Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 (Organ); Le carnaval des animaux; Allegro appassionato, Op. 43

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COMPOSERS: Saint-Saens
LABELS: CD-EMX 2259 ADD (1971-75)
WORKS: Symphony No. 3 (Organ); Le carnaval des animaux; Allegro appassionato, Op. 43
PERFORMER: Christopher Robinson (organ), Paul Tortelier (cello), John Ogdon, Brenda Lucas (piano); CBSO/Louis Frémaux
CATALOGUE NO: CD-EMX 2259 ADD (1971-75)
The popularity of the Third Symphony lies in the opulent textures and lavish sonorities of a large organ blended with full orchestra. It is not so much the music which touches our Romantic sensibilities, but, as Thomas Beecham put it, ‘the noise it makes’. Yet the melody of the Adagio is one of the most nobly expressive of all symphonic slow movements. And the scoring is full of delicate touches. Frémaux plays to the gallery with a big sound, but also allows the music to live, where so often it can be crushed by its own weight. By comparison, his approach to the Carnival of the Animals is rather laboured and lacks a sense of fun. Try the LSO on Carlton for a genuine ‘Fantastique zoologique’. Christopher Lambton

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