Camille Saint-Saens  
Camille Saint-Saens
Camille Saint-SaŽns, in full Charles-Camille Saint-SaŽns (born October 9, 1835, Paris, Franceódied December 16, 1921, Algiers [Algeria]), composer chiefly remembered for his symphonic poemsóthe first of that genre to be written by a Frenchmanóand for his opera Samson et Dalila. Saint-SaŽns was notable for his pioneering efforts on behalf of French music, and he was a gifted pianist and organist as well as a writer of criticism, poetry, essays, and plays. Of his concerti and symphonies, in which he adapted the virtuosity of Franz Lisztís style to French traditions of harmony and form, his Symphony No. 3 (Organ) is most often performed.

A child prodigy on the piano, Saint-SaŽns gave his first recital in 1846. He studied organ and composition at the Paris Conservatory, and in 1855 his Symphony No. 1 was performed. He became organist at the famed Church of the Madeleine in Paris in 1857, an association that lasted for 20 years. Liszt, whom he met about this time and with whom he formed an enduring friendship, described him as the finest organist in the world. From 1861 to 1865 he was professor of piano at the Niedermeyer School, where his pupils included Gabriel Faurť and Andrť Messager.

In 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War, he helped found the National Society of Music, which promoted performances of the most significant French orchestral works of the succeeding generation. In the same year, he produced his first symphonic poem, Le Rouet díOmphale (Omphaleís Spinning Wheel), which, with Danse macabre, is the most frequently performed of his four such works. His opera Samson et Dalila, rejected in Paris because of the prejudice against portraying biblical characters on the stage, was given in German at Weimar in 1877, on the recommendation of Liszt. It was finally staged in Paris in 1890 at the Thť‚tre Eden and later became his most popular opera.

In 1878 Saint-SaŽns lost both of his sons, and three years later he separated from his wife. Over the following years, he undertook extensive tours throughout Europe, the United States, South America, the Middle East, and East Asia, performing his five piano concerti and other keyboard works and conducting his symphonic compositions. As a pianist, he was admired by Richard Wagner for his brilliant technique and was the subject of a study by Marcel Proust. From roughly 1880 until the end of his life, his immense production covered all fields of dramatic and instrumental music. His Symphony No. 3 (1886), dedicated to the memory of Liszt, made skilled use of the organ and two pianos. In the same year, he wrote Le Carnaval des animaux (The Carnival of Animals) for small orchestra, a humorous fantasy not performed during his lifetime that has since won considerable popularity as a work for young peopleís concerts. Among the best of his later works are the Piano Concerto No. 5 (1895) and the Cello Concerto No. 2 (1902).

Though he lived through the period of Wagnerís influence, Saint-SaŽns remained unaffected by it and adhered to the classical models, upholding a conservative ideal of French music that emphasized polished craftsmanship and a sense of form. In his essays and memoirs, he described the contemporary musical scene in a shrewd and often ironic manner.

Encyclopśdia Britannica


Camille Saint-Saens was born in Paris and brought up by his mother. He began music lessons early and by the age of three had already composed his first piano piece. From the age of seven he took composition lessons and soon gained a reputation in Paris as a child prodigy. In 1846, aged 11, he gave a recital of Mozart and Beethoven piano concertos; for an encore he offered to play any one of the Beethoven piano sonatas from memory.

He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1848 and over the next five years his dazzling gifts won both the friendship and patronage of composers such as Rossini, Gounod, Liszt, and Berlioz. His mentors feared only that his chameleon-like ability to absorb information and musical styles, while in one sense an advantage, might inhibit originality of expression in his own compositions.

The 1860s were probably the most contented and stable years of Saint-Saens's life. During this time he quickly acquired a formidable reputation as a composer and a virtuoso pianist. In 1868 his Piano concerto No. 2, written m just 17 days, received warm praise from Liszt. He went on to produce a total of five concertos for piano, ranging in mood from the graceful, capricious, and lyrical, to the heroic and, in the case of No. 4 ó untypically for Saint-Saens - the tragic.

