MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Music for violin and piano - Volume I
Violin Sonata No 1 in D minor, Op. 75 [23:34]
Berceuse, Op. 38 [5:10]
Elégie, Op. 160 [4:41]
Elégie, Op. 143 [5:13]
Sarabande et Rigaudon, Op. 93 [8:10]
Romance, Op. 37 [6:14]
L’air de la pendule [1:05]
Triptyque, Op. 136 [13:26]
Fanny Clamagirand (violin); Vanya Cohen (piano)
rec. 13-15 June 2011, Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK
NAXOS 8.572750 [67:33]

With all the compositional trends of the past century, Camille Saint-Saëns’ popularity has wavered, and his esteem among musicologists has waned. His tuneful craftsmanship, and what you might call a blend of French elegance and emotion with Germanic formal rigor, saw him “left behind” even in his own time, as Debussy and Ravel passed him by. Even so, Saint-Saëns is still exceptional at what he does, and I’m thankful for the recent advocacy by Naxos of the composer’s chamber music. First we got the late woodwind sonatas, then the string quartets and a piano quintet (April 2013 Recording of the Month), and now the first volume of his complete violin music.
The music’s almost all first-rate. The first Violin Sonata, in D minor, is concise and carefully built, with no dead spots. Like the Organ Symphony, each set of two movements is paired and proceeds continuously. The material’s all up to the standard you’d expect from the violin concertos. At the other end of the CD is Triptyque, a very late piece in three movements which, in its central “Vision congolaise”, brings us the kind of grin-inducing exoticism which one also finds in the “Egyptian” piano concerto.
In between we have a lot of shorter works, from the unpublished L’air de la pendule, a petite melody inscribed on a clock as a gift to the King of Belgium, to two late and wonderful elegies. Fear not: the programming of a berceuse and two elegies all in a row does not result in a dull moment, unless you’re the kind of person who also can’t listen to more than three Chopin nocturnes. And the Romance in D flat, originally written for flute and orchestra, doesn’t sound like an arrangement; the kind of gently flowing accompaniment that underpins the “Swan” is paired with a melody that’s only less memorable because almost every melody is less memorable than the swan’s.
This is slated to be the first traversal of Saint-Saëns’ violin music since Philippe Graffin recorded a couple discs on Hyperion and Helios over a decade ago. Luckily for Naxos - and for us - Fanny Clamagirand is an excellent young violinist whose sweet tone, gentle vibrato, and gift for lyrical expression make her ideal for this romantic repertoire. Vanya Cohen’s accompaniments shine, too, and highlight the inventive ways that Saint-Saëns uses his main instrument. The intimate sound, featuring a beautifully-rendered violin, only seals the deal. If you liked Fanny Clamagirand’s excellent Saint-Saëns concertos album - my colleague Byzantion agrees she’s “ideal for this kind of music” - this is a natural progression; if not, grab them both.
Brian Reinhart