Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3

Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 "Organ" / Poulenc: Organ Concerto / Barber: Toccata Festiva [SACD]

by Christoph Eschenbach, Olivier Latry
     
 
Pairing Camille Saint-Saëns' "Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Organ," and Francis Poulenc's "Concerto for organ, strings, and timpani in G minor" is common enough in practice, but the growing popularity of Samuel Barber's "Toccata Festiva for organ and orchestra, Op. 36," may signal a change from the usual way of programming these works. The arrangement on this splendid

Overview

Pairing Camille Saint-Saëns' "Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Organ," and Francis Poulenc's "Concerto for organ, strings, and timpani in G minor" is common enough in practice, but the growing popularity of Samuel Barber's "Toccata Festiva for organ and orchestra, Op. 36," may signal a change from the usual way of programming these works. The arrangement on this splendid release from Ondine seems ideal, starting with the Barber work, which provides a rousing opening, and then continuing on to Poulenc's darkly scored, brooding concerto and Saint-Saëns' brilliantly scored symphony. Christoph Eschenbach led the Philadelphia Orchestra in these exciting performances at Verizon Hall in May 2006 before a live audience, and Olivier Latry, organist of Notre Dame de Paris, played the 100-stop Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ with admirable skill and subtlety. Because this SACD offers impressive 5.0 surround sound and presents the organ and orchestra with sensational timbres and finely shaded dynamics, it's tempting to think that the greatest attention was paid to making this album a showcase for audio buffs; however, the clarity of tone and sensitivity of expression that come from Latry, Eschenbach, and the Philadelphians demonstrate a strong commitment to the music that belies a purely technical approach and it's hard to imagine how these excellent interpretations could ever be surpassed in technique or feeling. Highly recommended.

Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
1/2 Just on the basis of the Saint-Saens symphony, this disc is among the best out there.
BBC Online - Andrew McGregor
As a record of a great occasion it’s a winner.... I will be filing this mentally with a small pile of discs I reach for when I’m asked how much difference SACD and surround sound can make.
Newark Star-Ledger - Bradley Bambarger
[The Philadelphia Orchestra's] best recording in decades.... The sound is vivid and visceral.
The Guardian - Tim Ashley
Saint-Saëns's Third Symphony [is] conducted with such majestic fury by Christoph Eschenbach it takes your breath away.... Exhilarating stuff.
Time Out Chicago - Marc Geelhoed
The orchestra is in glorious form, with rich strings and a ringing brass section, and it’s a brazen and gaudy treat to hear Eschenbach spur them on.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/13/2007
Label:
Ondine
UPC:
0761195109458
catalogNumber:
1094
Rank:
15687

Tracks

  1. Toccata Festiva for organ & orchestra, Op. 36
  2. Concerto for organ, strings & timpani in G minor, FP 93
  3. Symphony No. 3 in C minor ("Organ"), Op. 78

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