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Track(s) taken from CDA67922

Sarabande in D major 'Offertoire'

1859; later re-used as the second movement of the Op 49 Suite for orchestra

Andrew-John Smith (organ)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: June 2011
La Madeleine, Paris, France
Produced by Daniel Moult
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: July 2012
Total duration: 3 minutes 55 seconds

Cover artwork: Leaving La Madeleine by Jean Beraud (1849-1935)
Private Collection / Photo © Christie's Images / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'The mighty Fantaisie pour orgue-Aeolian, complete with tubular bells, written for the new American Aeolian organ in 1906, sounds epic on this vast, brooding instrument, so splendidly tamed by the dextrous Smith' (The Observer)

'Saint-Saëns described the Fantaisie as 'unplayable by the hands and feet' but Andrew-John Smith proves otherwise … in the more conventional repertoire, Smith capitalises on the colours that the La Madeleine instrument so richly offers' (The Daily Telegraph)

'The variety of colour explored by Smith on this fabulous instrument contributes to the joyous experience of listening to his performance. The use of orchestral tubular bells … is successful and Smith's dextrous virtuosity thrills us though to the conclusion … the enthusiasm with which Smith talks about these pieces in his notes … is amply reflected in his playing, which is in turn commanding, sensitive, robust and lyrical, as the music requires' (International Record Review)
Whilst the charming Sarabande is best known as the second movement of the 1863 orchestral Suite, Op 49, an early untitled version for organ or harmonium survives in a manuscript from 1859. It was nonetheless first published in 1877, both in its full version and a four-hand piano arrangement by Guiraud. In 1890 Durand published it in an organ ‘arrangement’ on three staves by Saint-Saëns’ friend Gaston Choisnel, almost certainly made under the composer’s supervision. It later appeared in Échos du monde religieux (1901) and L’Organiste (1911), once again on two staves, under the title Offertoire.

from notes by Andrew-John Smith © 2012

La charmante Sarabande est surtout connue pour être le deuxième mouvement de la Suite orchestrale op. 49 (1863) mais un manuscrit de 1859 en conserve un état plus ancien, sans titre, pour orgue ou harmonium. Elle ne fut toutefois publiée qu’en 1877, dans sa version grande partition et dans un arrangement pour piano à quatre mains réalisé par Guiraud. En 1890, Durand en édita un «arrangement» pour orgue, sur trois portées, effectué par Gaston Choisnel, un ami de Saint-Saëns (qui le supervisa très certainement). Plus tard, elle parut dans les Échos du monde religieux (1901) et dans L’Organiste (1911), de nouveau sur deux portées et sous le titre d’Offertoire.

extrait des notes rédigées par Andrew-John Smith © 2012
Français: Hypérion

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