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: Danse macabre in G minor, Op. 40

Browse 51-75 of 111 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Live From The Heart Of Europe / Guido's Orchestra
    Label: eOne   Catalog: 4799 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Guido Dieteren,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Unspecified,  Billy May  ... 
    Performer:  Guido Dieteren,  Wendy Kokkelkoren,  Tommy Fleming
    Conductor:  Guido Dieteren
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guido's Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 52.
    The Classic Sound - Ibert: Divertissement; Et Al / Martinon
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448571 Release Date: 06/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Ibert,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 53.
    Ravel: Bolero, Dukas: Sorcerer's Apprentice / Sir Neville Marriner
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420812 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Albert William Ketčlbey,  Maurice Ravel,  Johannes Brahms,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Faris,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Kurt Masur,  Franz Bauer-Theussl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Promenade Orchestra,  Ambrosian Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 54.
    Anthology 2: Nbc So (1950-53)
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 7047 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Hector Berlioz,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Engelbert Humperdinck  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
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  • 55.
    Dance! - The World's Favorite Ice-Skating Music
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 58906 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jerry Herman,  Frédéric Chopin,  Vittorio Monti,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  John Ogdon,  Vag Papian,  Maxim Vengerov,  Tasmin Little  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Kelly,  Yuri Temirkanov,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Matt Dunkley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Piccadilly Theatre Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 56.
    Vladimir Horowitz - Complete Original Jacket Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 757500 Release Date: 12/01/2009   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $307.49
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  • 57.
    The Devil's Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578085-86 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Robert Schumann,  György Ligeti,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Ramey,  Idil Biret,  Laurent Martin,  Ashley Wass  ... 
    Conductor:  Julius Rudel,  Johannes Wildner,  Alfred Walter,  Christian Benda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 58.
    Cinema / Laurent Korcia
    Label: Apm {all Parts Move}   Catalog: 65642 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Churchill,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franco Mannino,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Camille,  Laurent Korcia,  Baptiste Vay,  Florian Frere  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthieu Gonet,  Michael Wendeberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  European Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 59.
    Bernstein Favorites - Orchestral Dances
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46707 Release Date: 07/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Georges Bizet,  Johannes Brahms,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 60.
    Saint-saens: Symphony No 3,  / Martinon, Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 5046655642 Release Date: 05/11/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 61.
    The Fantastic Philadelphians / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38110 Release Date: 04/22/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Paul Dukas,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 62.
    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
    CD: $21.99
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  • 63.
    The Essential Vladimir Horowitz
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 741940 Release Date: 04/07/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 64.
    Best Encores 100
    Label: Warner 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-Möst  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris  ... 
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  • 65.
    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-Saëns,  Charles Ives,  Dudley Buck  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Preston
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  • 66.
    Pops Concert / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 6213 Release Date: 12/11/2008   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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 67.
    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  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 68.
    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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 69.
    Toscanini Conducts Light Classics
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 6205 Release Date: 07/23/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johannes Brahms,  Bedrich Smetana,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    Orford - Works For Six Pianos - Saint-saëns, 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-Saëns,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Charles Gounod,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Olivier Godin,  Lorraine Prieur,  Francis Perron,  Sandra Murray  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 72.
    In A Persian Market - Favorite Orchestral Works / Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 35037 Release Date: 03/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  George Enescu,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    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-Saëns,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Max Zorina,  Vincent Balse
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    CD: $18.99
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  • 75.
    Reimagine / Anderson & Roe
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 10143657 Release Date: 01/10/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Greg Anderson,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Astor Piazzolla,  Louis-Claude Daquin  ... 
    Performer:  Greg Anderson,  Elizabeth Joy Roe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anderson & Roe Piano Duo
    CD: $16.99
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