At the Ecole Niedermeyer between 1861 and 1865, in Samt-Saens's only professional teaching appointment, his pupils included the composer Gabriel Faure, who became a close friend. In 1871 Saint-Saens co-founded the Societe Nationale de Musique, an institution designed to promote the works of French composers. The Societe gave important premieres of works by Debussy, Ravel, Saint-Saens himself, and many others. In 1875 he married a young woman half his age, but the union lasted less than six years, probably due in part to Saint-Saens's highly-strung temperament and the couple's frustrated desire to start a family (two children died in infancy).

The 1870s and 1880s saw the composition of some of Saint-Saens's best and most characteristic works, including the opera Samson et Dalila (1 877), the Symphony No. 3 ("The organ"), and in 1886 Le carnaval des animals (The carnival of the animals). The last consists of musical portraits of various animals ó including such species as "Fossils" and "Pianists", among the more conventional animals, such as the famous "Swan" music for cello. The carnival of the animals was written as a private joke: Saint-Saens did not allow a performance during his lifetime. It is ironic that this piece more than any other has secured his fame in the present day.

Saint-Saens spent his final years travelling in Europe and the United States. On his death in 1921 he left a body of music that revealed a passion for order, clarity, and precision, as well as an always attractive - and very French - melodic charm.

Leib Levin
Introduction and Rondo Capriccoso
Choeur des Marais
Ave Verum Corpus
Calme des Nuits - op. 68 Nį1
Les Fleurs et les Arbres
Grand Rapids Cantata Choir
Ave Maria in B flat major
Men's Glee Club
Christmas Oratorio
Tollite Hostias


Camille Saint-SaŽns - Danse Macabre
Danse Macabre (first performed in 1875) is the name of opus 40 by French composer Camille Saint-SaŽns.

The composition is based upon a poem by Henri Cazalis, on an old French superstition: Zig, zig, zig, Death in a cadence, Striking with his heel a tomb, Death at midnight plays a dance-tune, Zig, zig, zig, on his violin. The winter wind blows and the night is dark; Moans are heard in the linden trees. Through the gloom, white skeletons pass, Running and leaping in their shrouds. Zig, zig, zig, each one is frisking, The bones of the dancers are heard to crackó But hist! of a sudden they quit the round, They push forward, they fly; the cock has crowed.

According to the ancient superstition, "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Death has the power to call forth the dead from their graves to dance for him while he plays his fiddle (represented by a solo violin with its E-string tuned to an E-flat in an example of scordatura tuning). His skeletons dance for him until the first break of dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year.

The piece opens with a harp playing a single note, D, twelve times to signify the clock striking midnight, accompanied by soft chords from the string section. This then leads to the eerie E flat and A chords (also known as a tritone or the "Devil's chord") played by a solo violin, representing death on his fiddle. After which the main theme is heard on a solo flute and is followed by a descending scale on the solo violin. The rest of the orchestra, particularly the lower instruments of the string section, then joins in on the descending scale. The main theme and the scale is then heard throughout the various sections of the orchestra until it breaks to the solo violin and the harp playing the scale. The piece becomes more energetic and climaxes at this point; the full orchestra playing with strong dynamics.Towards the end of the piece, there is another violin solo, now modulating, which is then joined by the rest of the orchestra. The final section, a pianissimo, represents the dawn breaking and the skeletons returning to their graves.

The piece makes particular use of the xylophone in a particular theme to imitate the sounds of rattling bones. Saint-SaŽns uses a similar motif in the Fossils part of his Carnival of the Animals.
[from Wikipedia]

Artwork: Remedios Varo,"Les Feuilles Mortes".
Played by: National Philharmonic Orchestra,
conductor: Leopold Stokowski.

