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Charles Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

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Saint-Saëns & Ysaÿe: Rare transcriptions for violin & piano

Saint-Saëns & Ysaÿe: Rare transcriptions for violin & piano


Chopin:

Nocturne No. 18 in E major, Op. 62 No. 2

trans. Saint-Saëns

Nocturne No. 16 in E flat major, Op. 55 No. 2

trans. Saint-Saëns

Waltz No. 14 in E minor, Op. post., KKIVa:15, B 56

trans. Ysaÿe

Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23

trans. Ysaÿe

Saint-Saëns:

Caprice brillant

Etude en forme de valse (No. 6 from Six Études, Op. 52)

trans. Ysaÿe

Fantaisie for violin and piano after Weber's Oberon

L'air de la pendule

Fantaisie for violin & harp, Op. 124

with Catherine Beynon (harp)


Philippe Graffin (violin) & Pascal Devoyon (piano)

Philippe Graffin’s voyage of discovery researching little-known works for the violin by well-known masters has already seen a particularly well received disc of Rare French works for violin and orchestra, and now we have a disc of works for violin and piano that also emerged from his investigations. These pieces have been uncovered in private collections and various libraries, including the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

These are fascinating transcriptions by Saint-Saëns, one of the most celebrated pianists of his time, and the equally celebrated violinist Ysaÿe. Having assisted in bringing them to light, Graffin performs them here with his customary virtuosity and grace, accompanied by the equally deft French pianist, Pascal Devoyon, on a disc that will educate, delight and amaze.

“Fascinating … Graffin and Devoyon offer fine, committed performances … Graffin produces a beguiling tone” BBC Music Magazine

“Beautifully played by virtuoso musicians, this is a thoughtful and insightful recording, enhanced by the lovely Fantaisie for violin and harp” Classic FM Magazine

“Strongly recommended” Fanfare

“Graffin’s tone throughout is sweet and seductive, his phrasing a thing of pure joy … a wonderful disc. Buy it” Gramophone Magazine

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Saint-Saëns - Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2

Saint-Saëns - Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2


Saint-Saëns:

Cello Sonata No. 1 in C minor Op. 32

Le carnaval des animaux: Le Cygne

Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major Op. 123

Le carnaval des animaux: Le Cygne

arr. Leopold Godowsky


Mats Lidström (cello) & Bengt Forsberg (piano)

Saint-Saëns today has become one of those composers known through only a handful of works, but his output was prodigious and there is a great deal of music waiting to be discovered beyond Carnival of the Animals. Unfortunately his long life led to him passing from fame as one of the most naturally gifted musicians ever, to someone who had become passé with the arrival of the likes of Debussy and Ravel. This probably explains the neglect of so much supremely crafted music.

As a classicist Saint-Saëns was attracted to sonata form throughout his life and the two cello sonatas illustrate well the consistency of his compositional style over the 33 years that separate them, there is always a French clarity about the writing and also an irresistible forward momentum which comes from a directness in the structural plan which harks back to Mozart and Beethoven.

By way of encores the disc offers two versions of the famous 'Swan' from Carnival of the Animals. The first was published by the composer before he allowed the release of the rest of Carnival (only published after his death), the second is an arrangement by pianist and Saint-Saëns pupil Godowsky for violin and piano, which has here been further transcribed for cello and piano.

“These artists radiate total conviction and a life-enhancing vitality and sensitivity” Penguin Guide

“A dramatic dialogue of considerable power ... An enthusiastic recommendation.” Gramophone Magazine

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Saint-Saëns - Chamber Music

Saint-Saëns - Chamber Music


Saint-Saëns:

Septet in E flat major for piano, trumpet, 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass Op. 65

Tarantelle in A minor for flute, clarinet & piano/orchestra Op. 6

Bassoon Sonata in G major, Op. 168

Piano Quartet in B flat major, Op. 41

Piano Quintet in A minor Op. 14

Oboe Sonata in D major Op. 166

Clarinet Sonata in E flat major, Op. 167

Caprice sur des airs danois et russes for piano, flute, oboe and clarinet Op. 79


“Saint-Seëns in full vigour and mastery - a wonderful pair of discs” BBC Music Magazine, 1st July 2008

