Saint-Saëns: Dances and Ballet Music

Saint-Saëns: Dances and Ballet Music

8.574463 (Naxos Records, CD)

FIRST RELEASE (11 November 2022)

Playing time: 78'24"
Tracks: 23
Booklet pages: 6
℗ 2022 Naxos Rights (Europe) Ltd
© 2022 Naxos Rights (Europe) Ltd
Main country of recording: Netherlands
Country of manufacture: Germany
Reviewer: Gerald Fenech
Review of Saint-Saëns: Dances and Ballet Music published on 27 November 2022

Residentie Orkest The Hague
Jun Märkl, conductor

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921):

Étienne Marcel - Act III: Ballet (1877-78)
1 Entrée des écoliers et des ribaudes: Allegro non troppo
2 Musette guerrière: Allegro moderato
3 Pavane: Allegretto moderato
4 Valse: Allegro molto
5 Entrée des Bohémiens et Bohémiennes: Allegro maestoso
6 Final: Allegro

Henry VIII (1881-2) (selection)
7 Prélude: Maestoso
8 Act II: Entracte: Andante con moto
9 Act III: Marche du Synode: Moderato maestoso
10 Act IV, Tableau 1: Allegro moderato
11 Act IV, Tableau 2: Andante sostenuto

Airs de ballet de Parysatis (1902)
12 Entrée: Quasi adagio
13 Allegro non troppo
14 Modéré (sans lenteur)
15 Molto allegro

Henry VIII - Act II: Fête populare, Ballet-Divertissement (1881-2)
16 Introduction. Entrée des Clans: Moderato
17 Idylle écossaise: Moderato maestoso
18 La Fête du houblon: Poco adagio
19 Danse de la gipsy: Moderato quasi andantino
20 Scherzetto: Moderato
21 Gigue et finale: Presto

Samson et Dalila, Op 47 (1859-77) (selection)
22 Act I: Danse des prêtresses de Dagon: Allegretto
23 Act III: Bacchanale

This album presents a selection of Saint-Saäns' incidental music and music from his operas. From Samson et Dalila – the only one of Saint-Saäns' operas to remain in the repertory – we hear two memorable and adrenalin-fuelled dances including the famous Bacchanale. Henry VIII drew from the composer music of regal solemnity with plenty of colourful scoring, praised by Gounod. The lukewarm reception to Étienne Marcel came as a bitter disappointment to Saint-Saäns but the customary ballet includes a strong element of delightful fourteenth-century pastiche. The incidental music to the play Parysatis received tumultuous acclaim at its premiere in 1902 and includes the delightful Airs de ballet flecked by the use of crotales (antique finger-cymbals).

Recorded 29 March-1 April 2022 at the Concertzaal, Amare, The Hague, Netherlands.