Camille Saint-SaŽns - Le Carnaval des animaux, The Carnival Of The Animals
La Folle Journťe de Varsovie 2013, Szalone Dni Muzyki w Warszawie, The Grand Theatre in Warsaw, Poland, September 29
Symphony Orchestra of The Stanisław Moniuszko Music School in Wałbrzych, Poland
Małgorzata Sapiecha - conductor
00:48 Introduction et Marche Royale du Lion
03:01 Poules et Coqs
03:53 Hemiones
04:41 Tortues
06:36 L'Elephant
08:05 Kongourous
08:58 Aquarium
11:25 Personnages a longues oreilles
12:15 Le Coucou au fonds des bois
14:35 Pianistes
16:10 Fossiles
17:38 Le Cygne
20:49 Final
Camille Saint-SaŽns - Symphony No.1 in E-flat major, Op.2 (1853)
Symphony No.1 in E-flat major, Op.2 (1853)

Mov.I: Adagio - Allegro 00:00
Mov.II: Marche - Scherzo: Allegretto scherzando 09:08
Mov.III: Adagio 13:22
Mov.IV: Finale: Allegro Maestoso 22:58

Orchestra: Wiener Symphoniker

Conductor: Georges PrÍtre

Saint-SaŽns, Symphony No.2
St.Paul Chamber Orchestra/Thomas Zehetmair.
Saint Saens - Symphony No. 3
Symphony No. 3 Op. 78
1. Adagio- Allegro moderato 20:08
2. Allegro moderato attaca 7:15
3. Maestoso-Allegro 9:12
Camille Saint SaŽns Symphony No 3 C minor 'Organ Symphony' J Markl, MDR Orchestra
Jun Markl conducts MDR Orchestra
The symphony was commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society in England, and the first performance was given in London on 19 May 1886, at St James's Hall, conducted by the composer. After the death of his friend Franz Liszt on 31 July 1886, Saint-SaŽns dedicated the work to Liszt's memory. The composer also conducted the French premiere in January 1887
1.Adagio -- Allegro moderato -- Poco adagio 1:10
2.Allegro moderato -- Presto 20:41
3.Maestoso - Allegro 27:58
Saint-Saёns - Complete piano concertos (Previn)
№1 in D-dur
I. Andante - Allegro assai - 00:00
II. Andante sostenuto quasi adagio - 12:25
III. Allegro con fuoco - 22:00
№2 in g-moll
I. Andante sostenuto - 28:50
II. Allegro scherzando - 39:59
III. Presto - 45:53
№3 in Es-dur
I. Moderato assai - Piu mosso (Allegro maestoso) - 52:24
II. Andante - 01:06:37
III. Allegro non troppo - 01:15:33
№4 in c-moll
I. Allegro moderato - Andante - 1:23:20
II. Allegro vivace - Andante - Allegro - 01:36:11
№5 in F-dur
I. Allegro animato - 1:49:47
II. Andante - Allegretto tranquillo quasi andantino - 02:01:28
III. Molto allegro - 02:12:44

piano - Jean-Philippe Collard
conductor - Andre Previn
Royal Phlharmonic Orchestra
1985-1987 (release 1987-1988)

Saint-SaŽns - Piano Concerto No. 3 In E-flat Major
Anna Malikova, piano - WDR Sinfonieorchester KŲln, Thomas Sanderling conductor
Saint-SaŽns: Piano concerto No.5 - Thibaudet / Concertgebouw Orchestra - Live Concert
Piano concerto no. 5 in F major., opus 103, 'The Egyptian'
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Recorded the 16th of November 2011, Concertgebouw Amsterdam

Camille Saint-SaŽns - 6 …tudes, Op. 52 (1877)
1. Prelude
dedicated to …douard Marlois
2. Etude pour l'independance des doigts (2:11)
dedicated to Wilhelm KrŁger (1820-1883)
3. Prelude et fugue (4:39)
dedicated to Antoine Rubinstein (1829-1894)
4. Etude de rythme (8:18)
dedicated to Constance Pontet
5. Prelude et fugue (10:43)
dedicated to Nicolas Rubinstein (1835-1881)
6. Etude en forme de valse (16:35)
dedicated to Marie JaŽll (1846-1925)

FranÁois-Renť Duchable, piano

Camille Saint SaŽns - Messe de Requiem, Op. 54 (1878)
Messe de Requiem, Op. 54 (1878)

