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
Saint-saëns: Samson Et Dalila / Rudel, Domingo, Verrett
Release Date: 11/28/2000   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 10   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila / Davis, Vickers, Verrett
Release Date: 12/20/2005   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2288   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Samson et Dalila, Op. 47: Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix

Browse 101-125 of 162 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Rarities Of Piano Music At Schloss Vor Husum (2002)
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 609 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas "Fats" Waller,  Ignaz Friedman,  Frédéric Meinders,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Frédéric Meinders,  Andreas Groethuysen,  Yaara Tal,  Enrico Pace  ... 
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  • 102.
    Marilyn Horne - Just For The Record: The Golden Voice
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000151202 Release Date: 11/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joaquin Nin,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Martin Katz,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Osian Ellis  ... 
    Conductor:  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge,  Sir Georg Solti,  Carl Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 103.
    Regina Resnik - Dramatic Scenes & Arias
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 475017 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  George Forrest,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Waldemar Kmentt,  Regina Resnik,  Robert Merrill,  Peter Gougaloff  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Mike Sammes Singers  ... 
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  • 104.
    Great Voices Of The Past - Favorite French Excerpts
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8016 Release Date: 07/01/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Halévy,  Gustave Charpentier,  Edouard Lalo  ... 
    Performer:  Rosa Ponselle,  Emmy Destinn,  Lawrence Tibbett,  Enrico Caruso  ... 
    Conductor:  Erno Rapée,  Carlo Sabajno,  Alberto Erede,  Lorenzo Molajoli  ... 
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  • 105.
    L'étoile - French Arias / Jennifer Larmore
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 87193 Release Date: 06/17/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Ambroise Thomas,  Maurice Ravel,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Jennifer Larmore
    Conductor:  Bertrand De Billy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Concert Choir
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  • 106.
    Simply The Best - Classical Passion - Music For Lovers
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 49754 Release Date: 05/20/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris,  Tasmin Little,  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Dieter Klöcker  ... 
    Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Leopold Hager,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Brodsky String Quartet,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 107.
    The Voice of Opera - Tebaldi, Horne, Pavarotti...
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000024602 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Teresa Berganza,  Thomas Allen,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Silvio Varviso,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Alexander Gibson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Naples Rossini Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 108.
    Very Best Of Singers - Maria Callas
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 575897 Release Date: 04/16/2003  
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Gioachino Rossini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
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  • 109.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Gladys Swarthout
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89561 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Canteloube,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jules Massenet,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Gladys Swarthout,  Ramon Vinay,  Lucielle Browning,  Thelma Votipka
    Conductor:  Jean Paul Morel,  François Morel,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Alexander Smallens  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
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  • 110.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Blanche Thebom
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89559 Release Date: 12/24/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Wolf,  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Wagner,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Blanche Thebom,  William Hughes
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Frieder Weissmann,  Warwick Braithwaite
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Rapture - Opera's Most Heavenly Moments
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471717 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Teresa Berganza,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Richard Bonynge,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 112.
    Classical Harp / Sarah Hill
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1048 Release Date: 09/01/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Jacques Offenbach,  Félix Godefroid,  Jeremiah Clarke  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Hill
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  • 113.
    Softly Awakes My Heart / Marian Anderson
    Label: Naxos Nostalgia   Catalog: 8120566 Release Date: 03/19/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Jean Sibelius,  Franz Schubert,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Marian Anderson,  Kosti Vehanen,  Lawrence Brown,  Franz Rupp  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Collingwood,  Rosario Bourdon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Maartje Offers
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89549 Release Date: 02/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Adriaen Valerius,  Georges Bizet,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Tommaso Giordani  ... 
    Performer:  Maartjie Offers,  Herbert Dawson,  Tina Poli-Randaccio
    Conductor:  George Byng,  A. D. Van Buuren,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Albert Coates  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  String Quartet,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Emmi Leisner
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89540 Release Date: 10/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Emmi Leisner,  Lotte Leonard,  Helge Rosvaenge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bruno Kittel Choir
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 116.
    Marina Domashenko - Opera Arias
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3285 Release Date: 07/31/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Marina Domashenko
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 117.
    Marina Domashenko - Opera Arias
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3285 Release Date: 07/31/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Marina Domashenko
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Sabine Kalter
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89533 Release Date: 06/26/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Sabine Kalter,  Richard Tauber,  Hans Heinz Bollman
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  • 119.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Maria Olszewska
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89526 Release Date: 04/24/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Genia Guszalewicz,  Else Knepel,  Maria Olszewska,  Emil Schipper  ... 
    Conductor:  Leo Blech,  Fritz Zweig,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 120.
    Ira Malaniuk - Arien Und Lieder
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90428 Release Date: 12/19/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Taras Shevchenko,  M. Voloshyn,  Mykola Lysenko  ... 
    Performer:  Ira Malaniuk,  N. Kupdehraben
    Conductor:  Andriy Hnatyszyn,  Hans Swarowsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Saint Barbara Church Choir of Vienna,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
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  • 121.
    Prima Voce Vol 2 - Treasury Of Opera - Historic Recordings
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1738 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Félicien César David,  Jacques Offenbach,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Nina Koshetz,  Feodor Chaliapin,  Clement Barone,  Amelita Galli-Curci  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack,  Franco Ghione,  Rosario Bourdon,  Hans Lange  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 122.
    Maria Callas - The Legend
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57057 Release Date: 10/24/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Raphäel Arié,  Tito Gobbi,  Jane Berbié  ... 
    Conductor:  Alceo Galliera,  Tullio Serafin,  Georges Prêtre,  Franco Ghione  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra  ... 
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  • 123.
    The Perfect Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67438 Release Date: 09/12/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Tito Gobbi,  Franco Corelli,  Mirella Freni,  Elena Obraztsova  ... 
    Conductor:  Alceo Galliera,  Lovro von Matacic,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Franco Ferraris  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 124.
    The Art Of The Dramatic Mezzo-soprano / Dolora Zajick, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80557 Release Date: 07/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Dolora Zajic,  Piero Giuliacci
    Conductor:  Charles Rosekranz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Margarete Matzenauer
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89183 Release Date: 12/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Georges Bizet,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Margaret Matzenauer,  Pasquale Amato,  Melanie Kurt,  Heinrich Knote  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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