This page lists all recordings of String Quartet No. 1 in E minor, Op. 112, by Charles Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) on CD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.
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Saint-Saëns & Castillon: String Quartets
Slightly older than Saint-Saens, Alexis de Castillon’s arostocratic roots opened doors for him and he became very good friends both personally and professionaly with Saint-Saens. Their two quartets therefore sit very well together on this new recording performed by the Chartres Quartet.
In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
Quatuor Modigliani: Debussy, Ravel & Saint-Saëns
To mark 10 years of playing together the Modigliani Quartet offers their version of these essential works in the life of a Quartet.
At the dawn of the 20th century, Paris played a part, more than any other city, in the metamorphosis of arts of modern times. The vibrations of light and colour on canvasses by Monet, Seurat and their contemporaries were changed into sounds in the making of Debussy's Quartet which opened the way to a new aesthetic. Ten years later Ravel crystallised style, continuing Debussy's journey. Between these two jewels of the French repertoire, the first quartet of Saint-Saens reveals a work wonderfully endearing, both full of charm, humour and elegance.
“Radiantly engineered and tonally beguiling, these are performances that generate pleasure simply because of the sound they make … a considerable achievement” International Record Review, May 2013
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.
Saint-Saëns: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2
The Fine Arts Quartet’s albums of Mendelssohn’s String Quintets (8570488) and Glazunov’s chamber music (8570256) were named “Recordings of the Year” by Musicweb International, and their recording of Schumann’s string quartets (8570151) was hailed by the American Record Guide as “one of the very finest chamber music recordings of the year”.
“the first movement [of the G major], designed to illustrate 'Youth', is a delightful piece of Haydnry in which the lighter textures are more comfortable for the ear” BBC Music Magazine, August 2011 ****
“The Fine Arts Quartet are vibrant and thoughtful.” Sunday Times, 1st May 2011 ***
“Deserving more frequent performances than they receive, Saint-Saëns’s two string quartets find persuasive champions in the Fine Arts Quartet...the influences are refracted through Saint-Saëns’s own lyrical and harmonic prism, and each work is as carefully crafted as it is extremely pleasurable to hear.” The Telegraph, 1st April 2011 ****
(also available to download from $6.00)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
Saint-Saëns: The String Quartets
This new collection brings back, under a new design, some of the best Dynamic releases of the past. The selection of rare recordings for 'music gourmands' will feature works spanning the Renaissance to the 20th-century music.
After Beethoven, the production of string quartets suffered a gradual decline.
In France, in the second half of the 19th century, very few string quartets were composed, the most important ones that survived the test of time being those of Cesar Franck (1889), Debussy (1893) and Ravel (1903). Indeed, also the two Saint-Saëns quartets here recorded ought to be included in the list, and one strives to find a reason why performers often disregard them in favour of the usual and more popular works. After all, the Quartet in E minor Op.112, composed in 1899, was written for that same Ysaÿe to whom, six years earlier, Debussy had dedicated his own quartet. And how could a work composed for such a celebrated soloist be anything but fine?
Like Schumann and Brahms, also Saint-Saëns consistently included the piano in his chamber works. The two quartets here recorded are therefore an exception, and the composer had to abandon the notion of 'accompaniment' and tackle the balance of colours and sonorities of four string instruments, which as a rule lead to harmonic and polyphonic situations where all parts are of equal importance. Saint-Saëns conquered the form, for his hand was always guided by such musical wisdom and discernment as to make his works appear at once natural and extraordinary.
In his Quartets, writing is at the service of both technique and expressivity. Generally speaking, this work appears somewhat abstract, as if Saint-Saëns wanted to hide behind the notes. Anonymous music? More likely the mark of a genius. After all, his contemporaries thought there was only one thing wrong with Saint-Saëns: his lack of inexperience.
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.
Saint-Saëns - String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2
In his music Saint-Saëns constantly aimed for clarity and balance, quantities
he considered to be the essence of French style. His first String Quartet
though difficult and demanding, is a wonderfully balanced work, with each of
the four dense movements having its own temperament.
“The neglect of Saint-Saën's charming string quartets remains puzzling. These bright and insightful performances from the Quatuor Joachim should win them new admirers.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2008 ****
Olivier Charlier (violin) & Jean Hubeau (piano)
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Saint-Saëns: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2
Quartetto d'Archi di Venezia