“Saint-Saëns's chamber music fares better in the concert hall than the recording studio, perhaps because musicians tend to listen less to academic name-calling ('conservative', 'too prolific') than to the music itself. The three late wind sonatas in particular have received far fewer recordings than their status as repertoire staples deserves.
Try the kinky-Baroque first movement of the Oboe Sonata, jauntily phrased by Gareth Hulse, or the animato second of the Clarinet Sonata, garbed in rich Mozartian cloth by Richard Hosford.
The Bassoon Sonata is notable for its fresh and gentle wit and skirting of cliché: Ursula Leveaux does it proud, with especially luscious tone in the opening Allegretto.
Surprises are fewer in the earlier works, but none is less than,'finely put together' to echo Ravel's assessment. Hummability quotient is high in the Piano Quartet and Quintet, and off the scale in the Septet. The late Lionel Salter used to complain in Gramophone that recordings of the Septet tend to sound like a trumpet concerto; not this one. If you employ hit artists like Maurice André they will tend to hog the microphone but, happily, Mark David is a more sensitive soul who's fully imbibed the Nash's joyous spirit of corporate music-making, and Hyperion's engineers have placed him at a respectable distance. If anything it's Ian Brown's piano that takes centre-stage, and that's no bad thing, except in the extensive fugal finales to the Piano Quartet and Quintet where Saint-Saëns, most unusually, seems to over-run himself. The Caprice and Tarantelle, for all Philippa Davies's sparkling contributions, perhaps bear fewer repetitions, but the set is really sheer delight: let's hear it for imaginative conservatism.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“This 2-CD set of chamber music performed by the Nash Ensemble gets off to a great start with a poised, expertly-balanced performance of the Septet, and goes on to include spirited, characterful accounts of the sonatas for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, as well as the Piano Quartet in B flat and Piano Quintet in A minor.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical

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BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - July 2005

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Saint-Saëns - Piano Trios

Saint-Saëns - Piano Trios


Saint-Saëns:

Piano Trio No. 1 in F major Op. 18

Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor Op. 92


“Well, the Florestan Trio have done it again – a sure-fire Gramophone Award nominee. Indeed, such is the cumulative emotional impact of these performances that tears welled up during the wonderful fortissimo climax of the E minor Trio's first movement – that even before the astonishing intensity of the final, precipitous Allegro. 'Cumulative' because most of the time the Florestan prefer stealth and suggestion; they don't wear their hearts on their sleeves. Instead they offer, like Saint-Saëns's art, a filigree lightness and clarity that somehow twists itself into an ever-deepening pattern of turmoil.
Listen to the underlying wistfulness in the F major Trio: how the élan of the first movement's final chords provides a springboard into a cheerful bucolic landscape that is nevertheless crossed with clouds – this brought about by a web of delicate rhythmic and tonal shading in the string-playing stretched over Susan Tomes's dancing, pellucid framework.
Or the maturity and self-confidence in the E minor: nothing is forced, everything flows – from the stormy first movement through the lighter central movements (and here the languid descending phrases of the Andante con moto are beautifully sculpted by both Marwood and Lester) to the complex yet never turgid imitative writing of the last. Recorded sound and accompanying notes are, of course, impeccable. No argument: just buy it.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Well, the Florestan Trio have done it again… such is the cumulative emotional impact of these performances that, I don’t mind admitting, I wept during the wonderful fortissimo climax of the E minor trio's first movement - that even before the astonishing intensity of the final, precipitous Allegro.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2006

“Typically polished, authoritative performances of the two Piano Trios by the members of the Florestan Trio, not least some graceful playing by pianist Susan Tomes in the Andante con moto of the E minor trio, and stirringly sophisticated contributions from violinst Anthony Marwood and cellist Richard Lester.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical

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Editor's Choice - May 2006

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Saint-Saëns -The Complete Études

Saint-Saëns -The Complete Études


Saint-Saëns:

Six Études Op. 52

Six Études Op. 111

Études (6) pour la main gauche seule, Op. 135

Thème Varié Op. 97


Piers Lane (piano)

“Saint-Saëns's Études make ferociously virtuosic demands upon any pianist, but thankfully Piers Lane is more than up to the task, not least in the set of six studies for the left hand alone, which are so outstandingly played that I was often left wondering whether he cheated and used both hands on occasion! (I'm sure he didn't...)” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical

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Bach - Piano Transcriptions Volume 10

Bach - Piano Transcriptions Volume 10

The complete Bach transcriptions by Camille Saint-Saëns & Philipp


Bach, J S:

Cantata BWV29 'Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir': Overture

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Cantata BWV3 'Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid': Adagio

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Cantata BWV8 'Liebster Gott, wann werd ich sterben?': Andantino

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Partita for solo violin No. 1 in B minor, BWV1002: Bourrée

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Sonata for solo violin No. 2 in A minor, BWV1003: Andante sostenuto

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Cantata BWV35 'Geist und Seele wird verwirret': Presto

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Cantata BWV15 'Denn du wirst meine Seele nicht in der Hoelle lassen': Introduction et Air

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Sonata for solo violin No. 3 in C major, BWV1005: Fugue

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Sonata for solo violin No. 3 in C major, BWV1005: Largo

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Cantata BWV30 'Freue dich, erlöste Schar': Récitatif et Air

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E, BWV1006: Gavotte

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Cantata BWV36 'Schwingt freudig euch empor': Air

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Cantata BWV30 'Freue dich, erlöste Schar': Choeur

arr. Camille Saint-Saëns

Vivaldi:

Concerto, Op. 3 No. 8 'Con due Violini obligati', RV 522

arr. Johann Sebastian Bach & Isidore Philipp

Concerto, Op. 3 No. 11 'Con due Violini e Violoncello obligato', RV 565

arr. Johann Sebastian Bach & Isidore Philipp


Nadejda Vlaeva (piano)

Hyperion’s Bach Transcriptions series shows Bach through the fascinating prism of the Romantic musical mind. This latest volume presents the complete transcriptions by Saint-Saëns, and the programme is interspersed with transcriptions by the elder composer’s friend and disciple, Isidore Philipp. Saint-Saëns was one of the many composers inspired by the continuing publications from the Bach-Gesellschaft, which made many of Bach’s works available in print for the first time, particularly the extraordinary church cantatas. His transcriptions are of particular interest due to his choice of unfamiliar music that was not originally conceived for a keyboard instrument, and the care with which he has made the transcriptions. These are superbly effective piano realizations achieved with the minimum of intervention.

Hyperion is thrilled to present the young Bulgarian pianist Nadejda Vlaeva in her label debut. She performs with a palpable energy and impressive technical assurance.

“As soon as Nadejda Vlaeva launches into her first Saint-Saens Bach transcription, you know you're in for a treat. Sure enough, volume ten of Hyperion's Bach Transcriptions series proves a parade of joys for pianophiles and Bach junkies alike...Vlaeva gives it the lot...Even when Philipp's demanding textures are at their most dense, Vlaeva handles them with clarity, unflappable virtuosity and relish.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 *****

“As a protegee of Lazar Berman, Vlaeva rarely disappoints in matters of accomplished pianism, with plenty of that epic physical presence of her mentor...this young pianist sits worthily alongside the clutch of fine players who have illuminated this brilliant literature of Bachiana.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

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Casals Encores

Casals Encores


Boccherini:

Cello Sonata in A major, G4a: Allegro Moderato

Chopin:

Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 9 No. 2

arr. David Popper

Prelude Op. 28 No. 15 in D flat major ‘Raindrop'

arr. Pablo Casals

Debussy:

Petite Suite: Menuet

arr. Gaston Choisnel

Elgar:

Salut d'amour, Op. 12

Falla:

Nana (No. 5 from Siete canciones populares españolas)

arr. Maurice Maréchal

Fauré:

Après un rêve, Op. 7 No. 1

arr. Pablo Casals

Godard, B:

Berceuse from Jocelyn

Granados:

Danza española, Op. 37 No. 5 'Andaluza'

arr. Pablo Casals

Kreisler:

Chanson Louis XIII and Pavane (In the style of Couperin)

