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
Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole; Saint-Saëns / Perlman, Barenboim
Release Date: 06/13/1995   Label: Dg Masters  
Catalog: 445549   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-Saëns: Symphony no 3 / DePreist, Royal Stockholm PO
Release Date: 10/12/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 555   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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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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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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Work: Samson et Dalila, Op. 47: Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix

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  • 76.
    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  ... 
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  • 77.
    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  ... 
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    Arias /  Aldona Stempuzis
    Label: Legacy Collections   Catalog: 5637484502 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    Rossini: Petite Messe Solenelle;  Wagner, Strauss/Barbirolli
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2254/55 Release Date: 03/30/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Ria Ginster,  Charles Kullman,  Leonard Warren,  Bruna Castagna  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Choir,  New York Philharmonic,  Schola Cantorum New York  ... 
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  • 85.
    Artist Portrait - Jose Cura
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 45339 Release Date: 03/16/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Alberto Ginastera,  Carlos Guastavino,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  José Cura,  Olga Borodina
    Conductor:  Placido Domingo,  Sir Colin Davis,  José Cura
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
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  • 86.
    Prima Voce - Clara Butt
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7912 Release Date: 03/02/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gaetano Donizetti,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Clara Butt,  Landon Ronald,  Grace Torrens
    Conductor:  Henry Wood,  Sir Hamilton Harty,  Albert William Ketèlbey
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  • 87.
    Prima Voce - Emmy Destinn
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7910 Release Date: 03/02/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Emmy Destinn,  Karl Jörn,  Maria Duchêne
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
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  • 88.
    Label: Cello Classics   Catalog: 11010 Release Date: 03/01/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Benjamin Godard,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  Douglas Cameron,  Ethel Bartlett,  Sir John Barbirolli,  W.H. Squire  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Eric Fenby,  Constant Lambert,  Christopher Finzi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newbury String Players
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  • 89.
    My Figure Skating Album - All The Favourite Classics
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000186102 Release Date: 02/10/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Tamás Vásáry,  Gil Shaham,  Luben Yordanoff,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Ahronovitch,  Daniel Barenboim,  William Steinberg,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
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  • 90.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Margarete Klose Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89583 Release Date: 01/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Claudio Monteverdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Margarete Klose,  A Boemi,  Tiana Lemnitz
    Conductor:  Robert Heger,  Hermann Abendroth,  Rudolf Kempe,  Arthur Rother  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prussian Staatskapelle Berlin,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 91.
    Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals, Septet, Fantasie, Romance, Etc.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 45603 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Frank Braley,  Gautier Capuçon,  Marie-Pierre Langlamet,  Renaud Capuçon  ... 
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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    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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  • 96.
    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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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    The Voice of Opera - Tebaldi, Horne, Pavarotti...
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000024602 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  George Gershwin,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Pears,  Roberta Alexander,  Simon Estes,  Helen Donath  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten,  Leonard Slatkin,  Sir Georg Solti,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 99.
    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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  • 100.
    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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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