SAINT-SAËNS Charles Camille (1835-1921)
Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 etc.
Gabriel Schwabe (cello), Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Marc Soustrot (conductor)
Saint-Saëns wrote his Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33 in 1872. This justly popular piece is the mainstay of this release. When he composed this work Saint-Saëns had already produced a couple of piano concertos, including the popular Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 and a violin concerto. In his Op. 33 Saint-Saëns showed a willingness to experiment with form as this work is in a single movement , albeit in three sections. First there is a turbulent opening leading in to a brief, highly original, minuet with muted strings and a cello cadenza. The finale begins with a reconsideration of the opening music.
This recording also includes the fiendishly technical Cello Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 119, the Allegro Appassionato in B minor Op. 43, the miniature Romance in F major, Op. 36 in a version for cello & orchestra, the five movement Suite in D minor, Op. 16 and The Swan from Le carnaval des animaux. Schwabe takes the demands of Op. 119 in his stride and brings out the sublime melodies in its tranquil central section.
Overall this is a welcome addition to the catalogue and at bargain price it deserves to be snapped up.
It is with much enthusiasm that I look forward to future releases from the 29 year old Gabriel Schwabe, who in 2015, signed an exclusive recording contract with record label Naxos.