Skip to content

Gaston Litaize, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Daniel Barenboim – Camille Saint-Saens – Organ Symphony (1976/2003) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Camille Saint-Saens – Organ Symphony – Gaston Litaize, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Daniel Barenboim (1976/2003)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 56:20 minutes | 994 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon GmbH
Recorded: May 1975, in Studio Medinah Temple, Chicago, United States

This celebrated recording of Saint-Saëns’ Third stands as one of the very few performances to challenge the acclaimed Munch/Boston version on RCA. It features playing of great panache (with a truly high-voltage finale), and if the strings in the first-movement allegro aren’t as tidy as some, Barenboim more than compensates by taking the movement gratifyingly up to speed. The big question for most collectors concerns the remastering, and here I have to say that it strikes me as an unqualified success.

Many performances dub in the organ part separately, most disastrously in Karajan’s Berlin/Notre Dame digital horror show for this same label, and it’s usually not a very good idea. Here, however, is the exception that proves the rule. The organ at Chartres Cathedral not only sounds much better than its Paris counterpart for Karajan, but it has been very skillfully blended into the mix (and brought slightly more forward than in previous remasterings) and thus makes an excellent foil to the “take no prisoners” playing of the Chicago Symphony. Remastering also brings more back-to-front depth and a deeper, richer bass, thus reversing the tendency toward dryness that characterized the previous CD reissue on Galleria. Toss in the colorfully played and very well recorded couplings, and this remains a recording of choice and one that both deserves and sustains its status as a true “classic”. [10/4/2003]–David Hurwitz “” 10/9

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
Symphony No.3 in C Minor, Op.78 “Organ Symphony”
1. I. Adagio – Allegro moderato – Poco adagio 19:27
2. IIa. Allegro moderato – Presto – Allegro moderato 7:28
3. III. Maestoso – Allegro 7:28
Samson et Dalila, Op.47, R. 288
Act 3
4. Bacchanale 7:15
5. Le Déluge op.45, Poème biblique 7:36
6. Danse macabre, Op.40 6:51

Gaston Litaize, Organ
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Orchestre de Paris
Daniel Barenboim, Conductor


Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.

%d bloggers like this: