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: Works For A Cappella Choir / Chantres Musiciens
Release Date: 01/01/2003   Label: Atma Classique  
Catalog: 22226   Number of Discs: 1
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Grand Tier - Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila / Fournet, Vickers
Release Date: 06/13/2006   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 7028   Number of Discs: 2
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Orford - Works For Six Pianos - Saint-saëns, Prokofiev, Gounod, Rossini, Etc / Murray, Perron, Godin, Et Al
Release Date: 05/27/2008   Label: Atma Classique  
Catalog: 2566   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Samson et Dalila, Op. 47: Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix

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  • 51.
    The Opera Gala - Live from Baden-Baden / Netrebko, Vargas [Blu-ray]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001208859 Release Date: 11/25/2008  
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Ruperto Chapi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Ludovic Tézier,  Elina Garanca,  Ramón Vargas,  Anna Netrebko
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  • 52.
    The Opera Baby Vol 2
    Label: Fuel 2000   Catalog: 061741 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
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  • 53.
    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
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  • 54.
    Marilyn Horne - The Complete Decca Recitals
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001089302 Release Date: 04/15/2008   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Al Piantadosi,  Hugo Wolf,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Martin Katz,  Osian Ellis
    Conductor:  Henry Lewis,  Carl Davis,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Opera Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 55.
    40 Most Beautiful Arias - Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas, Placido Domingo, Bryn Terfel, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 447164 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Vincenzo Bellini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
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    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Maurizio Barbacini,  Marcello Viotti,  Carlo Rizzi  ... 
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  • 56.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 757293 Release Date: 03/04/2008  
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Alfredo Catalani,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
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  • 57.
    101 Opera Masterpieces, Vol. 1 [box Set]
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 9528671 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Biserka Cvejik,  Ruza Baldani,  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo  ... 
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  • 58.
    Opera Gala - Live From Baden - Baden
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001061402 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruperto Chapi,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Elina Garanca,  Ludovic Tézier,  Ramón Vargas,  Anna Netrebko
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Shirley Verrett In Opera
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61457 Release Date: 01/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Hector Berlioz,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Shirley Verrett,  Robert Amis El Hage,  Carlo Bergonzi
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre,  Thomas Schippers,  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Chorus
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  • 60.
    Best Romantic Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15490 Release Date: 01/15/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Lucio Quarantotto,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Byzantine,  Amy Nuttall,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Sharon Isbin  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Kershaw,  Seiji Ozawa,  Lawrence Foster,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra,  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra  ... 
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  • 61.
    The Opera Gala - Live from Baden-Baden / Netrebko, Vargas
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001039209 Release Date: 01/08/2008  
    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
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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    Maria Callas - The Complete Studio Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 95918 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  David Sellar,  Giorgio Tadeo,  Tito Gobbi  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre,  Tullio Serafin,  Antonino Votto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 65.
    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  ... 
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  • 66.
    The One And Only - Opera Arias / Maria Callas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 96341 Release Date: 08/28/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Jules Massenet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Anna Maria Canali,  Jane Berbié,  Nadine Sautereau  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno,  Tullio Serafin,  Franco Ghione  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra,  Society of the Conservatory Concerts Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 67.
    Artist Portrait - Monica Groop
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 49704 Release Date: 06/19/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Hector Berlioz,  Ambroise Thomas,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Håkan Wikman,  Monica Groop,  Sanna Niemikunnas,  Jorma Hynninen
    Conductor:  Juha Kangas,  Muhai Tang,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra,  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    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 Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry
    Conductor:  Massimo Pradella
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    Best Opera Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70879 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    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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  • 75.
    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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Camille Saint-Saëns


WORKS
I. Introduction et marche royale du Lion
II. Poules et Coqs
III. Hémiones
IV. Tortues
V. L'Éléphant
VI. Kangourous
VII. Aquarium
VIII. Personnages à longues oreilles
IX. Le Coucou au fond des bois
X. Volière
XI. Pianistes
XII. Fossiles
XIII. Le Cygne
XIV. Final
I. Adagio
III. Poco adagio
II. Allegro moderato
IV. Maestoso
Concerto No. 2 For Piano And Orchestra, Op. 22: I - Andante sostenuto
II - Allegro scherzando
III - Presto