What a stylish player Bertrand Chamayou is, and these two concertos—both veering from the grand to the deliciously witty—suit him perfectly. The Second, with its huge solo opening, plays to Chamayou’s strengths as a performer of power, but Saint-Saëns comes along and bursts the bubble with a central movement of sparkling humor, while the finale charges off like a greyhound. The exotic No. 5 “Egyptian” again finds the composer drawing on a vast palette, closing with a movement of jazzy flair and esprit. Emmanuel Krivine is a terrific partner and the solo études are a total joy.
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22: I. Andante sostenuto