Saint-Saëns: Symphony No 3 'Organ' Essential Recordings

Essential Recordings

Zamkochian, Boston SO/Munch
RCA 09026615002 (download only)
'Living Stereo' sound, a little dry but vivid: a fine match for Munch's Franco-American BSO palette and passionate interpretation.

Vaughan, RPO/Beecham
Somm SOMMB32
Reasonably open mono sound for Beecham at his most inspired, building up to a Gothically scaled payoff of tremendous catharsis.

Puig-Roget, PCO/Cluytens
EMI/Warner 9029583048 (download only)
Cluytens' pacing and the Cavaillé-Coll attack are unrivalled at the Wagnerian climax of the Adagio and the finale's curtain-raiser.

Weir, Ulster Orch/Y-P Tortelier
Chandos CHAN8822
Both organ and acoustic come closest to the conditions of the symphony's premiere – a fine balance of delicacy and resonance.

D Roth, Les Siecles/F-X Roth
Actes Sud ASM04 (download only)
Long on mood, shorter on detail but fierily driven, with the two-piano texture evoking
an aquarium in the place of an altar.

Apkalna, BRSO/Jansons
BR-Klassik 900178
Less 'French' but so refined and lucid in Jansons's 'late', soft-textured reading; the Klais organ a subtle but definite presence.