Saint-Saëns Ballet Music - World Premiere RecordingsCAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Ballet music from the Operas Henry VIII, Ascanio, Etienne Marcel and Les Barbares.
Catalogue Number: 12N043
Description: 73 minutes of gorgeous orchestral music from four of Saint-Saëns' many unrecorded operas (there are 12 besides Samson et Delila). The two longest selections here are those from Ascanio, an 1890 work set in Paris in 1539 during Benvenuto Cellini's stay at the court of François I which includes a 24-minute divertissement in the third act which uses real Renaissance music, imagined early music and plain-old contemporary, late 19th century Saint-Saëns to produce a brilliant series of dance entrées, and the 25-minute sequence from 1901's Les Barbares, planed for outdoor performance in the amphiteatre at Orange but never produced. Set in 105 B.C. and featuring confict between Gallo-Romans and barbarians, it gives us a 15-minute prologue, which is the longest track on the disc, and three more. But everything, as you'd expect from this composer, is cultivated, tasteful and wrought with the finest craftsmanship and beautiful orchestral colors. Orchestra Victoria; Guillaume Tourniaire.