Lassen:

Thine Eyes So Blue

arr. Pablo Casals

MacDowell:

Romance for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 35

Popper:

La Chanson villageoise, Op. 62 No. 2

Mazurka in G minor, Op. 11 No. 3

Vito, Spanish Dance Op. 54/5

Saint-Saëns:

Le carnaval des animaux: Le Cygne

Allegro Appassionato in B minor Op. 43

Sgambati:

Serenata napoletana, Op. 24 No. 2

trad.:

The Song of the Birds

traditional, arr. Pablo Casals

Wagner:

O du, mein holder Abendstern (from Tannhäuser)

arr. Leo Schulz


Alban Gerhardt (cello) & Cecile Licad (piano)

This sensational new release from German cellist Alban Gerhardt recaptures the novelty of the much-loved encores performed by Pablo Casals. Spanish-born Casals was universally recognized as one of the world’s greatest cellists and had a vast repertoire of intimate encores which were adored by his audiences. The disc features transcriptions of works by many notable composers including Fauré, Chopin, Saint-Saëns, Boccherini and Wagner. Also featured are frequently performed musical gems by David Popper: Vito, Chanson villageoise and his Mazurka in G minor, pieces which have gained a special place in the cello literature.

Gerhardt performs these miniature masterworks with extraordinary finesse and verve. His very personal interpretations never lapse into self-indulgence and he projects a distinctive luminescence of tone with infallible intonation. Gerhardt is intelligently partnered and perfectly matched by pianist Cecile Licad on her Hyperion debut. This unique disc demonstrates sublime musicianship, with both performers revelling in a wide expressive scope from the vivacious to the lyrical.

“There is much more to an encore, as Alban Gerhardt will tell you, than casually capping a recital with an audience-pleaser...Listen to Gerhardt in Benjamin Godard’s Berceuse de Jocelyn and there is a paradigm of the exceptional eloquence and discernment that distinguishes the entire disc.” The Telegraph, 2nd June 2011 *****

“his playing [is] less heart-on-sleeve than Casals's own, but wonderfully eloquent and noble: he can be extraordinarily moving in such once-familiar standards as the Berceuse from Godard's Jocelyn, or in Casals's arrangement of Chopin's Raindrop Prelude...Some of this music makes considerable demands on the pianist, and Cecile Licad rises to its challenges with considerable elegance.” The Guardian, 9th June 2011 ****

“Gerhardt has a honeyed, liquid tone all his own. He has created a well-contrasted programme that clearly took a long time to research and hone...This is cello playing of exquisite sophistication and bold imagination. Casals, I feel sure, would have approved.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2011 *****

“An unexpected disc from a cellist one usually thinks of as a heavyweight...he brings to them absolutely the same seriousness of approach and sensitivity that he does to everything. And it works for an album that feels worthwhile as well as easily digestible.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2011

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - August 2011

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L'heure exquise: Alice Coote

L'heure exquise: Alice Coote

A French Songbook


Bachelet:

Chère nuit

Berlioz:

Le Spectre de la rose (from Les nuits d'été, Op. 7)

Chabrier:

Toutes les fleurs

L'ile heureuse

Chausson:

Le temps des lilas

Debussy:

La Grotte

Fauré:

Le secret Op. 23 No. 3

Fleur jetée, Op. 39 No. 2

Gounod:

Sérénade

Au printemps

Hahn, R:

L'heure exquise

Les étoiles (No. 9 of Douze Rondels)

Fumée

La Chère Blessure

Koechlin:

Novembre, Op. 22 No. 2

Poulenc:

Les chemins de l'amour

Voyage à Paris

Hotel

La grenouillère, Op. 5

Voyage

Saint-Saëns:

Aimons-nous

Soirée En Mer

Satie:

Je te veux


Alice Coote (mezzo) & Graham Johnson (piano)

Alice Coote is the darling of the world’s opera stages and recital halls—to the extent that her solo recordings are rare events. In this much-anticipated French Songbook, Graham Johnson lends his incomparable insight to this most remarkable of talents on an emotional rollercoaster through twenty-three songs of Gallic love in all its guises.

