Arabella String Quartet
The string quartet was still in its infancy in France in the 1770s, but while these pieces are small in scale they are exceptionally rewarding.
Saint-Georges appreciated the intimate nature of this genre, avoiding overt soloistic virtuosity and exploring chamber music timbres, amply demonstrating his rich lyrical gifts and a natural ability to delight performers and audiences alike.
Symphonies Concertantes, Opp. 9,10, Op. 11, No. 1
Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, Pardubice
Conducted by Michael Halász
Yury Revich, violin
Libor Ježek, violin
Pavla Honsová, viola
Bologne de Saint-Georges was an early and important exponent of the hybrid symphonie concertante—a genre that draws on both the symphony and concerto traditions.
This novel format was the ideal platform for expressive inventiveness, providing new textural possibilities through the addition of a second solo violin or viola.
The Symphony in G major, which has all of the effervescence typical of Haydn, is an excellent example of the cosmopolitan French symphonic style.
Violin Concertos, Vol. 1 - Op. 5, Nos. 1-2 and Op. 8, No. 2
Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Conducted by Helmut Müller-Brühl
Takako Nishizaki, violin
Bologne de Saint-Georges’ violin concerto provide a fascinating insight into his strengths as a violinist. Written for his own use, they require great agility while the gravely beautiful slow movements are among the finest of any composer of the period.
Violin Concertos, Vol. 2 - Op. 3, No. 1, Op. 4, No. 1 and Op. 12, No. 2
Toronto Chamber Orchestra
Conducted by Kevin Mallon
Zhou Qian, violin
Though written for his own use, the violin concertos are more than vehicles for mere virtuosic display. Lyrical, expressive slow movements are flanked by often highly original outer movements, quite unlike anything still being written by Viennese composers such as Haydn, Hofmann and Dittersdorf.
Had Mozart seen Saint-Georges play the brilliant Concerto No. 10 while he was in Paris in 1778, he would have heard many things in it to admire.