Saint-Saëns’ travels often resulted in geographically themed works, such as the Suite algérienne: this exotic musical picture postcard - full of perfumed sensuality and the brazen confidence of march themes - reflects the composer’s visits to colonial North Africa. The two suites on this recording are both structured around dance movements and were originally scored for different forces - the Suite in D major, Op. 49 for harmonium, the Suite in D minor, Op. 16 for cello and piano. The engaging Serenade, Op. 15, rarely performed with its original, exotic scoring, is heard here in an orchestral transcription.
Suite algérienne, Op. 60 1. I. Prélude 2. II. Rhapsodie mauresque 3. III. Rêverie du soir 0 4. IV. Marche militaire française
Suite in D Major, Op. 49 5. I. Prélude 6. II. Sarabande 7. III. Gavotte 8. IV. Romance 9. V. Final
Suite in D Minor, Op. 16bis 10. I. Prélude 11. II. Sérénade 12. III. Gavotte 13. IV. Romance 14. V. Tarentelle
15. Sérénade, Op. 15 (version for orchestra)
Guillermo Pastrana (cello), Basque National Orchestra, Jun Markl (conductor)