“The beauty of Alice Coote’s mezzo-soprano glows with radiance.” Financial Times, 9th May 2015

“Coote is in sumptuous voice, Johnson in his element.” Sunday Times, 10th May 2015

“this is a beautifully formed recital shining different lights on a central theme. It is distinguished by Coote’s thorough absorption in the stylistic character of each song, conveying their individual sentiments and sensitivities with her rich, liquid mezzo and relishing the colouristic potential of the poetic texts. Graham Johnson’s piano accompaniments are, as ever, wonderfully apt and complementary to the voice” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

GGramophone Awards 2016

Finalist - Solo Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2015

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Power of Life

Power of Life


Dupré:

Versets on ’Ave Maris Stella’ (from Vespers of the Virgin, Op. 18)

Monnikendam:

Toccata No. 2

Mozart:

Andante and Variations in G for Piano Duet, K501

arr. David Nield

Petrali:

Messa Solenne in F for organ solo: Allegro festoso

Saint-Saëns:

Rhapsody on Breton Themes, Op. 7 No. 3

Shearing:

Amazing Grace (No. 1 of Sacred Sounds)

Stamm:

Rapsodia alla latina

Takle:

Power of Life (No. 1 of Festivity)

Villa-Lobos:

Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5: Aria (Cantilena)

arr. Camil Van Hulse

Wagner, F:

Trionfo della vita 'Phantasiestück', Op. 76

Walton:

Orb and Sceptre

arr. Sir William McKiie & Christopher Herrick

Warlock:

Capriol Suite: Pieds-en-l'air

arr. Christopher Herrick


Christopher Herrick (Metzler Organ of Poblet Monastery, Tarragona, Spain)

Christopher Herrick makes no quasi-intellectual claims for this album: its intention is to entertain. And with twelve tracks of (largely) ridiculous organ fare, and the beast of an instrument that is the new Metzler organ of Poblet Monastery in Catalonia, the requisites quickly fall into place. If you like your organs meaty, but with a good sense of humour, this one is for you.

“There is more than enough here to excite anyone with a taste for spectacular organ pyrotechnics.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2015

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Romantic Residues

Romantic Residues

Songs for tenor and harp


Britten:

Down by the Salley Gardens

O Waly, Waly

Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn (Watching the Wheat)

David of the White Rock

Fauré:

Morceau de concours

Ravel:

Cinq mélodies populaires grecques

Roth, A:

From California

Romantic Residues

Saint-Saëns:

Une flûte invisible

Skempton:

Three Songs for Jennie

Tournier:

La Lettre du jardinier


James Gilchrist (tenor), Alison Nicholls (harp) & Jaime Martin (flute)

James Gilchrist is one of the finest British tenors of today, acclaimed as a concert soloist, a recitalist and a recording artist, each latest event eliciting more rapturous comments from critics and audience alike. In his first solo disc for Hyperion, he features in a fascinating recital of English, French and American music for tenor, harp and flute.

What do we remember of our past romantic encounters? This is the theme of ‘Romantic Residues’, the opening section of Vikram Seth’s collection of verse All You Who Sleep Tonight, first published in 1990. There are nine poems in all, varying widely in content and mood—from the light and whimsical to the melancholy and dark. The songs were commissioned by the Bury St Edmunds Festival and composed for James Gilchrist and Alison Nicholls who gave the first performance. This charming, impeccably-performed collection of morceaux and mélodies also includes works by Britten, Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Fauré.

“[Gilchrist] is now unsurpassed among lyric tenors in sweetness and technical security, and for his musical intelligence” The Independent

“Repeated hearings may harm the artful simplicity of the title cycle by Alec Roth, but the Britten folk-song settings should never die. If Gilchrist’s French is too muscular overall, he tiptoes delicately through the final song by Marcel Tournier.” The Times, 8th August 2008 ***

“James Gilchrist is one of the most expressive tenors of the day, his timbre soft-grained, his diction immaculate, his lack of mannerism gratifying and his choice of repertory, on this disc of songs and song cycles with harp, interesting.” Sunday Times, 10th August 2008 ***

“…an interesting and intelligent singer, well served by his distinguished accompanists.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2008 ****

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