Franck: Symphonic Variations, Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 4

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Franck: Symphonic Variations, Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 4



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Franck: Symphonic Variations, Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 4

Franck, C:

Symphonic Variations for piano & orchestra, M46


Piano Concerto in D major (for the left hand)


Piano Concerto No. 4 in C minor, Op. 44

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



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Cesar Franck: Symphonic Variations, M. 46

Symphonie Variations

Camille Saint-Saens: Piano Concerto No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 44, R. 197

Allegro moderato - Andante

Allegro vivace - Andante - Allegro

Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major, M. 82

Lento - Piu lento - Andante


Lento - Cadenza - Allegro

Camille Saint-Saens: Etude in the form of a Waltz

Etude in the form of a Waltz

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“Here are performances of a timeless vitality and validity. The exception is the Ravel Concerto, which is wildly approximate and confused. Elsewhere, though, there's a super-abundance of wit and charm – of Cortot at his most beguiling. His capacity to be free and ecstatic, yet bracingly unsentimental was one of his most exhilarating qualities, and his rubato at the start of the Saint- Saëns makes modern rivals such as Rogéacute; (Decca), Collard (EMI) and Hough (Hyperion) pale in comparison. At 8'12" (dolce tranquillolegato) there's a classic instance of the cantabile for which he was celebrated, and in the final pages of the same movement an inimitably limpid and delicate poetry. Again, in the central Allegro vivace, his famous or infamous scrambles and skirmishes are never at the expense of the music's innate elegance and style, and who else has spun off the Concerto's closing cascades with such glitter and aplomb? Cortot's playing may not have been note-perfect but there's no doubt that he was every inch the virtuoso. As an encore, there's Saint-Saëns's Etude en forme devalse, and while the 1931 recording is by no means the equal of the legendary 1919 disc, a performance that prompted Horowitz's envy, it's gloriously alive with Cortot's verve and magic. Mark Obert-Thorn's transfers are exceptional and all lovers of past but ever-present greatness will want this second and final Naxos volume of Cortot's sadly few concerto recordings.”

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