This carefully put together album highlights two very different sides to Camille Saint-Saëns’ work both as a composer and arranger.

Classy and enjoyable are just two words to describe Trio Zadig’s new album, coinciding with Camille Saint-Saëns’ anniversary (1835-1921), it reveals how he was able to cross over his work between composing and arranging to great effect.

Formed of Saint-Saëns’s  Piano Trio No 2, along with Rameau’s Pièces de clavecin en concerts and Liszt’s fourth symphonic poem, Orpheus, this is an album that really captures the delicacy of Saint-Saëns’s work. The way in which his depth of understanding of the pieces that he not only composed but also arranged was wonderfully detailed – enhanced further by the performances of Trio Zadig.

Each piece that has been selected is filled with a rich variety of tones – from drama and playfulness to a more melancholy style that keeps the listener thoroughly engaged as to what is coming next. What the Trio Zadig have done in creating this album is show just how seamless his work was, making this a really pleasurable album to listen to from start to finish. The layers of musical sounds that are revealed through delicate and focused performances from the Trio Zadig heighten the sense of emotion and connection that the listener will feel while listening.

By keeping the performances simple and understated, it is possible for the listener to pick up the beautiful fluidity in each piece and the way in which it transforms with ease without disrupting the rhythm of the album as a whole.

As an album, it feels like a wonderful tribute to the composer and arranger, who managed to highlight great shades of darkness and light in the work that he created.

By Emma Clarendon

Orpheus. Hommage À Saint-Saëns is available to buy now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