"The Etudes op. 52 and op. 111 are little masterpieces of invention. On every page you encounter ingenious inventions for piano technique and sound."
What Isidore Philipp described in "Musica" in 1907 is still true today: indeed, the etudes of Saint-Saens offer a panopticon of French piano technique as complex as it is dazzling.
Individual etudes, such as the "Prelude No. 1" and "En forme de valse No. 6" from the "Etudes op. 52" or the "Toccata No. 6" and "Les Cloches de Las Palmas No. 4" are included in recitals time and again; they belong to the standard repertoire of piano students, at least in France. Even the "Etudes for the left hand op. 135" and the "Fugues op. 161" are full of poetic surprises with their self-imposed limitations.
The editor has written a detailed Introduction to these enchanting discoveries in this definitive volume. In addition to information on the history of the genre and its genesis, the Introduction provides biographical details about the dedicatees, insights on the contemporary reception of the works and notes on interpretation.
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