Camille Saint-Saëns

Biography

Born: Oct 9, 1835; France   Died: Dec 16, 1921; Algeria   Period: Romantic
Camille Saint-Saëns was something of an anomaly among French composers of the nineteenth century in that he wrote in virtually all genres, including opera, symphonies, concertos, songs, sacred and secular choral music, solo piano, and chamber music. He was generally not a pioneer, though he did help to revive some earlier and largely forgotten dance forms, like the bourée and gavotte. He was a conservative who wrote many popular scores scattered Read more throughout the various genres: the Piano Concerto No. 2, Symphony No. 3 ("Organ"), the symphonic poem Danse macabre, the opera Samson et Dalila, and probably his most widely performed work, The Carnival of The Animals. While he remained a composer closely tied to tradition and traditional forms in his later years, he did develop a more arid style, less colorful and, in the end, less appealing. He was also a poet and playwright of some distinction.
Saint-Saëns was born in Paris on October 9, 1835. He was one of the most precocious musicians ever, beginning piano lessons with his aunt at two-and-a-half and composing his first work at three. At age seven he studied composition with Pierre Maledin. When he was ten, he gave a concert that included Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto, Mozart's B flat Concerto, K. 460, along with works by Bach, Handel, and Hummel. In his academic studies, he displayed the same genius, learning languages and advanced mathematics with ease and celerity. He would also develop keen, lifelong interests in geology and astronomy.
In 1848, he entered the Paris Conservatory and studied organ and composition, the latter with Halévy. By his early twenties, following the composition of two symphonies, he had won the admiration and support of Berlioz, Liszt, Gounod, Rossini, and other notable figures. From 1853 to 1876, he held church organist posts; he also taught at the École Niedermeyer (1861-1865). He composed much throughout his early years, turning out the 1853 Symphony in F ("Urbs Roma"), a Mass (1855) and several concertos, including the popular second, for piano (1868).
In 1875, Saint-Saëns married the 19-year-old Marie Truffot, bringing on perhaps the saddest chapter in his life. The union produced two children who died within six weeks of each other, one from a four-story fall. The marriage ended in 1881. Oddly, this dark period in his life produced some of his most popular works, including Danse macabre (1875) and Samson et Dalila (1878). After the tragic events of his marriage, Saint-Saëns developed a fondness for Fauré and his family, acting as a second father to Fauré's children.
But he also remained very close to his mother, who had opposed his marriage. When she died in 1888, the composer fell into a deep depression, even contemplating suicide for a time. He did much travel in the years that followed and developed an interest in Algeria and Egypt, which eventually inspired him to write Africa (1891) and his Piano Concerto No. 5, the "Egyptian". He also turned out works unrelated to exotic places, such as his popular and most enduring serious composition, the Symphony No. 3.
Curiously, after 1890, Saint-Saëns' music was regarded with some condescension in his homeland, while in England and the United States he was hailed as France's greatest living composer well into the twentieth century. Saint-Saëns experienced an especially triumphant concert tour when he visited the U.S. in 1915. In the last two decades of his life, he remained attached to his dogs and was largely a loner. He died in Algeria on December 16, 1921. Read less