1. Requiem - Kyrie
2. Dies Irae
3. Rex Tremendae
4. Oro Supplex
5. Hostias (Offertoire)
6. Sanctus
7. Benedictus
8. Agnus Dei

FranÁoise Pollet, soprano
Magali Chalmeau-Damonte, mezzo-soprano
Jean-Luc Viala, tenor
Nicolas Rivenq, bariton
l'Orchestre National d' őle de France and Choeur Rťgional Vittoria d'őle de France conducted by Jacques Mercier

Camille Saint-SaŽns - Oratorio de NoÍl
Oratorio de NoÍl, Opus 12.
(choir, solists, harp, organ & strings)

LÝgumkloster Vokalensemble.
conductor: Sven-Ingvart Mikkelsen.

Tinebeth Hartkopf, soprano.
Bolette Bruno Hansen, mezzo-soprano & contralto.
Jan Lund, tenor.
Lars Fentz Krog, bass.
Joost Schelling, harp.
Bente SÝrensen, organ.
Lilly Schulz, choir-mezzo.

Saint-SaŽns Cello Concerto 1 & 2, Suite for Cello & Orchestra Op.16, and other works - S. Isserlis
Cello Concerto 1
Cello Concerto 2 18:44
La Muse et le PoŤte 36:59
Suite for Cello & Orchestra Op.16 52:50
Prayer 1:10:01
Camille Saint SaŽns - L'Assassinat du Duc de Guise Op. 128 (Soundtrack)
LíAssassinat du duc de Guise, Op.128 (1908)
Movie directed by Charles Le Bargy and Andrť Calmettes
Produced by FrŤres Lafitte
Written by Henri Lavedan

Ensemble Musique Oblique

The Assassination of the Duke of Guise (1908) (original French title: La Mort du duc de Guise; often referred to as L'Assassinat du duc de Guise) is a French historical film directed by Charles Le Bargy and Andrť Calmettes, adapted by Henri Lavedan, and featuring actors of the Comťdie-FranÁaise and prominent set designers. It is one of the first films to feature an original film score, composed by Camille Saint-SaŽns, and with a screenplay by an eminent man of letters.

Calmettes is credited with the idea of scoring the film, and Saint-SaŽns was a logical choice for such a prestigious venture. At age 73, he was probably France's most celebrated composer, and he had extensive experience in theater music. The score integrates small-scale dramatic details within a large-scale musical form to a degree rarely equaled during the rest of the silent period. Information about how he approached the project is scarce and ambiguous. Bonnerot, his biographer, tells us that he worked out the music "scene by scene before the screen"; and that because of the approach of winter he left Paris before the film's premiŤre, leaving Fernand LeBorne to conduct the orchestra. Saint-SaŽns had a piano reduction of the score, dedicated to LeBorne, published by Durand that year.

Camille Saint SaŽns - 3 Fugues for piano
1. Fugue Op. 52, No. 3
2. Fugue Op. 52, No. 5
3. Fugue Op. 111, No. 3

FranÁois-Renť Duchable, piano

Camille Saint-SaŽns - Cellokoncert nr. 1, a-mol, op. 33 - Sol Gabetta - DR Symfoniorkestret
Cellokoncert nr. 1, a-mol, op. 33 (1872) Camille Saint SaŽns (1835-1921) DR SymfoniOrkestret Sol Gabetta - Paul McCreesh
I Allegro non troppo
II Allegretto con moto
III Tempo primo
Danmarks Radio
Saint-SaŽns - Violin Concerto No. 2 in C Major
Fanny Clamagirand, violin - Sinfonia Finlandia Jyvšskylš, Patrick Gallois conductor
Nathan Milstein - Saint-SaŽns - Violin Concerto No 3 in B minor, Op 61
Violin Concerto No 3 in B minor, Op 61

00:00 Allegro non troppo
08:44 Andantino
17:12 Molto moderato

Nathan Milstein, violin

Philharmonia Orchestra
Anatole Fistoulari, conductor

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