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
Grand Tier - Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila / Fournet, Vickers
Release Date: 06/13/2006   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 7028   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Danse macabre in G minor, Op. 40

Browse 1-25 of 117 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    111 - The Piano - Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002281002 Release Date: 04/21/2015   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Géza Anda,  Martha Argerich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
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  • 2.
    Saint-Saens: Symphony No 3
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 573331 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Vincent Warnier
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Saint-saens: Symphony No. 3
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 45 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Vincent Warnier
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
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  • 5.
    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  ... 
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  • 6.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  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  ... 
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  • 7.
    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-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
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  • 8.
    Saint-saëns: Organ Symphony, Etc / Rawsthorne, Bátiz, Et Al
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1312627 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Noel Rawsthorne
    Conductor:  Loris Tjeknavorian,  Enrique Bátiz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra,  Mexican State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Fairy Tales
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100030 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Spoken Word,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Roscoe,  Matthew Trusler,  Alexander Taylor,  Maya Koch
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  • 10.
    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 Székely,  Olga Szönyi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Rafael Kubelik,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Frederick Fennell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
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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 Capuçon,  Gautier Capuçon,  Martha Argerich,  Mischa Maisky  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexandre Rabinovitch,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Daniel Harding,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra  ... 
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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
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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:  André Mathieu,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Alain Lefčvre,  Marie-Nicole Lemieux,  Louise-Andrée 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.
    Icon - Constantin Silvestri [15-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 233472 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  George Enescu,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 16.
    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-Saëns
    Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin
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  • 17.
    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 Fauré,  Benjamin Godard,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd,  Keith Clark
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bratislava Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 18.
    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-Saëns,  Louis Vierne,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Mélanie Barney
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  • 19.
    Organ Extravaganza! / Kevin Bowyer
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1187 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeremy Nicholas,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Charles Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Bowyer
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  • 20.
    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,  César Franck,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Heldur Harry Polda
    Conductor:  Aivar Mäe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arsis Handbell Ensemble
    CD: $18.99
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  • 21.
    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-Saëns
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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  • 22.
    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-Saëns,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Behzod Abduraimov
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  • 23.
    We Capture The Feeling: Sampler And Audio Set-up Disc
    Label: Audience Records   Catalog: 912 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sammy Fain,  Arturo Márquez,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giulio Caccini  ... 
    Performer:  Doreen Smith,  Vincent Belanger,  Mélanie Barney,  Guy Belanger  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-Pascal Hamelin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maânouche Swing Quintet
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  • 24.
    Fantasia / Yuja Wang
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001660602 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Isaac Albeniz  ... 
    Performer:  Yuja Wang
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  • 25.
    Magical Music Box
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55477 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leopold Mozart,  Gabriel Pierné,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Strauss,  Marielle Labčque,  Katia Labčque
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Zubin Mehta,  John Lanchbery,  Herbert Blomstedt  ... 
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Camille Saint-Saëns


WORKS
I. Introduction et marche royale du Lion
II. Poules et Coqs
III. Hémiones
IV. Tortues
V. L'Éléphant
VI. Kangourous
VII. Aquarium
VIII. Personnages ŕ longues oreilles
IX. Le Coucou au fond des bois
X. Voličre
XI. Pianistes
XII. Fossiles
XIII. Le Cygne
XIV. Final
I. Adagio
III. Poco adagio
II. Allegro moderato
IV. Maestoso
Concerto No. 2 For Piano And Orchestra, Op. 22: I - Andante sostenuto
II - Allegro scherzando
III - Presto