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: Marche Militaire FranÁaise

Browse 1-20 of 20 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    Berlitz Passport - The Music Of France
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47278 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Offenbach,  Claude-Joseph de Lisle,  Gabriel Faurť  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Entremont,  Harold Gomberg
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Leopold Stokowski,  Leonard Bernstein,  Sir Andrew Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 4.
    The Golden Age Of The Concert Band / United States Air Force Heritage Of America Band
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: ALT17628 Release Date: 01/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Fillmore,  Franz von Suppť,  Edwin Franko Goldman,  Herman Bellstadt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Heritage of America Band
    CD: $17.99
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  • 5.
    Saint-saŽns: Africa, Jota Aragonese, Etc / Simon, Mok, Et Al
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 4031 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Alexandre Luigini
    Performer:  Gwendolyn Mok,  James Campbell,  Susan Milan,  Tina Gruenberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Geoffrey Simon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Over The Hills - And Far Away / Kristiansand Wind Ensemble
    Label: Two-l   Catalog: 31 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ole Borneman Bull,  Johan Halvorsen,  Johannes Hanssen  ... 
    Conductor:  Bjorn Sagstad
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kristiansand Wind Ensemble
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  • 7.
    Complete Recordings Of Grieg, Saint Saens, And Pugno
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52054 Release Date: 05/12/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Jules Massenet,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Edvard Grieg,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Gabriel Willaume,  Meyriane Hťglon  ... 
    CD: $36.99
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  • 8.
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 5115 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johan de Meij,  Eric Whitacre,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Angela Woo,  Dario Sotelo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kentucky All State Concert Band,  Kentucky All State Symphonic Band
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    The Piano G & Ts Vol 3 / Chaminade, Saint-SaŽns
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 5533 Release Date: 10/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cťcile Louise Chaminade,  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Cťcile Louise Chaminade,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Gabriel Willaume,  Meyriane Hťglon
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  • 11.
    FranÁaise Et Amťricaine Musique / Waybright, University Of Florida Wind Ensemble
    Label: Mark Masters   Catalog: 3837 Release Date: 01/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Michael Daugherty,  Jacques CastťrŤde,  Florent Schmitt  ... 
    Conductor:  David Waybright
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Florida Wind Ensemble
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  • 12.
    The Best Of Saint-saens
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556675 Release Date: 09/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Dong-Suk Kang,  Idil Biret,  Imrich Szabo,  Peter Toperczer  ... 
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit,  James Loughran,  Richard Hayman,  Stephen Gunzenhauser  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    French Bonbons / Parkes, Grimethorpe Colliery Band
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 4542 Release Date: 09/24/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod,  Benjamin Godard  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Beatty,  Mike Kilroy,  Richard Marshall
    Conductor:  Major Peter Parkes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grimethorpe Colliery Band
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  • 14.
    The Best Of Saint-saŽns - The Swan, Havanaise, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551195 Release Date: 03/15/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Marat Bisengaliev,  Peter Toperczer,  MariŠn Lapsansky,  Dong-Suk Kang  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hayman,  Johannes Wildner,  Keith Clark,  Ondrej LenŠrd  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bratislava Slovak State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    Greatest Hits - Saint-saens
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 69251 Release Date: 11/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Cecile Licad,  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Marielle Nordmann,  Mason Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrť Previn,  Eugene Ormandy,  John DeMain,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theatre Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Marches And Overtures ņ La FranÁaise / Paray, Detroit SO
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434332 Release Date: 05/11/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Claude-Joseph de Lisle,  Jacques Offenbach,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Paray
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Majestic Marches / Hayman, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550370 Release Date: 01/14/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Lťo Delibes  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hayman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Saint-saŽns: Symphony No 3, Etc / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orch
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 47655 Release Date: 01/03/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Philippe Entremont,  Gaby Casadesus,  E. Power Biggs
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Philippe Entremont
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Ensemble
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  • 19.
    Stars & Stripes Forever And The Greatest Marches
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60838 Release Date: 09/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  John Philip Sousa,  Edwin Eugene Bagley,  Johannes Hanssen  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    CD: $8.99
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  • 20.
    Fiedler's Favorite Marches / Boston Pops Orchestra
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60700 Release Date: 11/20/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Edwin Eugene Bagley,  Johannes Hanssen,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    CD: $9.99
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