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new-classics.co.uk, September 2016

SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Symphony No. 3, "Organ" / Danse Macabre / Cypres et Lauriers (Warnier, Lyon National Orchestra, Slatkin) 8.573331
SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Symphony No. 3, "Organ" / Danse Macabre / Cypres et Lauriers (Warnier, Lyon National Orchestra, Slatkin) (Blu-Ray Audio) NBD0045

The Orchestre National de Lyon and their organist-in-residence, Vincent Warnier, present two major works for organ and orchestra by Saint-Saëns, both of which are historically linked with the great Cavaillé-Coll organs. Saint-Saëns’ inclusion of organ and piano in his Third Symphony was unprecedented at the time, and is a spectacular example of music both resplendent and grandiose. It was driven, in the composer’s words, ‘by the progress made in modern instrumentation’. Inspired by Liszt, to whose memory the work is dedicated, the symphony is conducted here by Leonard Slatkin, together with his Danse macabre and the rare and poignant Cyprès et Lauriers, which exemplifies the composer’s melodic charm and refinement. © 2016 new-classics.co.uk




Peter J. Rabinowitz
Fanfare, November 2015

…graceful, luminous, and uplifting a performance as you’re likely to hear. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Peter J. Rabinowitz
Fanfare, May 2015

Slatkin resists the temptation to treat the Third as a lurid sonic spectacle, lighting instead on the perfect French style that eluded him in the Symphonie fantastique with this orchestra two years ago. From the opening pages, he offers us clean textures and canny balances that…allow the flutes to float over the orchestra without losing their feathery tone. Rhythms are deft, with plenty of momentum but no sense that we’re being pressured; transitions are ideal. The melodies have a gracious curl, too, and accents and dynamic swells are subtly handled.

…this is one of the stellar Thirds. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, February 2015

Blu-ray audio continues to make its mark with yet another stunningly recorded disc, and this Saint-Saëns collection was recorded to celebrate the inauguration of the newly restored former organ of the Palais du Trocadéro and Palais de Chaillot in Paris. The Orchestre National de Lyon and their organist-in-residence, Vincent Warnier, present two major works for organ and orchestra by Camille Saint-Saëns, both of which are historically linked with the great Cavaillé-Coll organs. Saint-Saëns’ inclusion of organ and piano in his Symphony No. 3 in C minor was unprecedented at the time, and is a spectacular example of music both resplendent and grandiose. This is coupled here with the rare and poignant Cyprès et Lauriers, under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. © 2015 Classical CD Choice



John Quinn
MusicWeb International, February 2015

…I’m pleased to be able to report that it’s a good performance.

This is an enjoyable and well executed programme. The sound is pretty good too. In the works involving full forces the organ is integrated well with the orchestra, enriching the texture very nicely in the slow movement of the symphony and, in the finale of that work, occupying its rightful position of prominence. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, January 2015

…Leonard Slatkin takes as lyrical an approach to the Organ Symphony as I have heard…The D-flat Major Poco adagio proffers peace and love, not inflated heroics. A poised intimacy suffuses this movement, graduated into the splendid restatement of the chorale theme over delicate string pizzicatos. Having kept his woodwinds in dynamic restraints throughout the Presto of the third movement, Slatkin sees the giant C Major chord from Warnier as a gateway to an ecstatically liquefied sound world dominated by organ, brass, and cymbals. The recording…delivers a warm, glowing performance of tasteful enthusiasm. © 2015 Audiophile Audition Read complete review



Rad Bennett
RadsReferenceReviews, January 2015

Warnier…manages the huge Caville-Coll/Gonzalez/Aubertin organ with ease, displaying its many colors so well that one scarcely misses the usual orchestration. A most enjoyable musical romp, with superb surround sound. © 2015 RadsReferenceReviews Read complete review





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