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: Sonatas for Violin & Piano, etc / Wallin
Release Date: 03/16/2004   Label: Cpo  
Catalog: 999946   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saëns: Samson Et Dalila / Rudel, Domingo, Verrett
Release Date: 11/28/2000   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 10   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saëns: Samson Et Dalila / Levine, Borodina, Domingo, Met Opera
Release Date: 09/14/2004   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 000302309   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila / Davis, Vickers, Verrett
Release Date: 12/20/2005   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2288   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Samson et Dalila, Op. 47: Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix

Browse 76-100 of 138 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    James Galway - Wings Of Song
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775085 Release Date: 09/14/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Joaquin Rodrigo  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Moray Welsh,  Jeanne Galway
    Conductor:  Klauspeter Seibel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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 Cilča  ... 
    Performer:  José Cura,  Olga Borodina
    Conductor:  Placido Domingo,  Sir Colin Davis,  José Cura
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
    CD: $12.99
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  • 82.
    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 Ketčlbey
    CD: $14.99
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  • 83.
    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 Duchęne
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    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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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    Rapture - Opera's Most Heavenly Moments
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471717 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Teresa Berganza,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Richard Bonynge,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 95.
    Classical Harp / Sarah Hill
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1048 Release Date: 09/01/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Jacques Offenbach,  Félix Godefroid,  Jeremiah Clarke  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Hill
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  • 96.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Maartje Offers
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89549 Release Date: 02/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Adriaen Valerius,  Georges Bizet,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Tommaso Giordani  ... 
    Performer:  Maartjie Offers,  Herbert Dawson,  Tina Poli-Randaccio
    Conductor:  George Byng,  A. D. Van Buuren,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Albert Coates  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  String Quartet,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 97.
    The Very Best Of Maria Callas
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57230 Release Date: 02/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Antonino Votto,  Georges Prętre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 98.
    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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  • 99.
    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
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 100.
    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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