Tag Archives: Saint-Saens

Camille Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre (National Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor:Leopold Stokowski): great compositions/performances


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Saint Saens – Piano conc.No.2 – Arthur Rubinstein: great compositions/performances


Saint Saens – Piano conc.No.2 – Arthur Rubinstein

HISTORIC PERFORMANCES: Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No.1 Op.33 In A Minor – Jacqueline Du pré


[youtube.com/watch?v=DZCPV9Q9Fz4]

 

Camille Saint-Saëns composed his Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33 in 1872, when the composer was 37 years old. He wrote this work for the Belgian cellist, viola de gamba player and instrument maker Auguste Tolbecque. Tolbecque was part of a distinguished family of musicians closely associated with the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, France’s leading concert society. The concerto was first performed on January 19, 1873 at a conservatoire concert with Tolbecque as soloist. This was considered a mark of Saint-Saëns’ growing acceptance by the French musical establishment.

Sir Donald Francis Tovey later wrote “Here, for once, is a violoncello concerto in which the solo instrument displays every register without the slightest difficulty in penetrating the orchestra.” Many composers, including Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff, considered this concerto to be the greatest of all cello concertos.

The work can be split into three different sections as follows:

  1. Allegro non troppo
    The concerto begins unusually. Instead of the traditional orchestral introduction, the piece begins with one short chord from the orchestra. The cello follows, stating the main motif. Soon, countermelodies flow from both the orchestra and soloist, at times the two playfully “calling and answering” each other.
  2. Allegretto con moto
    This turbulent opening movement leads into a brief but highly original minuet, in which the strings are muted, and which contains a cello cadenza.
  3. Tempo primo
    A restatement of the opening material from the first movement opens the finale. While Saint-Saëns uses the finale mainly as a recapitulation of earlier material, he concludes it with the introduction of an entirely new idea for the cello.

Saint-Saëns very often uses the solo cello here as a declamatory instrument. This keeps the soloist in the dramatic and musical foreground, the orchestra offering a shimmering backdrop. The music is tremendously demanding for soloists, especially in the fast third section. This difficulty has not stopped the concerto from becoming a favourite of the great virtuoso cellists.

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Great Compostions/Performances: Rhapsodie D’Auvergne for Piano and Orchestra By Saint-Saens


Rhapsodie D’Auvergne for Piano and Orchestra By Saint-Saens

(2008 Annual Concert at Glenn Gould Studio Toronto Soloist:Emily Pei’En Fan Conductor: Tony Fan with Chinese Artists Society of Toronto Youth Orchestra)

Saint-Saens: Later years

In 1886 Saint-Saëns debuted two of his most renowned compositions: The Carnival of the Animals andSymphony No. 3, dedicated to Franz Liszt, who died that year. That same year, however, Vincent d’Indyand his allies had Saint-Saëns removed from the Société Nationale de Musique. Two years later, Saint-Saëns’s mother died, driving the mourning composer away from France to the Canary Islands under the alias “Sannois”. Over the next several years he travelled around the world, visiting exotic locations in Europe, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America. Saint-Saëns chronicled his travels in many popular books using his nom de plume, Sannois.

In 1908, he had the distinction of being the first celebrated composer to write a musical score to a motion picture, The Assassination of the Duke of Guise (L’assassinat du duc de Guise), directed by Charles Le Bargy and André Calmettes, adapted by Henri Lavedan, featuring actors of the Comédie Française. It was 18 minutes long, a considerable run time for the day.

In 1915, Saint-Saëns traveled to San Francisco, California and guest conducted the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra during the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, one of two world’s fairs celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal.

Saint-Saëns continued to write on musical, scientific and historical topics, travelling frequently before spending his last years in AlgiersAlgeria. In recognition of his accomplishments, the government of France awarded him the Légion d’honneur.

Saint-Saëns died of pneumonia on 16 December 1921 at the Hôtel de l’Oasis in Algiers. His body was repatriated to Paris, honoured by state funeral at La Madeleine, and interred at Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris.

Relationships with other composers

Saint-Saëns was either friend or enemy to some of Europe’s most distinguished musicians. He stayed close to Franz Liszt and maintained a fast friendship with his pupil Gabriel Fauré, who replaced him as organist and choirmaster when he retired. Additionally, he was a teacher and friend to Isidor Philipp, who headed the piano department at the Paris Conservatory for several decades and was a composer and editor of the music of many composers. But despite his strong advocacy of French music, Saint-Saëns openly despised many of his fellow-composers in France such as Franckd’Indy, and Massenet. Saint-Saëns also hated the music of Claude Debussy; he is reported to have told Pierre Lalo, music critic, and son of composer Édouard Lalo, “I have stayed in Paris to speak ill of Pelléas et Mélisande.” The personal animosity was mutual; Debussy quipped: “I have a horror of sentimentality, and I cannot forget that its name is Saint-Saëns.” On other occasions, however, Debussy acknowledged an admiration for Saint-Saëns’s musical talents.

