One of the greatest French composers, in the Romantic era, Camille Saint-
Saens, was born on this day, October 9 in 1835. Saint-Saens besides being a great composer of some of the most beloved classical music pieces, was also a pianist, organist and a conductor. He lived a relatively long life for that time, 86 years, dying of a heart attack on December 16, 1921-buried in Paris, France.
From Britannica biography-Camille Saint-Saens: “composer chiefly remembered for his symphonic poems—the first of that genre to be written by a Frenchman—and for his opera Samson et Dalila.” … “Of his concerti and symphonies, in which he adapted the virtuosity of Franz Liszt’s style to French traditions of harmony and form, his Symphony No. 3 (Organ) is most often performed.”
“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 the Animals) for small orchestra, a humorous fantasy not performed during his lifetime that has since won considerable popularity as a work for young people’s concerts. Among the best of his later works are the Piano Concerto No. 5 (1895) and the Cello Concerto No. 2 (1902).“
My wife and I have been blessed to hear Saint-Saens wonderful, Carnival of the Animals, and one of my favorite symphonies of all, his stirring, moving and beautiful, “Organ Symphony” in Jones Hall a couple of times.
On this day, which would be Camille Saint-Saens 187th Birthday, please turn up the volume and enjoy some of his beautiful music.
Carnival of the Animals:
Piano Concerto #2 in G minor:
Cello Concerto in A minor:
Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso:
Symphony #3 in C minor, “Organ”:
Happy Birthday Camille Saint-Saens!