Although it includes the offbeat Jota aragonesa, Op. 64, for orchestra, most of this album consists of well-worn Saint-Saëns selections. The names involved aren't exactly of the household variety, but the readings here by Canadian violinist Alexandre da Costa and Spain's Oviedo Filarmonia under Marzio Conti are nowhere less than competent. The strongest performance is that of the Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78, the "Organ" symphony, where the work's big moments are expertly paced and the organ and piano are given the proper weight by both Conti and the engineering team. With the Violin Concerto No. 3, Op. 61, and Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor for violin and orchestra, da Costa and Conti face an abundance of competition. Both these works were composed for Pablo de Sarasate, a master technician, and da Costa is in command of the violin parts in both. There are more expansive performances available, however, both emotionally and technically. Recommended for those seeking a state-of-the-art version of the "Organ" symphony.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, Op. 61|
|Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 "Organ Symphony"|