Work: Samson et Dalila, Op. 47: Printemps, qui commence

Browse 26-45 of 45 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Pied Piper Of The Opera / Martin Frost, Lan Shui, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1053 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Wilfried Hiller,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Fröst
    Conductor:  Lan Shui
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singapore Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $21.49
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  • 27.
    Prima Voce Vol 2 - Treasury Of Opera - Historic Recordings
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1738 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Félicien César David,  Jacques Offenbach,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Nina Koshetz,  Feodor Chaliapin,  Clement Barone,  Amelita Galli-Curci  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack,  Franco Ghione,  Rosario Bourdon,  Hans Lange  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 28.
    The Golden Age Of Singing Vol 2 - 1910-1920
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7052 Release Date: 08/15/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Barrientos,  Giuseppe de Luca,  Renato Zanelli,  Titta Ruffo  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno,  Romano Romani,  Walter Rogers
    CD: $18.99
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  • 29.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Luise Willer
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89177 Release Date: 10/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Carl Bergner,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Luise Willer,  Carl Bergner,  Ludwig Kusche,  Henny Trundt  ... 
    Conductor:  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Ernst Viebig,  Hans Adolf Winter,  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Frankfurt Radio Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 30.
    Prima Voce - Sigrid Onegin Vol 1 - Donizetti, Verdi, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7898 Release Date: 03/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin,  Johann Friedrich Reichardt,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Sigrid Onegin,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Georg Kniestedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 31.
    Operatic Arias (1911-1949)
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7864 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Traditional,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Titta Ruffo,  Maria Callas,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Sabino,  Eugene Ormandy,  Gustav Cloëz,  Angelo Albergoni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 32.
    Stanford Archive Series Vol 4 / Ernestine Schumann-heink
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 5503 Release Date: 03/03/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Ronald, Landon, Sir,  John Stafford Smith,  Geoffrey O'Hara  ... 
    Performer:  Ernestine Schumann-Heink,  Katherine Hoffmann,  Geraldine Farrar,  Charles Adams Prince
    Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon
    Recommendation
    CD: $24.99
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  • 33.
    Callas Edition - Callas Ŕ Paris - Arias 1
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66466 Release Date: 01/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustave Charpentier,  Jules Massenet,  Ambroise Thomas,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Georges Prętre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 34.
    Four German Contraltos Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89979 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Georges Bizet,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Margarete Klose,  Marcel Wittrisch,  Luise Willer,  Maria Olszewska  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Zweig,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 35.
    Four Famous Contraltos Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89985 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Emmi Leisner,  Karin Branzell,  Sigrid Onegin,  Rosette Anday
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 36.
    Famous Opera Arias / Marjana Lipovsek, Giuseppe Patané
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 179891 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 37.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Conchita Supervia
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89023 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Strauss,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Conchita Supervia,  Ines Maria Ferraris,  Giovanni Manurita,  Anita Apolloni  ... 
    Conductor:  Angelo Albergoni
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 38.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Ebe Stignani
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89014 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ambroise Thomas,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Ebe Stignani,  Gina Cigna
    Conductor:  Armando La Rosa Parodi,  Ugo Tansini,  Gino Marinuzzi,  Vittorio Gui
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  EIAR Symphony Orchestra Turin
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 39.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Rossette Anday
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89046 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Rosette Anday,  Herbert Dawson
    Conductor:  Karl Alwin,  Robert Heger,  Julius Prüwer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 40.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Sara Dolukhanova
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89066 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  George Frideric Handel,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Zara Dolukhanova,  Galina Sakharova
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 41.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Sigrid Onegin
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89027 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Sigrid Onegin
    Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon,  Leo Blech,  Kurt Singer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Doctor's Chorus
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 42.
    The Art Of Emmi Leisner
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89210 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Traditional,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Raucheisen,  Emmi Leisner,  Kurt Grosse
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pozniak Trio
    On sale! $46.98
    CD: $39.99
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  • 43.
    The Harold Wayne Collection Vol 13 - Fonotipia
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1113 Release Date: 09/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Elise Feinhals,  Oreste Luppi,  Ferruccio Corradetti,  Antonio Magini-Coletti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
    On sale! $20.98
    CD: $17.99
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  • 44.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Karin Branzell
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89039 Release Date: 03/31/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Karin Branzell
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 45.
    Prima Voce - Supervia In Opera & Song
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7836 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jose Baldomir,  Georges Bizet,  Joaquin Valverde  ... 
    Performer:  Conchita Supervia,  Giovanni Manurita,  Carlo Scattola,  Gaston Micheletti  ... 
    Conductor:  Angelo Albergoni,  Gustav Cloëz,  Jose Juan Cadenas,  Antonio Capdevila  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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