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Camille Saint-Saëns


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, Poulenc, Barber / Latry, Eschenbach
Release Date: 02/13/2007   Label: Ondine  
Catalog: 1094   Number of Discs: 1
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The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 27 - Saint-Saëns / Oramo, Hough
Release Date: 10/09/2001   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 67331/3   Number of Discs: 2
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Saint-saëns: 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-Saëns: 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: Samson et Dalila, Op. 47: Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix

Browse 51-75 of 127 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Margarete Klose Vol 1 - Recordings 1932-1948
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10125 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Margarete Klose
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Gala Concert / Sutherland, Horne, Bonynge
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 1214 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Foster,  Julius Benedict,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Elizabethan Sydney Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Opera Obsession! Act IV - Opera d'Oro's Greatest Hits
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1004 Release Date: 09/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Jon Vickers,  Oralia Dominguez  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Jean Fournet,  Horst Stein,  Bohumil Gregor  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Netherlands Radio Symphony,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 54.
    José Luccioni - Recordings 1935-1948
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10152 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  José Luccioni,  Charles Cambon,  Suzanne Juyol,  Pierre Deldi  ... 
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  • 55.
    Grace Bumbry In Concert
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4402 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jules Massenet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Cilča  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry
    Conductor:  Massimo Pradella
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Marilyn Horne In Concert
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4401 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne
    Conductor:  Martin Katz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Maria Von Ilosvay
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89670 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Maria von Ilosvay,  Hans Hotter
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Bernhard Paumgartner,  Wilhelm Loibner,  Paul Van Kempen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus  ... 
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  • 58.
    Maria Callas 100 Best Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82258 Release Date: 01/16/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Rolando Panerai,  Angelo Mercuriali,  Nicola Rossi-Lemeni  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Antonino Votto,  Nicola Rescigno,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 59.
    Concert For Planet Earth - Rio De Janeiro 1992
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4154 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Denyce Graves
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  • 60.
    Night Owl
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1151 Release Date: 08/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Hugh S. Roberton,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Hill,  Martin Souter,  Jon Banks,  James Gregory  ... 
    Conductor:  Bystrik Rezucha,  Sarah Tenant-Flowers,  Yun-Sung Chang,  Matthias Kuntsch
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  • 61.
    Karaoke Opera 2 - Divas
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 112 Release Date: 04/11/2006  
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Eduardo Di Capua,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
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  • 62.
    Risë Stevens In Opera & Song
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4052 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Schwartz,  Georges Bizet,  Irving Berlin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Risë Stevens
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  • 63.
    The Movie Classics You Love
    Label: Vox Classics   Catalog: 97015 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Pietro Mascagni,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
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  • 64.
    Metropolitan Opera Gala - James Levine's 25th Anniversary
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000460209 Release Date: 11/22/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Jerry Hadley,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 65.
    Carnegie Hall
    Label: Bel Canto Society   Catalog: 791 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Eduardo Di Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Ezio Pinza,  Jan Peerce,  Artur Rubinstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Artur Rodzinski,  Bruno Walter,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 66.
    The Complete Félia Litvinne and Selected Recordings by Natalya Yermolenko-Yuzhina
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52049 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Alexander N. Serov  ... 
    Performer:  Natalia Yermolenko-Yuzhina,  David Yuzhin,  Félia Litvinne,  Alfred Cortot
    CD: $36.99
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  • 67.
    Marian Anderson: Rare Live Broadcast Performances
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1275 Release Date: 07/19/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Giovanni Bononcini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
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  • 68.
    Amici Forever Defined
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68883 Release Date: 06/21/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nick Patrick,  David Foster,  Aram Khachaturian,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  David Habbin,  Jo Appleby,  Tsakane Valentine,  Nicholas Garrett  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Forever
    CD: $9.99
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  • 69.
    The Complete César Vezzani Vol 2
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52045 Release Date: 04/01/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  César Vezzani,  Mireille Berthon,  Odette Ricquier,  Rose Heilbronner  ... 
    CD: $36.99
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  • 70.
    Arias /  Aldona Stempuzis
    Label: Legacy Collections   Catalog: 5637484502 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Aldona Stempuzis
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  • 71.
    A Survey Of European Zonophone Recordings 1901-1903
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1281 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Baptiste Fauré,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Pol Plançon,  Giulio Rossi,  Leon Laffitte,  Rose Caron  ... 
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  • 72.
    100 Best Opera Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 862112 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Lakes,  Maria Callas,  Tito Gobbi,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon,  Alceo Galliera,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 73.
    Original Masters - Grace Bumbry - Early Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775250 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry,  Sebastian Peschko,  Wolfgang Windgassen,  Erik Werba  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Maurice Abravanel,  Hans Löwlein,  János Kulka  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 74.
    Label: Lisa Houston   Catalog: 5637375546 Release Date: 02/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Irving Berlin,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Lisa Houston
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  • 75.
    Violoncelle Et Opera / Grosgurin, Kanno
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1133 Release Date: 11/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Grosgurin,  Jun Kanno
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