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This is the third and final volume in our survey of Saint-Saëns' works for piano and orchestra, all of which feature the outstanding artistic expertise of soloist Romain Descharmes and conductor Marc Soustrot. Volumes 1 and 2 can be heard on 8.573476 and 8.573477.

“The last two concertos show all the genius and creativity of Camille Saint-Saëns. Both on the level of the form and the sought-after colours, one immediately feels the different influences and the maturity of the composer. The piano and the orchestra are really used equally, whether it is to serve an enthusiastic and an unbridled virtuosity, or to express the most plaintive of songs. This brilliant music opens the door to a new world.”

Romain Descharmes, soloist

Final Volume
SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 3 - Nos. 4 and 5
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921)
Piano Concerto No. 4
Piano Concerto No. 5, ‘Egyptian’

Romain Descharmes, Piano
Malmö Symphony Orchestra • Marc Soustrot

Saint-Saëns’s mature creative genius shines throughout these last two piano concertos, looking back over a glorious musical ancestry while at the same time opening the door to new worlds. The Fourth Piano Concerto is prescient of both his great Organ Symphony and the concertos of Rachmaninov, revealing Saint-Saëns at his most inspired and innovative. The Fifth was composed in the Egyptian temple town of Luxor, and displays a rich tapestry of exotic cultural influences from Javanese, Spanish and Middle Eastern music, as well as portrayals of chirping Nile crickets and croaking frogs, and the composer’s representation of ‘the joy of a sea crossing’. Volumes 1 and 2 can be heard on 8.573476 and 77.

Watch the video trailer
Listen to an extract from
Piano Concerto No. 5 “Egyptian”: II. Andante

Listen to Raymond Bisha's podcast
about this release

About the Artists
Romain Descharmes © Jean-Baptiste Millot
Since his noteworthy debut with the Orchestre de Paris in May 2012 and as winner of the Dublin Competition, Romain Descharmes has established himself as one of the foremost French pianists of his generation, in constant demand for concerts with orchestras, also for recitals and chamber music. He can be heard as accompanist to Tianwa Yang in Mendelssohn’s Sonata in F minor (8.572662) on her universally acclaimed recording that also features the composer's two violin concertos.
Marc Soustrot © Christoffer Lomfors
Marc Soustrot is considered a specialist in French orchestral repertoire. Formerly the principal conductor and artistic director of the Orchestre Philharmonique des Pays de la Loire, the Beethoven Orchester, Bonn, and Het Brabants Orkest, Eindhoven, he is currently chief conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. Marc Soustrot was honoured with the title Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2008.
Malmö Symphony Orchestra
The Malmö Symphony Orchestra (MSO) has received numerous accolades for its recordings, including a first prize at the Cannes Classical Awards and the annual Diapason d’Or awards, Gramophone Award nominations and Editor’s Choice/Recording of the Month citations. In August 2013 the MSO and Marc Soustrot began recording the complete works of Camille Saint-Saëns for Naxos.
More recordings featuring Marc Soustrot and orchestral music by Camille Saint-Saëns
Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2
Allegro appassionato

Descharmes • Malmö Symphony Orchestra
“A thoroughly ‘French’ sensibility. Romain Descharmes savors the music’s charm and brilliance without indulging in excessive sentimentality.”
“Romain Descharmes’s playing has a lot of clarity, it is richly detailed and vivid. He can count on Marc Soustrot’s competent conducting at the helm of the excellent Malmö Symphony.”
SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Cello and Orchestra Works - Cello Concertos Nos. 1, 2 / Suite in D Minor / Romance
SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Cello and Orchestra Works - Cello Concertos Nos. 1, 2 / Suite in D Minor / Romance
Also available with slipcase (8.551385)
“I was very taken by Gabriel Schwabe. [He] plays with a light heart and produces a light, airy tone to match, combined with a nonchalance and poise that I found most attractive.”
SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Violin and Orchestra Works
SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Violin and Orchestra Works
Also available with slipcase (8.551392)
“Stylish pacing and playing of Soustrot and his orchestra … intelligent and sweet-toned performances of violinist Tianwa Yang.”
The Guardian
“Marc Soustrot’s Saint-Saëns performances are perfectly shaped”
“Soustrot draws a splendid performance from the orchestra”
Classical Net
“Honest performances that show off Saint-Saens’s mastery of the orchestra”
BBC Music Magazine

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