Camille Thomas – Saint-Saens, Offenbach (2017) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Camille Thomas – Saint-Saëns, Offenbach (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:08:04 minutes | 1,2 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Alongside the famous First Cello Concerto from Saint-Saëns, which opens this album from Franco-Belgian cellist Camille Thomas (recently decorated with an ECHO KLASSIK prize for Best Chamber Music Recording and a Choc de Classica, now recording exclusively for Deutsche Gramophon), we are offered a glimpse here of a few of Saint-Saëns’s rarities, alongside some even-rarer-rarities from Jacques Offenbach – himself a celebrated cellist. Saint-Saëns’s 1862 Suite for Cello and Orchestra takes in old courtly dances, given the treatment that only a composer as rooted in the 19th Century as Saint-Saëns could. There is also a re-writing of a famous air, “Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix” from Samson and Delilah, which the cellists quickly seized upon for its very instrumental melodic line. As for Offenbach, we have the Introduction, Prayer and Bolero of 1840, a time when the musician had yet to compose a single opera, a single operetta, and indeed hardly a single vocal line apart from a few melodies. Note that the three pieces assembled here in fact originate from the Spanish stage, along with two other similar pieces which wound up being cut by the editor. Camille Thomas completes his programme with a few adaptations taken from Hoffman’s Tales – the unmissable barcarole, performed here by violinist Nemanja Radulovic – and the Brazilian’s piece from La Vie Parisienne, with Rolando Villazón as a guest star, who gives a lusty performance in his super-charged Latin American accent. Hair-raising!


Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
Concerto For Cello And Orchestra No. 1 In A Minor, Op. 33, R. 193
1 1. Allegro non troppo – Allegro molto – Tempo I – 05:56
2 2. Allegretto con moto – Tempo I – Un peu moins vite – Più allegro (Tempo I) – 04:52
3 3. Molto allegro 08:47
Samson et Dalila, Op. 47, R. 288 / Act 2
4 “Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” Cantabile (Transcribed For Cello And Orchestra) 05:51
Suite For Cello And Orchestra, Op. 16b, R. 211
5 1. Prélude. Moderato assai 02:05
6 2. Sérénade. Andantino 03:05
7 3. Gavotte. Allegro non troppo 03:21
8 4. Romance. Molto adagio 05:46
9 5. Tarantelle. Presto non troppo 03:50

Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880)
Les Contes d’Hoffmann / Act 3
10 Barcarolle (Arr. For Violin, Cello, Piano And String Ensemble By Aleksandar Sedlar) 03:21
Introduction, Prière et Boléro For Cello And Orchestra, Op. 22
11 1. Introduction. Andante maestoso – Prière (Revised By Jean-Christophe Keck) 04:49
12 2. Boléro. Allegro vivo 07:20
Harmonies des bois, Op. 76
13 2. Les larmes de Jacqueline 06:23
La vie parisienne / Act 1
14 “Je suis brésilien” (Arr. For Tenor, Cello And Orchestra By Alessandro Bares) (Bonus Track) 02:49

Camille Thomas, cello
Orchestre National de Lille
Alexandre Bloch, conductor