Camille Saint-Saëns

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Saint-Saëns, Camille


(Charles Camille Saint-Saëns). Born Oct. 9, 1835, in Paris; died Dec. 16, 1921, in Algiers; buried in Paris. French composer, pianist, conductor, music critic, and public figure. Member of the Institut de France (1881); recipient of an honorary doctorate from Cambridge University (1893); honorary member of the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian Musical Society (1909).

In 1848, Saint-Saëns entered the Paris Conservatory, where he studied with F. Benoist (organ) and F. Halévy (composition). He served as an organist in the cathedrals of Paris (1853–77) and taught piano at the Ecole Niedermeyer (1861–65), where G. Fauré and A. Messager were among his pupils. Saint-Saëns was among the organizers of the Société Nationale de Musique (1871). He gave concerts in many countries, including Russia (1875, 1887), performing as a pianist and conductor and presenting primarily his own works.

Saint-Saëns wrote many works in diverse genres. His most brilliant compositions were instrumental works, especially symphonies and virtuoso concerti. A bright lyricism and noble ardor prevail in his compositions, the most outstanding of which include the opera Samson et Dalila (1877, Weimar); the Symphony No. 3 (with organ, 1886); the symphonic poem Danse macabre (1874); the Concerto No. 3 for Violin (1880) and the Introduction et rondo capriccioso (1863) for violin and orchestra; the second, fourth, and fifth piano concerti (1868, 1875, and 1896); the Concerto No. 2 for Cello (1902); and the orchestral fantasy The Carnival of the Animals (1886). Saint-Saëns wrote many books on music, the most important of which are Harmony and Melody (1885) and Portraits and Reminiscences (1899). He edited various music publications, including the complete works of J.-P. Rameau and several operas by C. W. Gluck.


Rolland, R. “K. Sen-Sans.” In his book Muzykanty nashikh dnei, Sobr. soch., vol. 16. Leningrad, 1935.
Kremlev, Iu. K. Sen-Sans. Moscow, 1970.
Harding, J. Saint-Saëns and His Circle. London[1965].
References in periodicals archive ?
Contains arias by Hector Berlioz, Georges Bizet, Emmanuel Chabrier, Leo Delibes, Charles Gounod, Jules Massenet, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Jacques Offenbach, Gioachino Rossini, Camille Saint-Saens, Ambroise Thomas, and Giuseppe Verdi.
Expect the same swooning when he plays concertos by Camille Saint-Saens and Antonin Dvorak with the Eugene Symphony.
Amy was a Bostonian, and several of the composers on the program (Edward MacDowell, George Chadwick, Arthur Foote) were the musical leaders in Boston, which was a hotbed of artistic development in the 1890s and on," Jette explained, noting that they were composing at the same time as Gabriel Faure, Camille Saint-Saens, Hugo Wolf and Gustav Mahler.
As the chapter titles suggest, Ernest Reyer was really a "Berliozian," Camille Saint-Saens waffled "on the cusp," and Edouard Lalo embraced Wagnerism only "in spite of himself.
Grieg plays on a roll made before 1907; Camille Saint-Saens at the ripe age of 83, ripples through an improvisation on his ``Samson and Delilah''; the 15-year-old Shura Cherkassky toys with Liszt's ``Rigoletto.
Camille Saint-Saens was arguably the most famous and influential composer in France at the turn of the last century, a fact that might surprise many who know little of his music and even less about his life and work.
Offering numerous compelling comparisons between the two composers' works, and invoking no less an authority than Camille Saint-Saens - "This book of noels should be part of the repertory of all organists .
Of more interest to musical scholars will be the description of Sousa's encounters with leading musicians of his day, including Theodore Thomas, Camille Saint-Saens, Cecile Chaminade, Reginald De Koven, Victor Herbert, and Rudolf Friml.
The French Romantic school of organists, initiated principally by Cesar Franck, Camille Saint-Saens, and the organ builder Aristide Cavaille-Coll produced much in the way of literature for the instrument and advances in virtuosic performance techniques.
One of the most interesting new subsections of The Keys discusses the ways in which composers from Meyerbeer to Camille Saint-Saens exploited past musical styles to evoke a sense of history.
Liszt's relationships with other composers are more difficult to trace from this collection; Williams has included only one or two letters to individual composers, among them Fryderyk Chopin, Edvard Grieg, Bedrich Smetana, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Rubinstein, Alexander Borodin, Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev, Cesar Cui, Carl Reinecke, Camille Saint-Saens, and Ferenc Erkel.