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: Requiem, Partsongs / Fasolis, Swiss Italian Orchestra
Release Date: 07/27/2004   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10214   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-Saëns: Symphony No 3; Moussorgsky / De Waart, Rotterdam PO
Release Date: 09/23/2003   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186116   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Introduction and Rondo capriccioso

Browse 26-50 of 112 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Transcriptions / Grau Schumacher Piano Duo
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 20903 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  GrauSchumacher Piano Duo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  GrauSchumacher Piano Duo
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  • 27.
    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 Capuçon,  Gautier Capuçon,  Martha Argerich,  Mischa Maisky  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexandre Rabinovitch,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Daniel Harding,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra  ... 
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  • 28.
    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-Saëns
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Isaac Stern,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Arthur Grumiaux
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Eugene Ormandy,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Jean Fournet
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  • 29.
    L'Excellence Se Fete - A Celebration of Excellence
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 297257 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  André Mathieu,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Alain Lefčvre,  Marie-Nicole Lemieux,  Louise-Andrée Baril,  Valerie Milot  ... 
    Conductor:  Yoav Talmi,  Bruno Weil,  Jeanne Lamon,  Jean-Philippe Tremblay  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alcan String Quartet,  Tafelmusik,  La Pieta  ... 
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  • 30.
    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-Saëns,  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  Deborah Nemtanu
    Conductor:  Thomas Zehetmair
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Chamber Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Beethoven, Godard, Chausson, Saint-Saens, Ravel / Oistrakh
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002032 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Chausson,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
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  • 32.
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 381335 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Waxman,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  Arata Yumi,  Mone Hattori,  Zakhar Bron
    Conductor:  Zakhar Bron
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  • 33.
    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-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Samuel Sanders,  André Previn
    Conductor:  Itzhak Perlman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Bernard Haitink,  Jean Martinon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 34.
    Coming Home: Israel Philharmonic 75th Anniversary [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059094 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric 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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  • 35.
    Israel Philharmonic Orchestra - Anniversary Edition
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059458 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric 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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  • 36.
    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,  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Roby Lakatos Ensemble
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  • 37.
    Coming Home: Israel Philharmonic 75th Anniversary
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059098 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Rachlin,  Vadim Repin,  Evgeni Kissin
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $34.99
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  • 38.
    Dans La Nuit / Nicola Jurgensen, Matthias Kirschenereit
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 853121 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Francis Poulenc,  Reynaldo Hahn,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Nicola Jurgensen,  Matthias Kirschnereit
    CD: $22.49
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  • 39.
    Steven Staryk: A Retrospective, Vol. 1 - Violin Concertos
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3186 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    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  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 40.
    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-Saëns,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Myor Rosen
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 41.
    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,  André Jolivet,  Henri Tomasi  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Nakariakov
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Hugh Wolff,  Jörg Faerber,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn  ... 
    CD: $45.99
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  • 42.
    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
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  • 43.
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 96046 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Niccolň Paganini,  Jules Massenet,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Angčle 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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  • 44.
    Spanish Serenade / Winischofer, Ferrer
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90790 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Pablo de Sarasate
    Performer:  Gernot Winischofer,  Anna Ferrer
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  • 45.
    The Very Best Of Nathan Milstein
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94797 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Leon Pommers,  Artur Balsam
    Conductor:  Anatole Fistoulari,  William Steinberg,  Walter Susskind,  Leon Barzin
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  • 46.
    Schumann, Franck, Ruzicka, Saint-saens /    	Valentin Radutiu, Per Rundberg
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 759 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  César Franck,  Peter Ruzicka,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Valentin Radutiu,  Per Rundberg
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  • 47.
    Selections - The Best Of James Ehnes
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29768 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Fritz Kreisler,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  James Ehnes,  Eduard Laurel,  Luc Beauséjour
    Conductor:  Yoav Talmi
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  • 48.
    The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra 70th Anniversary - Essential Recordings [12-CD Set]
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 9614 Release Date: 12/07/2010   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Shlomo Mintz,  Julius Katchen,  Artur Rubinstein,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki,  Josef Krips,  Sir Georg Solti,  Jean Martinon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ankor Children's Chorus,  Israel Philharmonia Singers
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  • 49.
    Schmankerln & Postres / Ralf Mathias Caspers, Tamaki Takeda-Caspers
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 10531 Release Date: 08/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Sanger,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Manuel de Falla,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Tamaki Takeda-Caspers,  Ralf Caspers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Intermezzo
    CD: $12.99
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  • 50.
    The Infinite Trumpet
    Label: Kinnell House Records   Catalog: 88200028 Release Date: 08/05/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Fritz Kreisler,  Riccardo Drigo  ... 
    Performer:  Malcolm McNab
    CD: $31.99
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