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

2021
57,473reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

 

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 







Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
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

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews

Love-violin-NI6428
Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

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

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


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 Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

 

 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Danse bacchanale from Samson et Delilah, Op 47 [6:52]
Le Rouet d’Omphale, 31 [8:01]
Phaëton, Op 39 [8:29]
Danse macabre, Op 40 [6:44]
La Jeunesse d’Hercule, Op 50 [14:06]
Suite algérienne, Op 60 No 4, March militaire française [4:18]
La Princesse Jaune, overture, Op 30 [6:00]
Une nuit à Lisbonne, Op 63 [3:43]
Spartacus [13:04]
Marche du couronnement, Op 117 [6:23]
Maya Iwabuchi (violin) (Danse macabre)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Neeme Järvi
rec. 14-15 September 2011, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Scotland
CHANDOS SACD CHSA5104 [77:36]

This Neeme Järvi-led program of Saint-Saëns orchestral highlights is vintage Järvi: precisely drilled, with exceptional rhythm and a multitude of true rarities, but missing the last degree of romantic passion. Saint-Saëns is not a composer I associated with this conductor before, but he largely defies expectations. This is certainly not Camille-meets-Prokofiev.
 
The main feature of this album is its eclecticism: you won’t have heard the extended overture Spartacus, in all likelihood (there’s a BIS CD), nor Une nuit à Lisbonne, nor the exceedingly rare Marche du couronnement. We can’t really pretend these represent Saint-Saëns at his most inspired, but some of them are worth noting: Spartacus might have nothing on Khachaturian, but the opening is surprisingly chromatic, even jarring, and the overture to La Princesse jaune is a fine bit of impressionism graced with a wonderful cor anglais solo and a surprisingly catchy piccolo tune. The general impression one has is of Saint-Saëns as an heir to Berlioz: think of Béatrice et Bénédict, in which the older composer combined his own smooth, eccentric melodies with an elegant French style and classical-era grace. A lot of the second half of this CD is like that, so you’ll be disappointed if you expect more frenetic, loud merriment like the Bacchanale.
 
Speaking of the Bacchanale, this one, as implied earlier, has all the notes in the right places and is played extremely well by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, thanks in part to the “French lessons” they took under Stéphane Denève. It conveys the thrust of the excitement, but there’s something missing. Maybe it’s abandon: Järvi refuses to go wild. He wants to, perhaps, but cannot. This restraint makes the Danse macabre rather unthreatening - compare to Bernstein, where even the harp is a terror - although Maya Iwabuchi contributes deliciously demonic solo violin work. The tone poems Le Rouet d’Omphale and Phaëton are done with elegance and style; Phaëton is a frustrating near-classic which has fallen off concert programs because all the good stuff is at the beginning and then it continually gets slower and softer.
 
I think the summary is of a rather mixed achievement: Neeme Järvi has accumulated an interesting, unusual program of hits and obscurities, some of which are available nowhere else; the Royal Scottish National Orchestra plays with its usual excellence and in wonderfully clear, realistic sound quality; and the feeling of ‘Frenchness’ and classical elegance is hard to beat. That said, I would have appreciated a little more mania and madness. I guess the bottom line is that this is vintage Järvi, but I sometimes wish it had been Beecham or Bernstein instead.
 
Brian Reinhart 

Previous reviews: Dan Morgan and Brian Wilson