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AE-10097

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Symphony No. 3 "Organ"

bearbeitet von Guy Bovet als Konzert für Orgel und Orchester

Capriccio Baroque Orchestra

Ulrich Meldau

Karel Valter

Zürich, Reformierte Kirche Enge

Inhalt:
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) :
Sinfonie Nr. 3 "mit Orgel", transkribiert von Guy Bovet als Konzert für Orgel und Orchester c-Moll [Op. 78]
Romance Des-Dur [Op. 37]
Tarantella a-moll [Op. 6]
Mehr Details...

Capriccio Baroque Orchestra (Barockorchester)
Ulrich Meldau, Orgel
Karel Valter, Leitung
Anne Freitag, Traversflöte
Francesco Negrini, Klarinette
Gesamtspielzeit: 0:53 (h:m)
Booklet: 32p., Englisch Deutsch
Bestell-Nr. AE 10097
EAN 4026798100971
Produktkategorie: SACD
Veröffentlichungsdatum: 04.12.2018
  • play_circle_outline I. Allegro moderato (example 1)
  • play_circle_outline I. Allegro moderato (example 2)
  • play_circle_outline II. Adagio
  • play_circle_outline III. Allegro moderato
  • play_circle_outline IV. Maestoso
  • play_circle_outline Romance
  • play_circle_outline Tarantella

In Guy Bovets Bearbeitung von Saint-Saëns' berühmter Orgelsinfonie Op. 78 als "Konzert für Orgel und Orchester" kommt die Orgel definitiv nicht erst beim grossen C-Dur Akkord zur Geltung, sondern ist als konzertierende Partnerin des auf Originalinstrumenten des 19. Jahrhunderts spielenden Orchesters von Anfang an voll eingebunden!

Camille Saint-Saëns dritte Symphonie in c-Moll Op. 78 gehört - zusammen mit seinem "Karneval der Tiere" - zu den bekanntesten Werken des französischen Romantikers, ja der klassischen Musik überhaupt.
In der nun bei Aeolus erschienenen Version des Klassikers hat die Orgel nicht erst im vierten Satz ihren ersten prominenten Auftritt! Der Schweizer Komponist und Organist Guy Bovet hatte die wirklich geniale Idee, dieses Werk umzuschreiben als "Konzert für Orgel und Orchester". In seiner Bearbeitung tritt die Orgel nun bereits im ersten Satz virtuos in Erscheinung, da Bovet zahlreiche Orchesterpassagen vortrefflich auf das Soloinstrument übertragen hat.
Die vorliegende Ersteinspielung dieser Version entstand im Dezember 2017 in der Züricher Kirche Enge, die für ihre vorzügliche Akustik bekannt ist. Solist an der großen Kuhn-Orgel ist Ulrich Meldau, der in den 90er Jahren bei zahlreichen CDs mit Werken für Orgel und Orchester auf dem Label Motette mitgewirkt hat. Das auf historische Aufführungspraxis spezialisierte schweizer Ensemble "Capriccio Barockorchester" spielt dabei unter der Leitung von Karel Valter auf historischen Instrumenten des 19. Jahrhunderts! Dank großzügiger finanzieller Unterstützung war es sogar möglich, das Werk unter Studiobedingungen zu produzieren, was bei größeren Orchesterbesetzungen heutzutage schon fast als Luxus zu gelten hat.
Ergänzt wird das Album durch zwei reizvolle Kammermusikwerke des Komponisten, die von Ulrich Meldau für Soloinstrumente und Orgel übertragen wurden.

Recording Saint-Saens at Zurich

Während des Konzertes mit Saint-Saëns' 3.Symphonie

During a concert with Saint-Saëns 3rd Symphony

Während des Konzertes mit Saint-Saëns' 3.Symphonie

During a concert with Saint-Saëns 3rd Symphony

Während des Konzertes mit Saint-Saëns' 3.Symphonie

During a concert with Saint-Saëns 3rd Symphony

Während des Konzertes mit Saint-Saëns' 3.Symphonie

€ 18,51 (inkl. MwSt.)
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Rezensionen zu “Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 "Organ"”

 

Res Musica Frédéric Muñoz, January 14, 2019 :

“L’écoute de l’œuvre ainsi revisitée est passionnante.”
Mehr Details...

