Camille Saint-SaŽns

Biography

Born: Oct 9, 1835; France   Died: Dec 16, 1921; Algeria   Period: Romantic
Camille Saint-SaŽns 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 bourťe 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-SaŽns 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 Halťvy. 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 …cole 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-SaŽns 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-SaŽns developed a fondness for Faurť and his family, acting as a second father to Faurť'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-SaŽns' 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-SaŽns 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

Children's Classics - Prokofiev, Saint-saŽns, Britten
Release Date: 09/09/2003   Label: Universal  
Catalog: 000100002   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saŽns: Violin Concerto No 2, Etc / Kantorow, Ollila
Release Date: 11/27/2001   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1060   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saŽns: Organ Music / Hans Fagius
Release Date: 10/12/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 556   Number of Discs: 1
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Capriccio - Saint-SaŽns: Music for Violin and Orchestra
Release Date: 08/05/2000   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 860   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-saŽns: Africa, Symphony No 2, Etc / Kantorow
Release Date: 05/21/1996   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 790   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Introduction and Rondo capriccioso

Browse 1-25 of 136 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Saint-saens
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 628144 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
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  • 2.
    Complete Vengerov: Recordings 1991-2007 [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 631514 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Itamar Golan,  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Kurt Masur,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 3.
    Saint-saens: Complete Works For Violin & Orchestra, Cello & Orchestra
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 335 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Liya Petrova,  Jolente de Maeyer,  Tatiana Samouil,  Harriet Langley  ... 
    Conductor:  Christian Arming
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Soloists of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel
    CD: $37.49
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  • 4.
    Transcriptions / Grau Schumacher Piano Duo
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 20903 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Richard Wagner,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  GrauSchumacher Piano Duo
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  • 5.
    Chaconne /  Ida Haendel
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 3744502 Release Date: 06/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Edouard Lalo,  Johannes Brahms,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Ida Haendel
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  • 6.
    Le Violon Roi / Renaud Capucon [3-CD Set]
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 584402 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Renaud CapuÁon,  Gautier CapuÁon,  Martha Argerich,  Mischa Maisky  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexandre Rabinovitch,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Daniel Harding,  Yannick Nťzet-Sťguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 7.
    Saint-saens: Piano Concerto No. 2; Cello Concerto No. 1; Violin Concerto No. 3; Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350077 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Isaac Stern,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Arthur Grumiaux
    Conductor:  Andrť Cluytens,  Eugene Ormandy,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Jean Fournet
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  • 8.
    L'Excellence Se Fete - A Celebration of Excellence
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 297257 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Andrť Mathieu,  AntonŪn DvorŠk,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Alain LefŤvre,  Marie-Nicole Lemieux,  Louise-Andrťe Baril,  Valerie Milot  ... 
    Conductor:  Yoav Talmi,  Bruno Weil,  Jeanne Lamon,  Jean-Philippe Tremblay  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alcan String Quartet,  Tafelmusik,  La Pieta  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 9.
    Faure, Saint-Saens: Works for Violin & Orchestra / Nemtanu, Zehetmair
    Label: Mirare   Catalog: 193 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Gabriel Faurť
    Performer:  Deborah Nemtanu
    Conductor:  Thomas Zehetmair
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Chamber Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Beethoven, Godard, Chausson, Saint-Saens, Ravel / Oistrakh
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002032 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Godard,  Ernest Chausson,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
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  • 11.
    The Very Best Of Jascha Heifetz
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 164862 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Jean Sibelius,  Cťsar Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Artur Rubinstein,  Arok Sandor,  Emanuel Bay
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Thomas Beecham
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  • 12.
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 381335 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Franz Waxman,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  Arata Yumi,  Mone Hattori,  Zakhar Bron
    Conductor:  Zakhar Bron
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  • 13.
    Itzhak Perlman - A Portrait
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 941217 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Max Bruch,  Camille Saint-SaŽns  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Samuel Sanders,  Andrť Previn
    Conductor:  Itzhak Perlman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Bernard Haitink,  Jean Martinon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 14.
    Itzhak Perlman - A Portrait [Deluxe Edition - 2 CDs + 2 DVDs]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 941194 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Max Bruch,  Camille Saint-SaŽns  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Samuel Sanders,  Andrť Previn
    Conductor:  Itzhak Perlman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Bernard Haitink,  Jean Martinon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $51.98
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  • 15.
    Coming Home: Israel Philharmonic 75th Anniversary [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059094 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frťdťric Chopin,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Rachlin,  Vadim Repin,  Evgeni Kissin
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 16.
    Israel Philharmonic Orchestra - Anniversary Edition
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059458 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frťdťric Chopin,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Rachlin,  Vadim Repin,  Evgeni Kissin,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $98.99
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  • 17.
    Violin Encores
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001742802 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  John T. Williams,  Fritz Kreisler,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Kennedy,  Janine Jansen,  Clifford Benson,  Shlomo Mintz  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Barry Wordsworth,  Charles Dutoit,  IvŠn Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Roby Lakatos Ensemble
    CD: $8.99
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  • 18.
    Coming Home: Israel Philharmonic 75th Anniversary
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059098 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frťdťric Chopin,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Rachlin,  Vadim Repin,  Evgeni Kissin
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Dans La Nuit / Nicola Jurgensen, Matthias Kirschenereit
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 853121 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Faurť,  Francis Poulenc,  Reynaldo Hahn,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Nicola Jurgensen,  Matthias Kirschnereit
    CD: $22.49
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  • 20.
    Steven Staryk: A Retrospective, Vol. 1 - Violin Concertos
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3186 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  NiccolÚ Paganini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Camille Saint-SaŽns  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Staryk
    Conductor:  Herman Michael,  Bernard Haitink,  John Avision,  Douglas Gamley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norddutscher Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Cbc Vancouver Chamber Orchstra  ... 
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  • 21.
    First Choice: Saint-saens: Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso; Havanaise; Sarasate: Carmen-fantasy
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001662902 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pablo de Sarasate,  Ernest Chausson,  Camille Saint-SaŽns,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Myor Rosen
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $12.99
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  • 22.
    Sergei Nakariakov - Trumpet & Orchestra  [6-CD Set]
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 993672 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Andrť Jolivet,  Henri Tomasi  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Nakariakov
    Conductor:  Jesķs Lopez-Cobos,  Hugh Wolff,  JŲrg Faerber,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  WŁrttemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 23.
    Saint-Saens: Complete Violin Concertos / Hoelscher
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94308 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Camille Saint-SaŽns
    Performer:  Ulf Hoelscher,  Ralph Kirshbaum
    Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Michael Rabin - The Unpublished Recordings
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1470 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Max Bruch,  John Alden Carpenter  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Rabin
    Recommendation
    On sale! $69.98
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  • 25.
    Seeds
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 96046 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  NiccolÚ Paganini,  Jules Massenet,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  AngŤle Dubeau,  James Ehnes,  Yekwon Sunwoo,  Benjamin Beilman  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Rescigno,  Yoav Talmi,  Ivan Marinov,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta,  I Musici de Montreal
    CD: $16.99
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