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Reviews: Saint-Saëns: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 - Inbal

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Reviews: 2

Review by Edvin December 17, 2005 (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
It has always been a puzzle to me why Berlioz had no succesors in France. The generation after him was indeed very conservative and in the case of Saint-Saëns heavily influenced by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schumann. As a child prodigy Saint-Saëns played and composed at a tender age and his first symphony was composed by an eighteen year old boy.

It is a work full of youthful spirits and ideas. The first movement is cleverly laid out with a stop and go feeling. The second, more an intermezzo than a symphonic movement, is indeed very charming. The tune doesn´t leave my head. The slow movement does outstay its welcome a bit. The thematic material is rather thin for almost twelve minutes. In the finale Beethoven is present indeed, the key is E flat and the music is not only inspired by the Eroica, it is a veritable rip off. A nice one though.

The second symphony is a more mature work with better proportions. Again it is a charming piece that is heavily influenced by Schumann and, especially in the finale, Mendelssohn. Here the slow movement is brief, not quite four minutes. It is all gain, which is not to say that I don´t like the music. On the contrary, it is absolutely lovely.

Saint-Saëns´ music hasn´t got the demonic darkness of Schumann, nor the wide spectrum of Mendelssohn. It is, however, rewarding and very pleasurable to the ear. No depths plunged, just plain good music.

The performances are first class as is the sound. Eliahu Inbal is a very good conductor, where is he today?

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Review by Xavier Gallet January 25, 2006 (2 of 10 found this review helpful)
I bought this disc on the face of the previous comments, but it just doesn't seem to work on my player (an Onkyo DV-SP 800 universal player). The player displays "DVD" and seems unable to find any track. Has anybody else encountered this problem? And am I going to face the same problem if I buy another Pentatone SACD?

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