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Valse-Finale from Ascanio rings the curtain on Saint-SaŽns 'Ballet Divertissiment within the five act Ascanio'; 7th of his 13 operas -- libretto by Louis Gallet (1835-1898), after Paul Meurice's Benvenuto Cellini (1852), otherwise attributed to Dumas. Ascanio premièred in Grand Opéra Paris, March 1890. The item brings Cala's CD concert to a pleasing, breezy conclusion [listen -- track 14, 2:41-3:41].

Geoffrey Simon
Geoffrey Simon

The LPO is in peak condition and flawlessly recorded throughout -- in short here's sheer, undemanding musical enjoyment from Bar 1 of Africa to the conclusion of Valse-Finale.

Copyright © 12 August 2007 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand

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Saint-Saëns: Africa

CACDS4031 SACD/DSD Surround NEW RELEASE 77'46" 2007 Cala Records Ltd

Gwendolyn Mok, piano; Susan Milan, flute; James Campbell, clarinet; Tina Gruenberg, violin; Anthony Roden, tenor; Stephanie Chase, violin; Robert Truman, cello; London Philharmonic Orchestra; Geoffrey Simon, conductor

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921): Africa - Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra Op 89 (1890); Parysatis - Airs de ballet (1902) (Entré; No 1; No 2; No 3); La jota aragonese Op 64 (published 1881); Samson and Delilah - Grand Fantasy (arranged by Alexandre Luigini, 1850-1906) (first complete recording); Tarantelle for Flute, Clarinet and Orchestra Op 6 (first performed 1857); Sarabande et Rigaudon Op 93 (1892); Danse macabre Op 40 (1873) (first recording of version for voice and orchestra); Marche militaire française (Suite algérienne Op 60) (1880); The Muse and the Poet Op 132 (1910); Valse-Finale (Ascanio, first performed 1890)

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'SAMSON AND DELILAH' IN SAN DIEGO

GEOFFREY SIMON CONDUCTS SAINT-SAËNS' REQUIEM

'LA PRINCESSE JAUNE'

HARUKO SEKI PLAYS SAINT-SAËNS

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