La Symphonie n° 3 pour orgue et orchestre de Saint-Saëns est dans doute l’œuvre la plus jouée pour cette formation. Pourtant l’orgue n’y occupe qu’une place relative, ce que le compositeur et organiste Guy Bovet rééquilibre ici avantageusement. Ce nouvel éclairage est passionnant.
Par cette œuvre grandiloquente, Camille Saint-Saëns souhaitait rendre hommage à Franz Liszt, incluant à l’orchestre symphonique un grand orgue, instrument que le compositeur hongrois pratiqua beaucoup dans la deuxième moitié de sa vie. Comme dans la plupart des symphonies, cette œuvre comporte quatre mouvements, où curieusement l’orgue n’intervient que dans le deuxième et le quatrième. L’intérêt majeur de cet album est de proposer une version alternative qui fait intervenir l’instrument à tuyaux d’un bout à l’autre de l’œuvre à la manière d’un concerto.
Guy Bovet, compositeur et organiste, s’en explique longuement dans le texte du livret. Après l’analyse de la symphonie telle que Saint-Saëns l’a écrite, le transcripteur en vient à exposer son travail. Il propose de réduire la formation orchestrale pour un meilleur équilibre en redistribuant les parties jouées par les deux blocs sonores. Cela ne va pas sans soulever divers problèmes, notamment d’exécution à l’orgue qui ne peut pas toujours se substituer aux cordes ou aux bois pour de simples raisons techniques liées au clavier, mais qui sont ici résolues par de judicieuses adaptations. Guy Bovet préserve le deuxième mouvement tel que l’auteur l’avait conçu puisque l’orgue y trouve magnifiquement sa place. Pour le célèbre final, il opère quelques aménagements dont les fameuses parties de piano arpégées à souhait et qui rappellent parfois certaines roulades du Carnaval des animaux, œuvre qu’il composa d’ailleurs à la même époque. Enfin, il fait remarquer que la structure même de la symphonie ne permet pas d’en faire un concerto pour orgue à proprement parler et que dans cette idée, Saint-Saëns l’aurait abordé de toute autre manière. L’orgue reste ici en maillage constant avec l’orchestre ce qui l’écarte de toute posture de véritable soliste. Guy Bovet introduit cependant une courte cadence dans le final.
L’écoute de l’œuvre ainsi revisitée est passionnante. Le son de l’orgue est bien d’essence symphonique, en harmonie avec l’orchestre, réduit par rapport à l’original. La symphonie y gagne en aération par rapport à la partition d’origine qui est beaucoup plus chargée orchestralement avec de nombreuses doublures de pupitres. L’orgue construit en 1951 par Kuhn et restauré en 2017 offre une pâte sonore idéale. L’organiste Ulrich Meldau dose parfaitement l’équilibre par un jeu fondu au travers de registrations qui ne sombrent jamais dans la lourdeur. L’orchestre allégé, conduit fermement par le chef Karel Valter sur des tempi raisonnables permet une lecture fiable et agréable. La prise de son proposée en support SACD veille elle aussi à l’équilibre général.
En complément de programme, on découvre cette fois-ci arrangées et accompagnées par l’organiste Ulrich Meldau deux œuvres attachantes : Une Romance pour flûte et une Tarentelle pour flûte et clarinette, avec Anne Freitag et Francesco Negrini. Dans cette dernière, le jeu des deux solistes en dialogue se marie harmonieusement au point de les confondre dans certains passages. Cette production honore la musique de Saint-Saëns et aidera l’auditeur, par cette nouvelle approche, à mieux entrer dans l’univers colossal de cette symphonie.

Read this article on the Res Musica website

 

Music Web International Stephen Greenbank, March 27, 2019 :

“Here is a performance unlike any you will have heard before.”
Mehr Details...

