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Saint-SaŽns: Piano Concertos Nos. 2, 4 & 5

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Saint-SaŽns: Piano Concertos Nos. 2, 4 & 5 (2011)

by Stephen Hough (piano), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo (conductor)

About this title: Camille Saint-SaŽns wrote a total of five piano concertos, and the three most popular of those are presented here in Hyperion's The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 27 . The level of difficulty, amount of feeling, and inventiveness of melody in Saint-SaŽns' concertos is on a par with those of Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, and Brahms, but the structure of them is all his own and different in each one of the three here. Where most concertos begin with an orchestral introduction before the soloist enters, Saint-SaŽns begins the Concerto No. 2 with a piano solo. Most concertos have a three-movement, fast-slow-fast structure. Saint-SaŽns' Concerto No. 4 is in two multi-section movements. The sections of those movements also have very little thematic development as would be found in a typical sonata form movement. His slow movements tend to be more lighthearted than the usual dreamy, lyrical, Romantic Andante movement, and in all the concertos there relationship between the orchestra and piano is...

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