Camille Saint-SaŽns

Biography

Born: Oct 9, 1835; France   Died: Dec 16, 1921; Algeria   Period: Romantic
Camille Saint-SaŽns 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 bourťe 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-SaŽns 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 Halťvy. 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 …cole 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-SaŽns 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-SaŽns developed a fondness for Faurť and his family, acting as a second father to Faurť'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-SaŽns' 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-SaŽns 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

Saint-SaŽns: Requiem, Partsongs / Fasolis, Swiss Italian Orchestra
Release Date: 07/27/2004   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10214   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saŽns: La Princesse Jaune, Etc / Francis Travis, Et Al
Release Date: 10/24/2000   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9837   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saŽns: Carnival Of The Animals;  Mozart / Turovsky
Release Date: 07/26/1994   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9246   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saŽns: Symphonies 2 & 3 / Tortelier, Weir, Ulster Orch
Release Date: 10/28/1992   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 8822   Number of Discs: 1
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Schumann, Grieg, Saint-SaŽns: Piano Concertos / Shelley, Greed, Opera North Orchestra
Release Date: 03/31/2009   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10509   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Danse macabre in G minor, Op. 40

Browse 1-25 of 127 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sir Adrian Boult - The Complete Conductor
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 1927023 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gustav Holst,  Robert Simpson,  Sir Arthur Bliss  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $35.49
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  • 2.
    Piano Reflections
    Label: Classic Fm   Catalog: 1077947 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Frťdťric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Ji Liu
    On sale! $33.99
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  • 3.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogť,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 4.
    The Great French Pianists - The Original Piano Roll Recordings
    Label: Dal Segno   Catalog: 39 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Faurť,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
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  • 5.
    Saint-saŽns: Organ Symphony, Etc / Rawsthorne, BŠtiz, Et Al
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1312627 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Noel Rawsthorne
    Conductor:  Loris Tjeknavorian,  Enrique BŠtiz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra,  Mexican State Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $13.98
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  • 6.
    Orchestral Organ Classics
    Label: Priory Records   Catalog: 5048 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Malcolm Archer,  Ian Tracey,  Adrian Partington,  Thomas Murray  ... 
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 7.
    Fairy Tales
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100030 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Spoken Word,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Roscoe,  Matthew Trusler,  Alexander Taylor,  Maya Koch
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  • 8.
    Label: Silver Fist   Catalog: 2234080 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Cťsar Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Darryl Way
    On sale! $30.99
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  • 9.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001831802 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Anton Webern,  Alban Berg,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Pilarczyk,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Mihaly Szťkely,  Olga SzŲnyi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal DorŠti,  Rafael Kubelik,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Frederick Fennell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
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  • 10.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 3710032 Release Date: 05/27/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  George Gershwin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
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  • 11.
    Le Violon Roi / Renaud Capucon [3-CD Set]
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 584402 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Renaud CapuÁon,  Gautier CapuÁon,  Martha Argerich,  Mischa Maisky  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexandre Rabinovitch,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Daniel Harding,  Yannick Nťzet-Sťguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 12.
    Winfried Bonig An Den Orgeln Im Hohen Dom Zu Koln
    Label: Motette   Catalog: 12191 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugene Gigout,  Sigfrid Karg-Elert,  Franz Schmidt,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Winfried Bonig
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 13.
    L'Excellence Se Fete - A Celebration of Excellence
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 297257 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Andrť Mathieu,  AntonŪn DvorŠk,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Alain LefŤvre,  Marie-Nicole Lemieux,  Louise-Andrťe Baril,  Valerie Milot  ... 
    Conductor:  Yoav Talmi,  Bruno Weil,  Jeanne Lamon,  Jean-Philippe Tremblay  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alcan String Quartet,  Tafelmusik,  La Pieta  ... 
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  • 14.
    Organo Plano
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 944 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Conrad Susa,  Jean-Adam Guilain,  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Eugene Gigout  ... 
    Performer:  Scott Montgomery
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  • 15.
    100 Best Organ Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 332452 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolas Kynaston,  Nicholas Kynaston,  Noel Rawsthorne,  Lionel Rogg  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Georges PrÍtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Menuhin Festival Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Sociťtť des Concerts du Conservato  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 16.
    Icon - Constantin Silvestri [15-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 233472 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  AntonŪn DvorŠk,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  George Enescu,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Sociťtť du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 17.
    Liszt, Ravel, Saint-saens / Yevgeny Sudbin
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1828 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Maurice Ravel,  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin
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  • 18.
    A Musical Journey- France: Marseille, Tarascon, Cannes, Cote D'azur, Camargue
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110312 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Faurť,  Benjamin Godard,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Conductor:  Ondrej LenŠrd,  Keith Clark
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bratislava Radio Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $9.99
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  • 19.
    The Power Of The Organ 2
    Label: Fidelio Musique   Catalog: 37 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Louis Vierne,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Mťlanie Barney
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    Organ Extravaganza! / Kevin Bowyer
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1187 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeremy Nicholas,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Charles Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Bowyer
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  • 21.
    The Hindsley Legacy / University Of Illinois Concert Band
    Label: Mark Masters   Catalog: 5637665113 Release Date: 08/10/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark H. Hindsley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Illinois Concert Band
    CD: $23.99
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  • 22.
    Terra Mariana / Arsis Handbell Ensemble
    Label: Estonian Records Productions   Catalog: 3810 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Giulio Caccini,  Cťsar Franck,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Heldur Harry Polda
    Conductor:  Aivar Mše
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arsis Handbell Ensemble
    CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 24.
    Neeme Jarvi Conducts Saint-Saens / Jarvi, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5104 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Conductor:  Neeme Jšrvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Prokofiev: Sonata No 6; Saint-Saens, Liszt / Behzod Abduraimov
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001669702 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Behzod Abduraimov
    CD: $18.99
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