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Saint-Saëns and Seki

An admirable partnership,

Master Musicians    ESCD010

Saint Saëns Piano Works. Haruko Seki (c) Master Musicians


We rarely hear Saint-Saëns for his piano music, except the brilliance of his second piano concerto. The admirable Japanese pianist, Haruko Seki, here applies her refreshing lightness of touch to some of the solo piano pieces. Her immaculate attention to detail is as ravishing as her care over the larger picture. But the fire is at white heat when required.

This music deploys the freedom of decoration released by Chopin and Liszt, which therefore enshrines personal touches from Saint-Saëns. One could wish for more such music from him, but what there is has precious few exponents, which is one of those inexplicable blunders of neglect found in all the arts. Listen to two extracts from the Toccata Op 111 [listen -- track 8, 0:00-0:52] and Mazurka Op 24 [listen -- track 10, 1:03-2:01] : I'd be surprised if Saint-Saëns could remain indifferent to performances of this calibre.


Copyright © 25 April 2001 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK





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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Wednesday series of shorter CD reviews