Saint-Saëns - Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major, Op. 103 (Thibaudet)

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Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest o.l.v. Andris Nelsons
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Opgenomen 16 november, Concertgebouw Amsterdam


The Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major, Op. 103, popularly known as The Egyptian, was Camille Saint-Saëns' last piano concerto. He wrote it in 1896, 20 years after his Fourth Piano Concerto, to play himself at his own Jubilee Concert on May 6 of that year. This concert celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Saint-Saëns' début at the Salle Pleyel in 1846.

This concerto is nicknamed 'The Egyptian' for two reasons. First, Saint-Saëns composed it in temple town of Luxor while on one of his frequent winter vacations to Egypt. Second, the music is among his most exotic, displaying influences from Javanese and Spanish as well as Middle-eastern music. Saint-Saëns said that the piece represented a sea voyage.

Saint-Saëns himself was the soloist at the première, which was a popular and critical success.

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