Home / Persons / SAINT-SAËNS Camille

Print content of page

SAINT-SAËNS, Camille (1835-1921)

Having lost his father early like Charles Gounod, Saint-Saëns was raised by his mother, and his great-aunt, who gave him his first piano lessons before sending him to Stamaty, then Maleden. Extraordinarily precocious, he gave his first concert performance as early as 1846. Two years later, he was at the Paris Conservatoire, taking classes by Benoist (organ) then Halévy (composition). Although he twice failed to win the Prix de Rome, he received numerous awards throughout his career, as well as various institutional appointments, such as his election to the Académie in 1878. As a virtuoso, who held the post of organist at the church of La Madeleine (1857-1877), he impressed his contemporaries. As a prolific, cultured composer, he worked hard to revive the music of some of the great masters of the past, helping to prepare editions of Gluck and Rameau. An eclectic man, he championed both Wagner and Schumann while, as a teacher, his pupils included Gigout, Fauré and Messager. As a critic, he wrote many articles indicative of a liberal, perceptive mind, despite a fondness for the principles of academicism. It was this independence and strong-mindedness that led him to found the Société Nationale de Musique in 1871, and then resign from it in 1886. Admired for his orchestral works, which combined an entirely classical rigour with a style not lacking in innovation (five piano concertos, five symphonies including one, the third, with organ, four symphonic poems, including the famous Danse macabre), he was a composer of international repute, particularly owing to his operas Samson et Dalila (1877) and Henry VIII (1883).

    Images - 161
  • Camille Saint-Saëns
  • Camille Saint-Saëns
  • Camille Saint-Saëns
  • Camille Saint-Saëns
  • Camille Saint-Saëns
  • Camille Saint-Saëns (photographie dédicacée à Armand Marsick)
  • Display more
    Works - 99
  • Africa op. 89 (Camille Saint-Saëns)
  • Allegro appassionato in B minor for cello and piano, op. 43 (Camille Saint-Saëns)
  • Ancêtre, L’ (Augé de Lassus / Saint-Saëns)
  • Ascanio (Gallet / Saint-Saëns)
  • Assassinat du duc de Guise op. 128, L’ (Camille Saint-Saëns)
  • Barbares, Les (Sardou & Gheusi / Saint-Saëns)
  • Display more
    Themes - 5
  • The French mélodie with orchestra
  • The symphonic poem
  • Institution – Académie des beaux-arts (Institut)
  • Strings – The Romantic cello
  • Opera – Opera in France in the nineteenth century
  • Symposia - 6
  • Camille Saint-Saëns à pleine voix (2017)
  • Exotisme et art lyrique (2012)
  • L'Opéra-Comique, trois cents ans de création (2015)
  • French Modernity in the time of Berlioz (2010)
  • Le chant français (2013)
  • Le concerto pour piano français à l'épreuve des modernités (2010)
  • Studies - 25
  • Campos, Rémy – La musique religieuse sous le Second Empire
  • Condé, Gérard – Frédégonde
  • Condé, Gérard – Le Timbre d'argent: much more than a trial run...
  • Condé, Gérard – Proserpine: a look through the score
  • Degott, Pierre – La « haendelisation » de l’oratorio français de 1873 à 1910
  • Gérard, Yves – Saint-Saëns et le prix de Rome : scandale(s) ?
  • Display more
    Librettos - 3
  • Déjanire (Gallet & Saint-Saëns)
  • Frédégonde (Louis Gallet)
  • Princesse jaune, La (Louis Gallet)
  • Press articles -  104
  • Le Ménestrel, 20 juin 1852 [prix de Rome]
  • Revue et Gazette musicale de Paris, 13 juin 1852 [prix de Rome]
  • Le Ménestrel, 17 juillet 1864 [prix de Rome]
  • Le Ménestrel, 24 juillet 1864 [prix de Rome]
  • Gazette Nationale ou le Moniteur universel, 17 juin 1872 [La Princesse jaune de Saint-Saëns]
  • Journal des débats, 19 juin 1872 [La Princesse jaune de Saint-Saëns]
  • Display more
    Documents - 15
  • Album de photographies de scène : œuvres diverses (théâtre de salon)
  • Camille Saint-Saëns à l’Institut (1881-1921)
  • Lettre de Camille Saint-Saëns à sa mère (1 l., 1886)
  • Lettres à Fernand de La Tombelle : Camille Saint-Saëns (1885-1912)
  • Lettres à Fernand de La Tombelle : Félicitations reçues après l'obtention du prix Chartier (1896)
  • Lettres à Jules Griset : Camille Saint-Saëns (25 l., 1880-1915)
  • Display more