Melba Recordings

"... a label of fragrant distinction"

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ELAN

01/12/2011
L’éducation musicale (France)
Patrice Imbaud

It is hard to deny that, apart from Samson et Dalila, the operas of Saint-Saëns remain pretty much unknown to the listening public. Here is an opportunity to correct this situation thanks to this original recording which features orchestral and ballet music from several of the thirteen operas Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) composed over his long career. Brilliantly interpreted by Guillaume Tourniaire at the helm of Orchestra Victoria, this is elegant music that bears witness to the style of French Grand Opera; it is very varied, perhaps a little old-fashioned and deserving of much more than scorn or oblivion. Apart from those from Henry VIII (1883), all the musical excerpts from Ascanio (1890), Étienne Marcel (1879) and Les Barbares (1900) are premieres on disc. A recording, then, of great quality and superb music: you absolutely have to discover this album.