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: Samson et Dalila, Op. 47: Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix

Browse 101-125 of 139 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    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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  • 102.
    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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  • 103.
    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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  • 104.
    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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  • 105.
    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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  • 106.
    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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  • 107.
    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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  • 108.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Luise Willer
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89177 Release Date: 10/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Carl Bergner,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Luise Willer,  Carl Bergner,  Ludwig Kusche,  Henny Trundt  ... 
    Conductor:  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Ernst Viebig,  Hans Adolf Winter,  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Frankfurt Radio Orchestra
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  • 109.
    The Best Opera Album In The World...ever!
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 42203 Release Date: 07/27/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Maria Callas,  Montserrat Caballé,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard,  Georges Prętre,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rhine Opera Chorus,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 110.
    Simply The Best Night At The Opera / Algana, Bartoli, Et Al
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 26499 Release Date: 07/06/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Ramey,  Annick Massis,  Marilyn Horne,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Marc Minkowski,  Lawrence Foster,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Le Concert des Tuileries,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 111.
    Prima Voce - Sigrid Onegin Vol 1 - Donizetti, Verdi, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7898 Release Date: 03/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin,  Johann Friedrich Reichardt,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Sigrid Onegin,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Georg Kniestedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 112.
    All The Rage / Nashville Mandolin Ensemble
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80544 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  W. J. Kitchener,  Albert William Ketčlbey,  Warren Dean,  David Guion  ... 
    Performer:  Byron House,  Karen Ann Krieger
    Conductor:  Paul Martin Zonn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Mandolin Ensemble
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  • 113.
    Stanford Archive Series Vol 4 / Ernestine Schumann-heink
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 5503 Release Date: 03/03/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Ronald, Landon, Sir,  John Stafford Smith,  Geoffrey O'Hara  ... 
    Performer:  Ernestine Schumann-Heink,  Katherine Hoffmann,  Geraldine Farrar,  Charles Adams Prince
    Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon
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  • 114.
    Callas Edition - Callas Ŕ Paris - Arias 1
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66466 Release Date: 01/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustave Charpentier,  Jules Massenet,  Ambroise Thomas,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Georges Prętre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 115.
    Four German Contraltos Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89979 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Georges Bizet,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Margarete Klose,  Marcel Wittrisch,  Luise Willer,  Maria Olszewska  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Zweig,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 116.
    Four Famous Contraltos Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89985 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Emmi Leisner,  Karin Branzell,  Sigrid Onegin,  Rosette Anday
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  • 117.
    25 Opera Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8838 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  John Oakman,  Elvira Cirje-Druica,  Eugenia Moldoveanu,  Ludovic Spiess  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Bigg,  Mircea Popa,  Constantin Petrovici,  Rudolph Palmer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Symphony Orchestra,  Romanian Opera Chorus of Bucharest,  Romanian Opera Orchestra of Bucharest  ... 
    CD: $4.99
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  • 118.
    Aria - Eugenia Zukerman Plays Favorite Opera Arias
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3209 Release Date: 06/17/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Dennis Helmrich,  Allan Vogel,  Eugenia Zukerman
    CD: $17.99
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  • 119.
    James Levine's 25th Anniversary - Metropolitan Opera Gala
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 449177 Release Date: 10/15/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Strauss,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry,  Karita Mattila,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd,  Anne Sofie von Otter  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 120.
    The 1903 Grand Opera Series
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 62334 Release Date: 10/01/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean-Baptiste Fauré,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ronald, Landon, Sir,  Leo Stern  ... 
    Performer:  Charles Adams Prince,  Charles Gilibert,  Giuseppe Campanari,  Suzanne Adams  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 121.
    Salon Classics / The Rembrandt Trio
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 90222 Release Date: 11/20/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Benjamin Godard,  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Coenraad Bloemendal,  Gerard Kantarjian,  Valerie Tryon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rembrandt Trio
    CD: $17.99
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  • 122.
    Greatest Hits - Saint-saens
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 69251 Release Date: 11/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Michel Arrignon,  Gaby Casadesus,  Alain Marion  ... 
    Conductor:  Philippe Entremont,  Eugene Ormandy,  Lorin Maazel,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 123.
    All Of The World's Most Beautiful Melodies! / Mccann, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 4536 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Traditional,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Johann Paul A. Martini,  Helen Guy  ... 
    Performer:  Phillip McCann,  Simon Lindley,  Roy Newsome,  Skaila Kanga  ... 
    Conductor:  Roy Newsome,  Major Peter Parkes,  Douglas Blackledge,  Gordon Langford
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sellers Engineering Band,  Huddersfield Choral Society,  Leeds Parish Church Boys' Choir  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 124.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Margarete Klose
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89082 Release Date: 06/20/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Marcel Wittrisch,  Margarete Klose,  Susanne Fischer,  Therese Gerson  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Zweig,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Franz Alfred Schmidt,  Gerhard Steeger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 125.
    Brigitte Fassbaender - Operatic Recital / Hans Graf
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 96841 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender
    Conductor:  Hans Graf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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