music, and it was written by Saint-Saens...
« Reply #199 on: November 06, 2017, 07:59:23 AM »
Clarinet Sonata


I had commented on how I didn't find the typeof modern yearing in SS's other two Late Sonatas (oboe and bassoon), but, then when I reacquainted myself this Clarinet Sonata, from the very first phrase I knew I had arrived at the MostPerfectWork...

I mean, wait,.. where have I heard this melody before? Certainly it is more famous than this Sonata??

Anyhow, here we have the SS that I love, the one of the Cello Concerto,...


seeking some other Masterpieces now...