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Paul L. Althouse
American Record Guide, September 2015

SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Symphonies, Vol. 2 - Symphony No. 3 / Symphony in A Major / Le rouet d'Omphale (C.A. Landström, Malmö Symphony, Soustrot) 8.573139
SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Introduction et rondo capriccioso, Op. 28 / La muse et le poete / Symphony No. 3, "Organ" (Geller, Gibbs, Kraybill) RR-136

…both of the organ symphonies are very nicely done. I found the Malmö playing a little more expressive, but the tempos and general approaches of the conductors are very similar. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, July 2015

Needless to say, Saint-Saëns’ Symphony is an absolute natural for the surround sound medium and this Blu-ray audio is a treat. Inspired by Liszt, to whose memory the work is dedicated, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 is ground-breaking in its inclusion of organ and piano. For the composer this represented ‘the progress made in modern instrumentation’ and the result is a work both spectacular and grandiose. By contrast the Symphony in A, his first completed symphony, is a youthful piece, fully revealing his admiration for Mozart, whilst Le rouet d’Omphale, dating from the 1870s, is an impressively atmospheric tone poem. © 2015 Classical CD Choice Read complete review

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, July 2015

…the Malmö Symphony under its principal conductor, Marc Soustrout, give [the “Organ” Symphony] a good workout.

Maestro Soustrot takes a relatively relaxed approach to much of the first movement… Nevertheless, Soustrot maintains a rather flexible rubato, so his contrasts in tempo help to keep our attention. © 2015 Classical Candor Read complete review

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, June 2015

Soustrot draws a splendid performance from the orchestra, yielding such effervescence, subtlety and charm… © 2015 Classical Net Read complete review

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, June 2015

With his conducting, Marc Soustrot creates a lot of electrifying energy, the excellent sound of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra having been perfectly captured by the sound crew. The second volume of the Saint-Saëns Edition from Malmö maintains what the first promised. © 2015 Pizzicato

Rad Bennett
RadsReferenceReviews, June 2015

…Soustrot proves a very refined musician who pays close attention to detail and also a maestro who knows the differences between loud, exciting, and bombast. Once again the Malmö players prove quite formidable and virtuosic and organist Carl Adam Landström knows how to register his organ so that it is powerful but not overpowering. © 2015 RadsReferenceReviews Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2015

Having in recent years been reduced to an organ extravaganza, this new recording recreates the Third Symphony with the instrument as part of the orchestral texture. Of course the blast of sound it brings to the opening of the finale is given its full measure of impact, and its subterranean pedal notes underpin the concluding bars to create the intended tingle of excitement. But this is a performance that offers the score as Saint-Saëns intended, the conductor, Marc Soustrot, never allowing the opening movement to overheat, as is customary nowadays, and neither does he use the organ as a soloist in the second movement. The whole adds up to a perfectly shaped and paced account, superbly played by the Malmö orchestra, an ensemble of outstanding quality. Its companion piece is the rarely heard Symphony in A major, written when the composer was around fifteen. We must recall that the symphony was not a popular format in early 19th century France, Saint-Saëns drawing inspiration from Mozart that had reached him via Mendelssohn. There is also a hint in Rossini in the bubbling joy of a four-movement score that extends to almost half and hour. Scored for a modest sized orchestra, Soustrot draws the most neat and elegant playing featuring limpid woodwind solos. That beauty is equally true of Le rouet d’Omphale, Soustrot’s strict tempo creating a most magical spinning-wheel effect. We have here such a detailed account that you will be fascinated by following the composer’s skill at bringing together tiny fragments from different instruments to create a gorgeous musical mosaic. Excellent sound quality, and I much commend the disc to you as part of the composer’s complete orchestral works in this new series. © 2015 David’s Review Corner, May 2015

Soustrot does a very fine job of giving both these works their due, neither overplaying them nor over-emphasizing their differences—he lets them speak for themselves, which they do quite eloquently, if in somewhat different symphonic languages. Carl Adam Landström’s organ playing has all the elegance and drama that the Symphony No. 3 requires, and the performance as a whole is one that builds inexorably to its organ-led climax after taking listeners through a series of elegantly fashioned, very well-orchestrated episodes. © 2015 Read complete review

Thomas Kiefner
Film Music: The Neglected Art, May 2015

These days with the new digital technology it is hard to fault any CD for quality and this one is no exception. Yes I have heard better organs and recordings of the 3rd symphony but this coupling is well worth the investment.

A nice inexpensive way to enjoy Saint-Saëns. © 2015 Film Music: A Neglected Art Read complete review

Gwyn Parry-Jones
MusicWeb International, May 2015

There are many fine and even great version of [the Third Symphony] work on disc…[and] I confess to having been immensely impressed by Soustrot’s reading on this new Naxos issue. He allows the work to unfold naturally but maintains strong momentum in the first and third movements. The glorious poco adagio, with its broad and noble melody, is played beautifully by the Malmö orchestra. Here again Soustrot finds a tempo which perfectly balances the needs for both expressive intensity and onward movement.

Another great quality of Soustrot’s reading is the way he deals with the links between the various sections and movements. …Soustrot creates a sense of expectancy that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

This is a fine disc, with excellent orchestral playing throughout, guided by sure-footed stylistic and structural direction from Soustrot. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Hurwitz, April 2015

This second volume in Naxos’ ongoing Saint-Saëns symphony cycle is as good as the first. Marc Soustrot has some very good ideas about how the music should go…[he] prefers urgency even at the expense of some occasionally blurred articulation.

The organ, excellently played by Carl Adam Landström, is very well balanced by the Naxos engineers…and the presence of the very early Symphony in A major plus the tone poem Le rouet d’Omphale, equally well played, constitutes a considerable bonus. © 2015 Read complete review

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