Saint-Saëns composed his Third Symphony "in memory of Franz Liszt", and here is a performance unlike any you will have heard before. It's a transcription by Guy Bovet, a Swiss organist and composer. The Symphony conforms to a traditional four-movement structure, and many recordings, including this one, divide and track it that way, yet the composer conceived it in two movements. My review will be discussed as a four movement work. Bovet considers the original organ solo part limited, as it only appears in two movements, the second and fourth. His intention is to recreate a score, which provides the organist with "a real solo part", imaginatively constructed and "sufficiently rich and brilliant to present a rewarding task to the player". He has succeeded admirably, with the result that the soloist is engaged throughout. Bovet achieves this by transferring suitable orchestral passages to the solo instrument. In addition, he has made the decision to make the orchestral textures less heavy by scaling down the orchestral forces. Whilst retaining the original spirit of the composer, the end result is "lighter and more colourful".
Prior to this release coming my way, I’d never been a great fan of this work. All this has now changed, and this transformed newcomer has presented it in a new light. The more transparent sonorities, less heavy scoring, and ingenious solo part has, for me at least, opened the door on its manifold riches.
The Romance for flute and organ and the Tarantella for flute, clarinet and organ, in arrangements by Ulrich Meldau, make pleasing fillers. Both overflow with quintessential Saint-Saëns melodic munificence, with the unusual instrumental groupings blending well.
Karel Valter directs a sure-footed account of the Symphony, one of Saint-Saëns' best known works. The Capriccio Baroque Orchestra, who perform on historical instruments, have a pleasing luminous sound, with immaculate ensemble. Lauded for its magnificent acoustics, the Reformierten Kirche Enge, Zürich truly lives up to its reputation here, and a fine balance has been struck between organ and orchestra. Ulrich Meldau plays with commanding authority and mines the full potential of the Kuhn Organ with his resourceful registration choices. As in all Aeolus productions that I've encountered, the accompanying documentation in German and English is first class.

Read the article on the Music Web International Website

 

Music Web International Rob Maynard, June 2019 :

“Recording engineer Christoph Martin Frommen, with the benefit of the clearly superb acoustics of Zürich-Enge’s Reformierte Kirche, has produced a notably well-balanced orchestral account that sets off the newly-enhanced organ part superbly well.”
Mehr Details...

