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Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (French: [ʃaʁl kamij sɛ̃sɑ̃s]; 9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880), the Third ("Organ") Symphony (1886) and The Carnival of the Animals (1886).

Saint-Saëns was a musical prodigy, making his concert debut at the age of ten. After studying at the Paris Conservatoire he followed a conventional career as a church organist, first at Saint-Merri, Paris and, from 1858, La Madeleine, the official church of the French Empire. After leaving the post twenty years later, he was a successful freelance pianist and composer, in demand in France, mainland Europe, Britain, and the Americas.

As a young man, Saint-Saëns was enthusiastic for the most modern music of the day, particularly that of Schumann, Liszt and Wagner, although his own compositions were generally within a conventional classical tradition. He was a scholar of musical history, and remained committed to the structures worked out by earlier French composers. This brought him into conflict in his later years with composers of the impressionist and dodecaphonic schools of music; although there were neoclassical elements in his music, foreshadowing works by Stravinsky and Les Six, he was often regarded as a reactionary in the years before and after his death.

Saint-Saëns held only one teaching post, at the École de Musique Classique et Religieuse in Paris, and remained there for less than five years. It was nevertheless important in the development of French music: his students included Gabriel Fauré, among whose own later pupils was Maurice Ravel. Both of them were strongly influenced by Saint-Saëns, whom they revered as a genius.

