Saint-Saens - Symphonic Poems, Carnival of the Animals, etc. | Harmonia Mundi HMM90261415

Saint-Saens - Symphonic Poems, Carnival of the Animals, etc.


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Label: Harmonia Mundi

Cat No: HMM90261415

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 17th November 2023



François-Xavier Roth and Les Siècles offer us a double-sided portrait of Saint-Saëns here.

On one side, some of the most fascinating symphonic poems of French Romanticism are revealed in all the shimmering timbres of the period.

On the other, we rediscover a composer who enjoyed a good laugh (The Carnival of the Animals also returns to its original colours) when he was not involved in the early days of the cinema, with the very first music ever composed for a film.


As anticipated, Roth and Les Siècles bring sparkle and panache to these colourful scores. The four tone poems are packed with drama. Le rouet d’Omphale thrums along busily and La jeunesse d’Hercule contains playing of tremendous delicacy, sighing strings resisting the woodwind temptations of the nymphs and the bacchantes. Phaéton’s ride in the sun chariot is thrilling and full of incident...  Mark Pullinger
Gramophone December 2023
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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