A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare


Complete Piano Works • 5

Rarities and Transcriptions

  • Geoffrey Burleson, piano

The eight world premiere recordings included in this programme are played from a treasure trove of unpublished manuscripts obtained by Geoffrey Burleson from the Bibliothèque national de France, each of them filled with strong and imaginative ideas. Further virtuosic rarities by Saint-Saëns include a solo transcription of his exotic Africa for piano and orchestra, and fantasies on works by Beethoven, Gounod, Liszt, Bizet and others.

This recording was made on a modern instrument: Steinway, Model D


2 Bagatelles (1858) (00:05:00 )
Bagatelle No. 1 * (00:02:19)
Bagatelle No. 2 * (00:02:25)
Antwort (1866) * (00:03:06)
Fantaisie sur la Quintette de L'Étoile du Nord de Meyerbeer (1858) * (00:04:59)
Valse du Prophète de Meyerbeer (1857) * (00:05:53)
Fantaisie sur Lohengrin de Wagner (1859) * (00:07:49)
Chœur des Derviches Tourneurs Tiré des Ruines d'Athènes de Beethoven (1869) (00:02:36)
Paraphrase sur Gallia de Gounod (1871) * (00:08:54)
Scherzo sur Les Pêcheurs de Perles de Bizet (1886) * (00:09:13)
La mort de Thaïs, paraphrase de concert pour piano sur l'opéra de Massenet (1895) (00:07:08)
Improvisation sur la Beethoven-Cantate de Liszt (1870) * (00:11:59)
Africa, Op. 89 (1891) (00:11:32)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:17:53

The Artist(s)

Geoffrey Burleson Geoffrey Burleson has performed to wide acclaim throughout Europe and North America, and is equally active as a recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician and jazz performer. His numerous acclaimed solo appearances include performances at prestigious venues. He has also appeared as featured soloist at the Mostly Modern, Bard Music, Monadnock, Mänttä and Santander Music Festivals, the Talloires International Festival in France and the International Keyboard Institute & Festival in New York.

The Composer(s)

Once described as the French Mendelssohn, Camille Saint-Saëns was talented and precocious as a child, with interests by no means confined to music. He made an early impression as a pianist. Following established French tradition, he was for nearly 20 years organist at the Madeleine in Paris and taught briefly at the École Niedermeyer, where he befriended his pupil Gabriel Fauré. He was a co-founder of the important Société Nationale de Musique with the patriotic aim of promoting contemporary French music in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-01, in which he had served in the Garde Nationale de la Seine. Prolific and versatile as a composer, he contributed to most genres of music, but by the time of his death in 1921 his popularity in France had diminished considerably, as fashions in music had changed.


“A virtuoso par excellence, easily handling the numerous difficulties one finds in this music.” – Fanfare

“This is an absolute must for anyone interested in Saint-Saëns or romantic virtuosic piano music. ” – American Record Guide

“This is a marvellous recording… Once again, the pianist Geoffrey Burleson has made a super job of these obscure and interesting works.” – MusicWeb International