Rearrangements of familiar classical works come around quite regularly and in more than a decade’s worth of MusicWeb reviewing I have encountered my fair share. They vary immensely in intention and scope. Some are based on little more than a gimmick, while others claim to offer useful new musical perspectives (I recall several friends developing at least a fleeting interest in Bach after hearing Wendy Carlos’s synthesised versions in the 1970s, review). The pleasure to be gained from listening to such individual – and often unique – ventures can vary enormously. On the one hand, I found reworkings of Rachmaninoff’s second symphony into a “piano concerto no. 5” (review) and Brahms’s violin concerto into a “piano concerto no. 3” (review) to be quite entertaining exercises. On the other, however, a potentially intriguing attempt to add some “authentic” oriental atmosphere to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade by utilising the unfamiliar sounds of the ney, qanun, darbuka, def, bendir and kudüm (review) may have been fascinating in theory but, in practice, failed to engage me.
Now we have this rearrangement of Saint-Saëns’s third symphony, originally composed at much the same time as Scheherazade and today almost as popular – not least for its finale’s familiar “big tune”. Its transcriber, Guy Bovet, contributes a very useful booklet essay to accompany this release, but I suspect that he is, at times, writing with his tongue quite firmly in his cheek. What, otherwise, are we to make of his claim that this is a work in which “organists… always get slightly frustrated: only with a suitably guilty conscience do they take their bow together with the conductor, having played no more than a few chords – not a fraction of what all the musicians in the orchestra have to do”. Putting aside my own cynical suspicion that in reality they’d be less likely to be feeling frustrated and guilty than laughing all the way to the bank, let’s agree to take Mr Bovet at his word. He has, in any case, now reworked the symphony in a way that seeks “to create”, as he puts it, “an organ part sufficiently rich and brilliant to present a rewarding task to the player.”
Is the result, as the CD’s rear cover somewhat tentatively suggests in an easily-missed footnote, a concerto for organ and orchestra? Mr Bovet himself, it seems, is inclined to think not, for his essay is hedged about with caveats and, indeed, outright denials. “One thing is clear:”, he writes, “if Saint-Saëns had composed an organ concerto, it would not have resembled our adaptation… Saint-Saëns’s composition, by nature a symphonic work without a soloist, does not truly allow such a transformation… Instead, [as] …adapted with respect for the original structure, the work remains essentially symphonic… [O]ne must face the fact that this symphony remains a symphony”.
Put at its simplest, then, what we have here is a recreation of the work that transcribes several of the familiar symphony’s orchestral sections – of varying lengths – for an organ that sometimes plays solo and at other times is accompanied by the orchestra. In general, the exercise is carried out rather successfully, to the extent that my colleague Stephen Greenbank, never, it seems, a great fan of Saint-Saëns’s original version, has written that “this transformed newcomer has presented it in a new light. The more transparent sonorities, less heavy scoring, and ingenious solo part has, for me at least, opened the door on its manifold riches” (review). It ought, though, to be noted up front that the organ cannot replicate everything that an orchestra can do. In particular it proves unable at times to match the dexterity characteristic of much of Saint-Saëns’s score even when it is at its most dense. Thus, in considering one particular passage, even Mr Bovet concedes that the organ “does not lend itself at all to such fast repeated notes, so that they can only be literally adopted in exceptional cases, and we have done so only incidentally and briefly… But in general it is not feasible…”
Meanwhile, in order to bring the enhanced organ part more to the fore, the composer’s orchestration has been considerably thinned out, allowing the piece to be performed by a small-scale band. The musicians utilised on this occasion are the Capriccio Baroque Orchestra, described in the CD booklet as “one of the most renowned baroque orchestras in Switzerland… with a special devotion [to] newly discovered or rarely played works”. Just how small the CBO is, though, isn’t entirely clear. The orchestra’s own website displays one photograph including just 14 musicians, another showing 15 and makes reference in its text to 23. Meanwhile, this new CD’s booklet includes a photograph of 22 players presumably hard at work on the symphony. All these numbers seem terribly small in the context of a major orchestral piece from the late Romantic era, but the booklet notes avoid any suggestion that any extra players were conscripted for the occasion.
Whatever the case, the recording of the orchestra is well-balanced and very clear. It may be obvious that we’re not listening to the likes of the plushly-upholstered Boston Symphony Orchestra in its famous account under Charles Munch (in the view of my colleague Paul Shoemaker, still “one of the finest performances and recordings of any piece of music ever done” - review), but recording engineer Christoph Martin Frommen, with the benefit of the clearly superb acoustics of Zürich-Enge’s Reformierte Kirche, has produced a notably well-balanced orchestral account that sets off the newly-enhanced organ part superbly well.
Expert recording also flatters the two filler tracks on this disc. Saint-Saëns’s op. 37 Romance was originally written for flute (or violin) and orchestra, while his op. 6 Tarantella was composed for flute, clarinet and orchestra. Both are presented here in arrangements by organist Ulrich Meldau in which his own instrument replaces the orchestra. The resultant new sonorities make a real difference to the impact made by each piece. In the case of the Romance, the organ’s prominent role in support of a single flautist means that it emerges as less romantic in atmosphere than strikingly ecclesiastical, with the rearrangement conveying an impression, perhaps, of sitting in a rather dusty church where a funeral has just taken place and the congregation is sitting in quiet contemplation of the deceased. In the Tarantella, on the other hand, while the organ’s prominence is reduced by the addition of a clarinet to the mix, its participation inevitably slows the rearrangement down so that the dance is not delivered in an appropriately manic manner (the word tarantella is derived, after all, from the mania supposedly induced by a tarantula’s bite). Both pieces are, though, very well performed and are a pleasure to hear for the first time in their current form.
At just 53 or so minutes in length, this is not a particularly well-filled disc. It is, nevertheless, an enjoyable one. Personally speaking, I’ve always admired the symphony in its original version but it can only be a good thing if Mr Bovet’s imaginative initiative endears it to those who, like my colleague Stephen, have hitherto been immune to its appeal. Let’s also, while I think of it, gratefully recognise that the new version’s arrival will allow a myriad of depressed organists to finally cast off all that guilt and frustration at not working hard enough in Saint-Saëns’s most popular symphony.
Rob Maynard

Read the article on Music Web International Website

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Res Musica :

L’écoute de l’œuvre ainsi revisitée est passionnante.

Music Web International :

Here is a performance unlike any you will have heard before.

Music Web International :

Recording engineer Christoph Martin Frommen, with the benefit of the clearly superb acoustics of Zürich-Enge’s Reformierte Kirche, has produced a notably well-balanced orchestral account that sets off the newly-enhanced organ part superbly well.
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