Saint-Saens - Works for Cello and Orchestra | Naxos 8573737

Saint-Saens - Works for Cello and Orchestra

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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 8573737

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 13th October 2017



Gabriel Schwabe (cello)
Malmo Symphony Orchestra


Marc Soustrot


Saint-Saens, Camille

Carnival of the Animals
» The Swan (arr. Paul Vidal)
Cello Concerto no.1 in A minor, op.33
Cello Concerto no.2 in D minor, op.119
Romance in F major, op.36
Suite for cello and orchestra, op.16


Gabriel Schwabe (cello)
Malmo Symphony Orchestra


Marc Soustrot


Composed during a period of social readjustment in post-war France, the First Cello Concerto marked Saint-Saëns’ acceptance as a composer among the establishment, and has long been one of his most admired works. Recognition for the fiendishly technical Second Cello Concerto took longer, although its tranquil central movement contains one of the most sublime melodies Saint-Saëns ever wrote. The supremely famous Le Cygne appears alongside the less well-known Bach-inspired Suite in D minor, and with the inclusion of the Romance this programme contains Saint-Saëns’s complete works for cello and orchestra.

Cellist Gabriel Schwabe has appeared on the Naxos label with Brahms’s two Cello Sonatas (8573489), giving rise to comments such as, “He counts among the best cellists of his generation” (Concerti), “Schwabe carefully molds every single note. I wish the tones could stay a bit longer just to be able to marvel at them better” (Fono Forum), and “Schwabe plays with a beautifully smooth and sweet tone. In addition, his intonation and finger-to-bow coordination are spot-on” (Fanfare).


So often the opening of the Cello Concerto No 1 comes across as hectic and blustering; likewise the Allegro appassionato can be merely breathless and brilliant. Schwabe plays with a light heart and produces a light, airy tone to match, combined with a nonchalance and poise that I found most attractive (I’d love to hear him in the two Vieuxtemps concertos). And if the first four of the Suite’s five movements are not Saint Saëns’s finest hour, the concluding Tarentelle should surely be heard more often. To this, Marc Soustrot brings an irresistible élan and punch to proceedings.  Jeremy Nicholas
Gramophone January 2018
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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