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: The 2 Cello Concertos, Etc / Thedéen, Kantorow
Release Date: 01/25/1999   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 956   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saëns: Organ Music / Hans Fagius
Release Date: 10/12/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 556   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saëns: Piano Trios No 1 & 2 / Joachim Trio
Release Date: 05/23/1995   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550935   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saëns: Cello Concertos, Etc / Kliegel, Monnard, Et Al
Release Date: 04/08/1997   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553039   Number of Discs: 1
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Capriccio - Saint-Saëns: Music for Violin and Orchestra
Release Date: 08/05/2000   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 860   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Samson et Dalila, Op. 47: Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix

Browse 26-50 of 119 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    The Very Best Of Paul Tortelier
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 21730 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  Maria de La Pau,  Max Rostal,  Shuku Iwasaki  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Tortelier,  Jörg Faerber,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 27.
    Storyteller / Tine Thing Helseth
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 0883282 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Antonín Dvorák,  Léo Delibes,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Tine Thing Helseth
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  • 28.
    Classical 2012 / Angela Gheorghiu, David Fray, Alison Balsom, Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6804032 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Natalie Dessay,  Alison Balsom  ... 
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato,  Antonio Pappano,  Emmanuelle Haďm,  Alison Balsom  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble,  Les Talens Lyriques,  I Barocchisti  ... 
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  • 29.
    Homage To Maria Callas / Angela Gheorghiu
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 84377 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Luigi Cherubini  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  James Valenti
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Homage To Maria Callas / Angela Gheorghiu [Deluxe Edition]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 31509 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Luigi Cherubini  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  James Valenti
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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    CD: $23.99
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  • 31.
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 106 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Yoshikazu Mera,  Victoria Anderson,  Charles K.L. Davis  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 32.
    The Opera Album 2011
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001566102 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn [Bass-Baritone Vocal] Terfel,  Anna Netrebko,  Andrea Bocelli,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Gianandrea Noseda,  Zubin Mehta,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 33.
    Melodies Of Love And Death - Opera Senza Parole / Osiris Trio
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72373 Release Date: 06/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Osiris Trio
    CD: $17.99
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  • 34.
    Berlin Opera Night / Nagano, Berlin Deutsche Opera
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2053589 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Galouzine,  Anne Schwanewilms,  Adrianne Pieczonka,  Angelika Kirchschlager  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
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  • 35.
    New Year's Eve Concert 2010  / Garanca, Dudamel, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001529409 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Elina Garanca
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $32.99
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  • 36.
    Georges Thill Vol 2 - Historical Subjects
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10247 Release Date: 11/22/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Luigi Cherubini,  Hector Berlioz,  Ernest Reyer  ... 
    Performer:  Georges Thill,  Germaine Cernay
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 37.
    Karin Branzell & Martin Oehmann - Recordings 1924-1929
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10037 Release Date: 11/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wilhelm Kienzl,  Richard Wagner,  Daniel-François Auber,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Karin Branzell,  Carl Martin Oehmann
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 38.
    Ne Me Refuse Pas - French Opera Arias / Marie-Nicole Lemieux
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5201 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Luigi Cherubini,  Jacques Halévy,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux
    Conductor:  Fabien Gabel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Saint-saens: Complete Chamber Music With Winds
    Label: Indesens   Catalog: 21 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Laurent Wagschal,  Olivier Derbesse,  Vincent Lucas,  Yves d'Hau  ... 
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  • 40.
    Eternal Caballe
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61044 Release Date: 10/01/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  José Maria Cano,  Traditional,  Juan Manuel Serrat,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  J. A. Amargos,  Montserrat Caballé,  Gavyn Wright,  Ricardo Miralles  ... 
    Conductor:  José Maria Cano,  José Collado,  Ricardo Miralles,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 41.
    Saint-Saens: Samson et Dalila Highlights / Carreras, Baltsa, Davis
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438504 Release Date: 08/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Simon Estes,  Robert Swensen,  Jonathan [Baritone Vocal] Summers  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 42.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57531 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Margareta Lilowa,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Ursula Kunz  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Bernard Haitink,  Rafael Kubelik,  Peter Schneider  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 43.
    50 Best Romantic Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57555 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Ann Murray,  Jessye Norman,  Han-Na Chang,  Maria Callas  ... 
    Conductor:  Sylvain Cambreling,  Leonard Slatkin,  Georges Prętre,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    On sale! $13.98
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  • 44.
    Regina Resnik - Opera Gala
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 421897 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Forrest,  Franz Lehár,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Ian Wallace,  Regina Resnik,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Birgit Nilsson  ... 
    Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mantovani Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 45.
    Passione - Opera For Lovers
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149522 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Otto Nicolai,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Sylvia Geszty,  Evelyn Lear,  Thomas Stewart,  Hanne-Lore Kuhse  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Heinz Fricke,  Otmar Suitner,  Siegfried Kurz  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 46.
    Divos & Divas
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001305902 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Agustín Lara,  Georges Bizet,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Juan Diego Flórez,  Placido Domingo,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Frizza,  Miguel Harth-Bedoya,  Zubin Mehta,  Marco Armiliato  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 47.
    Living A Dream / Katherine Jenkins
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001252002 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfredo Catalani,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins
    CD: $14.99
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  • 48.
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38038 Release Date: 01/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 49.
    The Opera Gala - Live from Baden-Baden / Netrebko, Vargas [Blu-ray]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001208859 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Ruperto Chapi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Ludovic Tézier,  Elina Garanca,  Ramón Vargas,  Anna Netrebko
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $35.99
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  • 50.
    Complete Recordings Of Marie Delna, Selected Recordings Of Jeanne Marié De L'isle
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52056 Release Date: 05/12/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Cécile Louise Chaminade,  Reynaldo Hahn,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Jeanne Marié De l'isle,  Léon Beyle,  Hector Dufranne,  Marie Delna  ... 
    CD: $36.99
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