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Track(s) taken from CDA67713

Fantaisie in D flat major, Op 101

composer
1895; dedicated to Queen Elisabeth of Romania (Carmen Sylva)

Andrew-John Smith (organ)
Recording details: September 2004
La Madeleine, Paris, France
Produced by Dick Koomans
Engineered by Dick Koomans
Release date: July 2008
Total duration: 12 minutes 27 seconds

Cover artwork: Interior of La Madeleine, Paris by Philippe Benoist (1813-c1905)
Musée de la Ville de Paris, Musée Carnavalet, Paris / Lauros / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London
 
1

Reviews

'Saint-Saëns has an originality and charm all his own … Smith's warm and sympathetic rubato is a consistent delight, and his inspired choice to make the recording on an instrument played regularly by Saint-Saëns means that listeners can relish the authentic Gallic tones of the splendid La Madeleine organ' (Gramophone)

'Andrew-John Smith's reappraisal of Saint-Saëns' organ works is a real winner. The Trios Préludes et Fugues, three Fantasies and other works are performed with great sensitivity on the organ of the Madeleine … these pieces illustrate a remarkable synthesis of beauty and structure from France's most outstanding composer of the 19th century' (Choir & Organ)

'The charm and elegance of these preludes, fugues and fantasies … brilliantly played by the hugely talented Smith on the great Cavaillé-Coll instrument that Saint-Saëns knew' (The Observer)

'There are magical moments aplenty here … Smith is in a class of his own when it comes to compelling performances of these pieces. They are by far and away the best recordings of Saint-Saëns' organ music since Daniel Roth's three LP-set in 1982 … deeply compelling in their interpretative ardour and musical insight. What's more, there's even a touch of true flamboyance … any composer of integrity, neglected or otherwise, should be profoundly grateful for such compelling and persuasive advocacy as this' (International Record Review)

'The excellent performances apart, the main selling point of this disc is the opportunity to hear some of Saint-Saëns's organ works played on the very instrument for which they were composed—the magnificent Cavaillé-Col at La Madeleine, Paris … performed with flair and sensitivity by Smith who also contributes the excellent booklet notes' (Classic FM Magazine)
During 1896/7 Saint-Saëns played Op 99 No 1 together with the Bénédiction and the fantasies of 1857 and 1895 in his Swiss concerts. This latter, the Fantaisie in D flat major, Op 101 was dedicated to Queen Elisabeth of Romania who was known in Paris as a writer under the pseudonym Carmen Sylva. Amongst the organ music it is perhaps in this piece above all others that Saint-Saëns shares the bench with romanticism. Whilst in each of the fantasies the sectionalized structure is highly organized, in this piece the musical language itself adds a further element of cohesion to the whole.

from notes by Andrew-John Smith © 2008

Lors de ses concerts suisses de 1896/7, Saint-Saëns joua l’op. 99 no1, mais aussi la Bénédiction et les fantaisies de 1857 et 1895. La Fantaisie en ré bémol majeur, op. 101 (1895) fut dédiée à la reine Élisabeth de Roumanie, connue à Paris comme écrivain sous le nom de Carmen Sylva. C’est peut-être la pièce pour orgue dans laquelle Saint-Saëns se rallie le plus au romantisme. Ces fantaisies présentent une structure en sections très organisée, mais ici, le langage musical même amène un élément cohésif à l’ensemble.

extrait des notes rédigées par Andrew-John Smith © 2008
Français: Hypérion

1896/97 spielte er op. 99, Nr. 1 zusammen mit der Bénédiction und den Fantasien von 1857 und 1895 in seinen Schweizer Konzerten. Letztere, die Fantaisie in Des-Dur, op. 101 war Königin Elisabeth von Rumänien gewidmet, die in Paris als Schriftstellerin unter dem Pseudonym Carmen Sylva bekannt war. Innerhalb der Orgelmusik ist dies wohl das Stück, in dem sich Saint-Saëns am meisten der Romantik annähert. Während in jeder Fantasie die in Abschnitte gegliederte Struktur äußerst organisiert ist, trägt in diesem Stück die Musiksprache selbst ein weiteres Element zur Kohäsion des Ganzen bei.

aus dem Begleittext von Andrew-John Smith © 2008
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

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