BRU ZANE MEDIABASE
Digital resources for French Romantic music

Romance op. 67 (Camille Saint-Saëns)

Date

1885

Description

Romance in E for French horn or cello with orchestra or piano accompaniment, from the Suite op. 16.

Text

When it was first published by Hamelle in 1885, Camille Saint-Saëns’s Romance in E for French horn or cello was already nearly twenty years old. It was indeed the fourth movement — the most overtly romantic — of his Suite for cello and piano op. 16, published in 1866. This work was to accompany the composer for a long time, and he proposed an orchestration (and rewrote certain movements) in 1919. This version for horn, whose origins date back to 1882, was prepared in consultation with the dedicatee, Henri Chaussier (1854-1880), first prize for horn at the Dijon Conservatoire and then at the Paris Conservatoire (1880), and solo horn at the Société des Concerts. A few of the virtuoso’s letters testify to the adjustments he asked the composer to make to the cello part in order to render it accessible to his own instrument, but the final score proves that his complaints — notably the wish to see the sustained high C at the end of the piece removed — had no effect. The soloist conceded, moreover: “Regarding the changes, do as you think best, for in fact nothing should be impossible, and difficulties should be overcome” (19 October 1882). The public premiere of the piece — by Chaussier, in its version for horn and orchestra — seems to have taken place on 1 February 1885 as part of the Cirque d’Hiver’s Concerts Modernes. The collaboration between the two musicians continued throughout the 1890s, and Saint-Saëns also dedicated his Concert Piece for French horn op. 94 to Chaussier.

    Work - 1
  • Suite for Cello and Piano op. 16 (Camille Saint-Saëns)
  • Person - 1
  • SAINT-SAËNS, Camille (1835-1921)
  • Theme - 1
  • Instruments à vent – Le cor au XIXe siècle