Saint-Saëns had been an early champion of Richard Wagner‘s music in France, teaching his pieces during his tenure at the École Niedermeyer and premiering the March from Tannhäuser. He had stunned even Wagner himself when he sight-read the entire orchestral scores of LohengrinTristan und Isolde, andSiegfried, prompting Hans von Bülow to refer to him as, “the greatest musical mind” of the era. However, despite admitting appreciation for the power of Wagner’s work, Saint-Saëns defiantly stated that he was not an aficionado. In 1886, Saint-Saëns was punished for some particularly harsh and anti-German comments on the Paris production of Lohengrin by losing engagements and receiving negative reviews throughout Germany. Later, after World War I, Saint-Saëns angered both French and Germans with his inflammatory articles entitled Germanophilie, which ruthlessly attacked Wagner.[2]

Saint-Saëns edited Jean-Philippe Rameau‘s Pièces de clavecin, and published them in 1895 through Durand in Paris (re-printed by Dover in 1993).

On 29 May 1913, Saint-Saëns stormed out of the première of Igor Stravinsky‘s Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), allegedly infuriated over what he considered the misuse of the bassoon in the ballet’s opening bars.

 

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Gabriel Fauré, ballade for piano and orchestra, op. 19, Vasso Devetzi, Serge Baudo



No, this is not about Paris. I was floating in memories letting them carry me away. Doing some resetting too.

The first symphonic work by G. Fauré (1845-1924), the great master of french song, had its première in 1881. It was composed earlier when the composer broke his affair with Marianne Viardot (yes, Pauline´s daughter). When Liszt played the work in a friendly meeting with Fauré, arranged by Saint Saens in Weimar in 1877, he said ´´this is too difficult“, leaving the scholars ever since aghast. Some of them claim that Liszt had troubles of vision at that time.

Vasso Devetzi, greek pianist, Thessaloniki, September the 9th, 1927- Paris, November the 1st, 1987. An ambitious artist who defined herself in her cv through her friendships. So, friend of the composer Mikis Theodorakis and late friend of Maria Callas. In the 50´s she moved to Paris. She became friend with Marguerite Long, Henri Sauguet, René Dumesnil, Bernard Gavoty, Claude Rostand, Jacques Fevrier, Jean Roire. . . It is said that M. Long gave the score of this ballade to Devetzi. In the 1960’s and 1970’s she lived long periods in Soviet Union. Soprano Galina Vishnevskaja and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich were her good friends, and she often accompanied them. During her last years she was the president of the Maria Callas Foundation, which provided international scholarships for young singers. She organized the ceremony of spreading Callas´s ashes in the Aegean sea. Greek people, regretfully, rarely talk about Devetzi.

The ballade was recorded in 1963 in Salle Wagram in Paris. An excellent result in my opinion. Serge Baudo conducts Devetzi and the Orchestre de la Socièté des Concerts du Conservatoire de Paris, long and dull name for the ancestor of the Orchestre de Paris. Chant du Monde, France. 

 

Fantastic Composer/Compositions: Saint-Saens Clarinet Sonata op. 167 in E flat major



Clarinet: Richard Hosford 
Piano: Jan Brown
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

 

“Saint-Saens” redirects here. For the commune in Haute-Normandie, see Saint-Saëns, Seine-Maritime.

Camille Saint-Saëns

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns 

(French pronunciation: ​[ʃaʁl kamij sɛ̃sɑ̃s];9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composerorganistconductor, and pianist of the Romantic era. He is known especially for The Carnival of the AnimalsDanse macabreSamson and Delilah (Opera), Piano Concerto No. 2Cello Concerto No. 1HavanaiseIntroduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and his Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).
Saint-Saëns was born in ParisFrance, on 9 October 1835. His father, a government clerk, died three months after his birth. He was raised by his mother, Clémence, with the assistance of her aunt, Charlotte Masson, who moved in. Masson introduced Saint-Saëns to the piano, and began giving him lessons on the instrument. At about this time, age two, Saint-Saëns was found to possess perfect pitch. His first composition, a little piece for the piano dated 22 March 1839, is now kept in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Saint-Saëns’s precocity was not limited to music. He learned to read and write by the age of three, and had some mastery of Latin by the age of seven.

 

Sviatoslav Richter plays Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No.5



00:00 – Allegro animato
11:44 – Andante
22:27 – Molto allegro

Live Performance, April 3, 1955
Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Kiril Kondrashin conductor
http://www.youtube.com/newfranzferenc…

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