Compact Discoveriesģ
a series of one-hour radio programs produced, written, hosted, and edited
by Fred Flaxman

©2014 by Fred Flaxman


Program 228
"Saint-SaŽns for Cello and Orchestra"

MUSIC: excerpt from beginning of Saint-SaŽns: Allegro appassionato for Cello and Orchestra in B Minor, Op. 43, performed by NoŽlle Weidmann, cello, with the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge conducted by Christian Arming [Outhere Music 22T335, CD 2, Track 9] [under the following]

Of all the French composers of the Romantic period, none showed a greater interest in writing concertos than Camille Saint-SaŽns, who lived from 1835 until 1921. He wrote five piano concertos, three violin concertos, and two concertos for cello and orchestra. He also wrote a suite, a romance, and an allegro appassionato for cello and orchestra.

Hello and welcome to Compact Discoveries. Iím your guide, Fred Flaxman. Stay with me for the next hour and weíll explore together most, but not all, of Camille Saint-SaŽnsí works for cello and orchestra. They are all melodious and beautiful, and I think youíll enjoy every moment.

MUSIC:
Fades out.

When you think about the other famous 19th Century French composers, who else even wrote one concerto? Berlioz left no concertos at all, although his Harold in Italy featured a solo viola. The same is true of Gounod and Chabrier. Cťsar Franck did write two concertos, but they date from his boyhood, and when he turned again, fairly late in life, to the combination of piano and orchestra in Les Djinns and Variations Symphoniques, the piano was used in a remarkably non-soloistic way. That was true as well for Franckís pupil Vincent díIndy, who used the piano as an instrument of the orchestra in his Symphony on a French Mountain Aire.

Gabriel Faurť left a Fantaisie and a Ballade for piano and orchestra, but nothing with the word ďconcertoĒ in its title. Massenetís only concerto, which was also for the piano, was uncharacteristic of his other music, and has been largely forgotten. Debussyís Fantaisie for piano and orchestra was an early, atypical piece which he soon disowned, while Ravelís two piano concertos did not appear until after Saint-SaŽnsí death.

So during Saint-SaŽnsí lifetime, he had the concerto field in France largely to himself. Among his contemporaries, only …douard Lalo seemed interested in using the concerto form.

Saint-SaŽns wrote two cello concertos, but we only have time for the first in this hour. The performance is taken from a three-CD boxed set of Saint-SaŽnsí complete works for violin and orchestra and cello and orchestra put out in 2013 by Outhere Music France. The soloists are all from the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium and the orchestra is the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge conducted by Christian Arming. The soloist in the Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Opus 33, is Adam Krzeszowiec.

MUSIC:
Camille Saint-SaŽns: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33, performed by cellist Adam Krzeszowiec with Christian Arming conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge [Outhere Music 22T335, CD 3, Tracks 1, 2, and 3] [20:16]

Camille Saint-SaŽns Concerto No. 1 for Cello and Orchestra, performed by cellist Adam Krzeszowiec with Christian Arming conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge.

You are listening to ďSaint-SaŽns for Cello and OrchestraĒ on this hour of Compact Discoveries. Iím your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[optional one-minute break not included in the program timing]

Saint-SaŽnsí five-movement Suite for Cello and Orchestra, Opus 16b initially appeared in 1862 as a work for cello and piano. Saint-SaŽns remained enthusiastic enough about the piece to do to it what he very seldom did to other compositions: he returned to it 57 years later, and scored it for cello and orchestra. It is that version that we hear now with cello soloist Pau Codina. Once again Christian Arming conducts the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge.

MUSIC:
Camille Saint-SaŽns: Suite for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 16b, performed by cellist Pau Codina with Christian Arming conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge [Outhere Music 22T335, CD 3, Tracks 1 - 5] [18:45]

Saint-SaŽnsí Suite for Cello and Orchestra. Pau Codina was the cellist with Christian Arming conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge, Belgium.

You are listening to ďSaint-SaŽns for Cello and OrchestraĒ on this hour of Compact Discoveries. Iím your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[optional one-minute break not included in the program timing]

Saint-SaŽns wrote two shorter pieces for cello and orchestra: his Romance in F Major, Opus 36, written in 1874, which could also be for horn and orchestra, and his Allegro Appassionato for Cello and Orchestra in B-Minor, Opus 43, written a year later.

Wojciech Fudala is the cellist in the Romance; NoŽlle Weidmann is the soloist in the Allegro Appassionato. Christian Arming leads the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge.

MUSIC:
Camille Saint-SaŽns: Romance in F Major, Op. 36 for Cello and Orchestra, performed by cellist Wojciech Fudala with Christian Arming conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge [Outhere Music 22T335, CD 3, Track 11] [3:33]

MUSIC: Camille Saint-SaŽns: Allegro Appassionato in B-Minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 43, performed by cellist NoŽlle Weidmann with Christian Arming conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge [Outhere Music 22T335, CD 2, Track 9] [4:38]

Camille Saint-SaŽnsí Allegro Appassionato in B-Minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 43, performed by cellist NoŽlle Weidmann. Before that we heard Saint-SaŽnsí Romance in F Major, Op. 36 for Cello and Orchestra, performed by Wojciech Fudala. Both works were with Christian Arming conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge.

Although we donít have time in this hour to play the entire Saint-SaŽns Second Cello Concerto, I think we can just squeeze in the final movement with cellist Deborah Pae and the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge conducted by Christian Arming.

MUSIC:
Camille Saint-SaŽns: Concerto No. 2 in D-Minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 119, performed by cellist Deborah Pae with Christian Arming conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge [Outhere Music 22T335, CD 3, Track 5] [6:42]

Cellist Deborah Pae and the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de LiŤge conducted by Christian Arming. That was the final movement of Saint-SaŽns Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 119, and the final work on this hour of Compact Discoveries. Iím Fred Flaxman. Many thanks for listening!

ANNOUNCER
(Tana Flaxman): Compact Discoveries is made possible in part by an anonymous donor from Palm Beach, Florida. And by the financial support of Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz. And by ArkivMusic dot com, the online store for classical music CDs, DVDs, downloads, and over 10,000 on-demand reissued titles. Thatís A-r-k-i-v Music dot com.


Program Ends at 59:00