Hyperion Records

Piano Concerto No 2 in G minor, Op 22
composer

Recordings
'Arthur de Greef – Solo and concerto recordings' (APR7401)
Arthur de Greef – Solo and concerto recordings
'Saint-Saëns: The complete works for piano and orchestra' (CDA67331/2)
Saint-Saëns: The complete works for piano and orchestra
'Irene Scharrer – The complete electric and selected acoustic recordings' (APR6010)
Irene Scharrer – The complete electric and selected acoustic recordings
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 APR6010  2CDs for the price of 1  
'The Piano G & Ts, Vol. 3 – Chaminade & Saint-Saëns' (APR5533)
The Piano G & Ts, Vol. 3 – Chaminade & Saint-Saëns
Details
Incomplete: Extracts
Movement 1: Andante sostenuto
Movement 2 (abridged): Allegro scherzando
Movement 2: Allegro scherzando
Movement 3: Presto

Piano Concerto No 2 in G minor, Op 22
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Saint-Saëns composed his Second Piano Concerto in 1868. One of its many original features is the tempo gradation of its three-movement plan – ‘Andante sostenuto’, ‘Allegro scherzando’, ‘Presto’. The extended solo passage which opens the work – an obvious homage to Bach – originated in one of the composer’s improvising sessions at the organ. (Saint-Saëns was widely recognised as the greatest organist of his day, and his skill at improvisation – an art which he valued highly – is clearly related to the abundance of cadenza-like passages in these concertos.) The principal theme of this movement is not actually by Saint-Saëns, but was borrowed from Fauré, who had decided against using it in an early Tantum ergo. A spirit of Mendelssohnian delicacy hovers over the second movement, while Saint-Saëns’s individual and mischievous wit is evident in the timpani solos, soon imitated by the piano left hand. A bustling tarantella rhythm propels much of the finale, but the development section is dominated by a trill-obsessed figure from the second subject, while the woodwind intone a chorale-like melody.

from notes by Phillip Borg-Wheeler © 2001

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