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

Children's Classics - Prokofiev, Saint-saŽns, Britten
Release Date: 09/09/2003   Label: Universal  
Catalog: 000100002   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saŽns: Africa, Symphony No 2, Etc / Kantorow
Release Date: 05/21/1996   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 790   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saŽns: Violin Concerto No 2, Etc / Kantorow, Ollila
Release Date: 11/27/2001   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1060   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saŽns: Organ Music / Hans Fagius
Release Date: 10/12/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 556   Number of Discs: 1
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Capriccio - Saint-SaŽns: Music for Violin and Orchestra
Release Date: 08/05/2000   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 860   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Danse macabre in G minor, Op. 40

Browse 51-75 of 128 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Saint-Saens: Symphony no 3, La Rouet d'Omphale / Ansermet
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4800082 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Saint-saens: Symphony No 3,  / Martinon, Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 5046655642 Release Date: 05/11/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Ultimate Classical Spectacular - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001274702 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Loveday,  Christopher Warren-Green
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Charles Dutoit
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  • 54.
    The Essential Vladimir Horowitz
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 741940 Release Date: 04/07/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frťdťric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 55.
    Best Encores 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64752 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Alexander Goedicke,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Teodor Grigoriu,  Ernesto De Curtis  ... 
    Performer:  Ole Edvard Antonsen,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Placido Domingo,  Cheryl Studer  ... 
    Conductor:  John Barker,  Asher Fisch,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Franz Welser-MŲst  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris  ... 
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  • 56.
    Variations On America - Organ Spectacular / Simon Preston
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421731 Release Date: 01/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Charles Ives,  Dudley Buck  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Preston
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  • 57.
    Pops Concert / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 6213 Release Date: 12/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ambroise Thomas,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Krips
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 58.
    Toon Time - Classical Music From Classic Cartoons
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 578011-12 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Igor Stravinsky,  Franz Schubert,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
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  • 59.
    Duel
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 473999 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sidney Bechet,  Gustav Holst,  Alexander Borodin,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duel
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  • 60.
    Toscanini Conducts Light Classics
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 6205 Release Date: 08/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johannes Brahms,  Bedrich Smetana,  Camille Saint-SaŽns  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Jacqueline Du Pre's Musical Stories
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4800475 Release Date: 07/14/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Leopold Mozart,  Paul Dukas,  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Prť
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris
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  • 62.
    Romantic Music For Two Pianos / Pierce, Jonas
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1260 Release Date: 06/17/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Arthur Benjamin,  Benjamin Britten,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Dorothy Jonas,  Joshua Pierce
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  • 63.
    Orford - Works For Six Pianos - Saint-saŽns, Prokofiev, Gounod, Rossini, Etc / Murray, Perron, Godin, Et Al
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 2566 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Charles Gounod,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Olivier Godin,  Lorraine Prieur,  Francis Perron,  Sandra Murray  ... 
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  • 64.
    In A Persian Market - Favorite Orchestral Works / Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 35037 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  George Enescu,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 65.
    Witches Brew / Gibson, New Symphony Orchestra Of London
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4429985 Release Date: 03/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Franz Liszt,  Malcolm Arnold  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 66.
    French Orchestral Works / Marriner, St Martin In The Fields
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412131 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Claude Debussy,  Paul Dukas  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 67.
    The Sorcerer's Apprentice: French Symphonic Poems
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 756739 Release Date: 03/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Dukas,  Cťsar Franck,  Silvio Lazzari,  Camille Saint-SaŽns  ... 
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  • 68.
    French Touch / Max Zorin, Vincent Balse
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637532865 Release Date: 02/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Maurice Ravel,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Max Zorina,  Vincent Balse
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  • 69.
    Reimagine / Anderson & Roe
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 10143657 Release Date: 01/10/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Greg Anderson,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Astor Piazzolla,  Louis-Claude Daquin  ... 
    Performer:  Greg Anderson,  Elizabeth Joy Roe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anderson & Roe Piano Duo
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  • 70.
    Pieces For Two Pianos / Immerseel, Chevalier
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 2030903 Release Date: 12/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Manuel Infante,  Cťsar Franck,  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Claire Chevalier,  Jos van Immerseel
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  • 71.
    Spectacular Dances / Stanley Black, Royal Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444107 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Bedrich Smetana,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Loveday
    Conductor:  Stanley Black
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 72.
    The Arthur Fiedler Legacy - Symphonic Spectacular
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001005702 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Aram Khachaturian,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 73.
    Gaubert: Les Chants De Mer - Recordings 1927-1940
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 801 Release Date: 09/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Duparc,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Philippe Gaubert  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Gaubert
    Conductor:  Philippe Gaubert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Sociťtť du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 74.
    Oskar Fried - Mahler's Disciple
    Label: Arbiter   Catalog: 153 Release Date: 07/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Gustav Mahler,  Igor Stravinsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Astra Desmond
    Conductor:  Oscar Fried
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  All-Union Radio Orchestra  ... 
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  • 75.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 39 - Ravel, Dukas, Berlioz, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60322 Release Date: 06/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Cťsar Franck,  Paul Dukas,  Camille Saint-SaŽns  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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