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James Harrington
American Record Guide, January 2020

Burleson has a treasure trove of unpublished Saint-Saëns manuscripts from the Bibliotheque National de France. This, his fifth volume of the French master’s piano works, is certainly the most interesting yet from a musicological perspective.

This is an absolute must for anyone interested in Saint-Saëns or romantic virtuosic piano music. The piano sound is exceptionally good. © 2020 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, December 2019

This is a marvellous recording, perhaps best heard in parts rather than in one sitting, with interesting and informative cover notes by Mr. Burleson himself and excellent recording quality. I am so glad that this series is continuing as the intervening time between volumes 4 and 5 was so long that I was beginning to wonder if it had been cancelled. Once again, the pianist Geoffrey Burleson has made a super job of these obscure and interesting works. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Hank Zauderer
My Classical Notes, October 2019

The eight recordings included in this program are played from a set of unpublished manuscripts obtained by pianist Geoffrey Burleson from the Bibliotheque nationale de France, each of them filled with strong and imaginative ideas. © 2019 My Classical Notes Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2019

It seems quite bizarre that we are still discovering works by such famous composers as Saint-Saens with eight world premiere recordings on this one disc. They form part of a treasure-trove of unpublished manuscripts residing in the Bibliotheque National de France that have been obtained by Geoffrey Burleson as part of his a researches in realising a totally comprehensive survey of the composer’s music for solo piano. We have now reached his fifth volume described as ‘Rarities and Transcriptions’, and if you think these will be mere trifles, just turn to track 4, the virtuoso Fantasy on the Quintet from Meyerbeer’s opera, L’Etoile du Nord. And so we proceed through the composer’s fascination with the theatre in his younger years that provided him with the showpieces to feed his audience’s appetite for such works on his concert tours. Likewise they now demand a performer who can produce the wealth of power and volume required to fulfil the extended Fantasy on themes from Wagner’s Lohengrin, passages seeming to require three hands, and even more so in the formidable toccata created from Beethoven’s incidental music to The Ruins of Athens. Capturing the scale and weight of Gounod’s Gallia for soloists, chorus, organ and symphony orchestra, is followed by a scherzo created from Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers with its abundant right hand decoration. A slight relaxation in the paraphrase on Massenet’s opera Thais, and the Improvisation on the work Liszt composed for the dedication of Beethoven’s Monument in Bonn. Lastly a performance of the composer’s score for piano and orchestra, Africa, a feast of technical bravura. My personal thanks to Burleson for introducing us to this wealth of music, and for his superb performances that have been so truthfully placed on disc. © 2019 David’s Review Corner





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