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 76-100 of 126 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Saint-SaŽns: Organ Symphony, Etc / Frťmaux, City of Birmingham SO
    Label: Emi Classics For Pleasure   Catalog: 82233 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  Christopher Robinson,  Anthony Moroney,  Brenda Lucas  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Frťmaux,  Georges PrÍtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 77.
    Analekta Compilation Vol 8
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 8 Release Date: 12/20/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Erik Satie,  Maurice Ravel,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  GeneviŤve Soly,  Francine Kay,  Luc Beausťjour,  James Ehnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-FranÁois Rivest,  Jeanne Lamon,  AngŤle Dubeau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Carl Philipp Ensemble,  Tafelmusik,  La Pieta
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  • 78.
    An Evening With Edwin Lemare / Thomas Murray
    Label: Afka   Catalog: 515 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Edwin Lemare
    Performer:  Thomas Murray
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  • 79.
    Electronic Symphonica / David Kempers, Et Al
    Label: Four Winds   Catalog: 3027 Release Date: 09/19/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christian Sinding,  Igor Stravinsky,  Gustav Holst,  Camille Saint-SaŽns  ... 
    Performer:  Joe Rogier,  Frederick R. Matzen,  David Kempers,  James Hebert  ... 
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  • 80.
    Encore - Dukas, Frank, Saint-saŽns / Michel Plasson
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55677 Release Date: 07/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Dukas,  Cťsar Franck,  Sylvio Lazzari,  Henri Duparc  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
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  • 81.
    Tracey Plays Organ Transcriptions And French Romantic Music
    Label: Priory Records   Catalog: 6004 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Charles-Marie Widor,  Henri Mulet,  Gabriel Piernť,  Louis Vierne  ... 
    Performer:  Ian Tracey
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  • 82.
    Henry Merckel - Historical Recordings 1930-1935
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1178 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Edouard Lalo
    Performer:  Henri Merckel
    Conductor:  Piero Coppola
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
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  • 83.
    Legend - Music Of Myth, Magic And Mystery
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 33619 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Richard Wagner,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Klaus Tennstedt,  Jean Martinon,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallť Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Chorus  ... 
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  • 84.
    Musik...sprache Der Welt - Selected Orchestral Recordings Ii
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000507202 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  AntonŪn DvorŠk  ... 
    Performer:  Diana Eustrati,  AurŤle Nicolet
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Fritz Lehmann,  Otmar Suitner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 85.
    Musik...sprache Der Welt - Falla, Etc / Lehmann, Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000448202 Release Date: 07/12/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Diana Eustrati
    Conductor:  Fritz Lehmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 86.
    Infernal Violins / AngŤle Dubeau, La Pietŗ
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28723 Release Date: 02/17/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Keith Richards,  Luigi Boccherini,  Karol Szymanowski,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  AngŤle Dubeau
    Conductor:  AngŤle Dubeau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
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  • 87.
    My Figure Skating Album - All The Favourite Classics
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000186102 Release Date: 02/10/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  TamŠs VŠsŠry,  Gil Shaham,  Luben Yordanoff,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Ahronovitch,  Daniel Barenboim,  William Steinberg,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
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  • 88.
    Debussy, Dukas, Saint-saens: Orchestral Works / Ansermet
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1324 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Paul Dukas,  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Sociťtť du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 89.
    Works For Two Pianos / Immerseel, Chevallier
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 30903 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Manuel Infante,  Cťsar Franck,  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Claire Chevallier,  Jos van Immerseel
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  • 90.
    Soundscapes / Mississippi Guitar Quartet
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2624 Release Date: 10/21/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  John Dowland,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mississippi Guitar Quartet
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  • 91.
    Saint-saens: Symphony No 3, Le Dťluge, Etc / Barenboim, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474612 Release Date: 08/01/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Alain Moglia,  Gaston Litaize
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 92.
    Saint-saŽns: Carnival Of The Animals, Etc / Ma, Biggs, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 87277 Release Date: 04/15/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  E. Power Biggs,  Michel Cals,  Philippe Entremont,  Alain Marion  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Philippe Entremont
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Saint-saŽns, Lalo: Violin Concertos, Etc / Merckel, Coppola
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2028 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Edouard Lalo
    Performer:  Henri Merckel
    Conductor:  Philippe Gaubert,  Piero Coppola
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Symphony Orchestra,  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
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  • 94.
    Saint-saens: Symphony No 3, Etc;  Poulenc / Martinon, Et Al
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 89244 Release Date: 09/17/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 95.
    Dancing Flutes / Die 14 Berliner FlŲtisten
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm) Gold   Catalog: 3081114 Release Date: 08/27/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gerardo Matos RodrŪguez,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  A. Malando,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  14 Berlin Flutes
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  • 96.
    Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit - Saint-saens, Et Al / Capucon, Harding
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 545482 Release Date: 02/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Darius Milhaud,  Hector Berlioz,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Renaud CapuÁon
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen
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  • 97.
    Homage To Horowitz / Valery Kuleshov
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1188 Release Date: 10/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Valery Kuleshov
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  • 98.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5, Karelia Suite / Gibson, Lso
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 468488 Release Date: 07/11/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Franz Liszt,  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Camille Saint-SaŽns  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 99.
    Devil's Dance / Gil Shaham
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463483 Release Date: 09/12/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  EugŤne Ysaˇe,  William Bolcom,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Giuseppe Tartini  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Feldman,  Gil Shaham
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  • 100.
    French Orchestral Favorites - Dukas, Debussy, Satie / Pretre, Ortf National Orchestra
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73427 Release Date: 06/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Erik Satie,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Andrť Gantiez,  MichŤle Boussinot,  Philippe Pierlot
    Conductor:  Georges PrÍtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
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