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Discography

Album

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1965 Violin Concerto / Havanaise Khachaturian; Saint‐Saëns, Kogan, Boston Symphony, Monteux 1
1967 Poulenc: Les Animaux modèles / Saint-Saëns: Le Carnaval des animaux Saint‐Saëns, Poulenc; Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Aldo Ciccolini, Alexis Weissenberg, Georges Prêtre 1
1975 Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf / Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals Sergey Prokofiev, Camille Saint‐Saëns; Wiener Philharmoniker, Karl Böhm, Hermione Gingold 2
1976 Saint‐Saëns: Violin Concerto no. 3 / Vieuxtemps: Violin Concerto no. 5 Saint‐Saëns, Vieuxtemps; Kyng-Wha Chung, London Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Foster 2
1976 Сен-Санс: Концерт но. 2 для фортепиано с оркестром соль минор, соч. 22 / Шуман: Карнавал, соч. 9 К. Сен-Санс, Р. Шуман; Григорий Соколов 1
1978 Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 4 / Saint‐Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2 Rachmaninoff, Saint‐Saëns; Earl Wild 1
1978 Saint-Saëns: Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso / Chausson: Poeme / Saint-Saëns: Havanaise / Ravel: Tzigane Saint‐Saëns, Chausson, Ravel; Kyung-Wha Chung, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit 1
1980 Symphony no. 3 "Organ" Saint‐Saëns; The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Michael Murray 2
1981 Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole / Saint‐Saëns: Violin Concerto no. 1 Lalo, Saint‐Saëns; Kyung Wha Chung, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Charles Dutoit 1
1981 Sibelius: Violin Concerto / Saint-Saëns: Rondo Capriccioso Jean Sibelius, Camille Saint‐Saëns; Dylana Jenson, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy 2
1982 Piano Concerto no. 2 / Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Saint‐Saëns, Rachmaninoff; Bella Davidovich, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, Neeme Järvi 1
1982 Symphonie no. 3 "Organ" Camille Saint‐Saëns; Pierre Cochereau, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 3
1982 Symphony no. 3 "Organ" Saint-Saëns; Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Charles Dutoit, Peter Hurford 2
1983 Concerto pour violon n° 3 Op61; Havanaise Op83; Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso pour violon Op28 Camille Saint‐Saëns; Augustin Dumay, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte‐Carlo, 矢崎広 1
1984 Pavane / L’Apprenti sorcier / Danse macabre / Marche hongroise / Joyeuse marche / Prélude à L’Après-midi d’un faune Debussy, Ravel, Dukas, Saint-Saëns; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville Marriner 1
1985 Klaviertrios (Münchner Klaviertrio feat. violin: Ilona Then-Bergh, cello: Gerhard Zank, piano: Carl-Heinz März) Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1985 Symphony no. 3 "Organ Symphony" Camille Saint‐Saëns; San Francisco Symphony, Edo de Waart, Jean Guillou 1
1986 Carnaval des animaux Saint-Saëns; London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia Orchestra, Charles Dutoit, Cristina Ortiz, Pascal Rogé 1
1986 Piano Concertos nos. 1-5 Camille Saint‐Saëns; Charles Dutoit, Pascal Rogé 2
1986 Symphony No. 3 "Organ" (Bern Symphony Orchestra, solo organ: Daniel Chorzempa, conductor: Peter Maag) Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1986 Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations / Offenbach & Saint-Saens: Cello Concertos Tchaikovsky, Offenbach, Saint‐Saëns; Ofra Harnoy 1
1987 Saint-Saëns: Les 5 Concertos pour Piano Camille Saint‐Saëns; Aldo Ciccolini & Serge Baudo 3
1987 Saint-Saëns: Piano Trio no. 2 / Ravel: Piano Trio Saint-Saëns, Ravel; The Arden Trio 1
1987 Saint-Saëns: Symphony No.3 "Organ" / Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice Saint-Saëns, Dukas; James Levine, Berliner Philharmoniker 2
1987 Saint-Saens: Weihnachtsoratorium / Mendelssohn: "Vom Himmel hoch" (Dresdner Kreuzchor & Dresdner Philharmonie feat. conductor: Martin Flämig) Saint-Saëns / Mendelssohn 1
1988 Symphony no. 3 "Organ" Saint-Saëns; Imrich Szabo, CSR Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava), Stephen Gunzenhauser 1
1988 Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto / Saint-Saëns: Havanaise / Introduction and Rondo capriccioso / Massenet: Meditation from 'Thais' Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Massenet; Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, New York Chamber Symphony, Gerard Schwarz 1
1988 Symphonie Espagnole / Violin Concerto no. 3 in B minor Édouard Lalo / Camille Saint‐Saëns; Aaron Rosand, Southwest German Radio Orchestra, Baden-Baden, Tibor Szőke 1
1988 Works for Piano and Orchestra (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Enrique Bátiz, piano: Jorge Federico Osorio) Schumann, Saint-Saëns, Franck 1
1989 Le carnaval des animaux, Septet, Allegro Appassionato & Bagatelles (The Sinfonia da Camera feat. conductor and pianist: Ian Hobson) Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1989 Piano Concertos nos. 2 & 4 Saint-Saëns; Philharmonia Orchestra, James Loughran, İdil Biret 2
1989 Requiem / Psaume XVIII Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1990 Franck / Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonatas / Ravel: Tzigane Franck, Saint‐Saëns, Ravel; Gil Shaham, Gerhard Oppitz 1
1990 Cello Concertos Saint-Saëns, Lalo, Fauré; Gaspar Cassadó, Bamberger Symphony, Jonel Perlea 1
1990 Saint-Saëns / Ravel / Martin Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Martin; Guarneri Trio 1
1990 Saint-Saëns: Le Carnaval des animaux / Poulenc: Concerto pour 2 pianos et orchestre Saint-Saëns, Poulenc; Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Marek Janowski, Güher & Süher Pekinel 1
1991 Symphony No. 3 "Organ" / Le Carnaval des animaux Saint-Saëns; Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Charles Dutoit 2
1991 Airs Bohemiens Pablo de Sarasate, Niccolò Paganini, Camille Saint‐Saëns; Itzhak Perlman 2
1991 Carnival of the Animals / Organ Symphony Saint-Saëns; Yo‐Yo Ma, E. Power Biggs 3
1991 Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole / Vieuxtemps: Violin Concerto No. 5 / Saint-Saëns: Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso Lalo, Vieuxtemps, Saint‐Saëns; Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta, Shlomo Mintz 1
1991 Poème Chausson, Massenet, Saint-Saëns, Ravel; Joshua Bell, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Litton 1
1991 Saint-Saëns à la Madeleine Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1991 Saint-Saëns: Chamber Music Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1991 Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3 / Lalo: Symphonie espagnole Saint-Saëns, Lalo, Chausson; Joshua Bell 1
1992 Samson et Dalila (Orchestre de Paris and Chœur de l'Orchestre de Paris feat. conductor: Daniel Barenboim, vocals: Pierre Thau, Michel Hubert, Constantin Zaharia, Renato Bruson, Robert Lloyd, Placido Domingo, Yelena Obraztsova, Gerard Friedmann) Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1992 Fantasies in E-flat major, D-flat major & C major / Bénédiction nuptiale / The Preludes and Fugues Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1992 2 Violin Sonatas Saint-Saëns; Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Jacques Rouvier 1
1992 Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor / Saint‐Saëns: Cello Concerto no. 1 in A minor Dvořák, Saint‐Saëns; London Symphony Orchestra, William Boughton, Alexander Michejew 1
1992 The Grand Symphony no. 3 for Organ and Orchestra Camille Saint‐Saëns; Virgil Fox, Eugene Ormandy, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Vladimir Sokolov 1
1993 Saint-Saëns: Symphony no. 3 / Debussy: La Mer / Ibert: Escales Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Ibert; Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch, Berj Zamkochian 2
1993 Saint‐Saëns: Symphonie no. 3 / Messiaen: L'Ascension Saint-Saëns, Messiaen; Orchestre de l’Opéra Bastille, Myung-Whun Chung 2
1993 Cello Concerto no. 1 / Sonata no. 1 / Romances Saint-Saëns; London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas, Steven Isserlis, Pascal Devoyon 1
1993 Piet Kee at the Concertgebouw Alain, Franck, Saint‐Saëns; Piet Kee 2
1993 Piano Trios Maurice Ravel, Cécile Chaminade, Camille Saint‐Saëns; The Rembrandt Trio 1
1993 Samson et Dalila (Highlights) Camille Saint‐Saëns; Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Sir Colin Davis 1
1993 Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra! / Saint-Saëns: Symphony no. 3 ("Organ") Strauss, Saint‐Saëns; The Pasadena Symphony, Jorge Mester, Hector Olivera 1
1993 Violin Sonata No. 1 / Violin Sonata / Violin Sonata No. 1 Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy, Camille Saint‐Saëns; Chee-Yun, 江口玲 1
1994 Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf / Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals / Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (narrated by Melissa Joan Hart as Clarissa) Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns, Britten; Melissa Joan Hart, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa 1
1994 Paganini: Concerto No. 1 in D / Saint-Saens Paganini, Saint-Saëns; Sarah Chang, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Wolfgang Sawallisch 1
1994 Christmas Oratorio, op. 12 Camille Saint‐Saëns; Verena Schweizer, Edith Wiens, Helena Jungwirth, Friedreich Melzer, Kurt Widmer, Bachchor & Bachorchester Mainz, Diethard Hellmann 2
1994 Jongen: Symphonie Concertante for Organ and Orchestra / Saint‐Saëns: Symphony no. 3 "Organ" Jongen, Saint‐Saëns; Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Mata, Jean Guillou 1
1994 Saint-Saëns: La Muse et le poète Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1994 Symphony No. 3 "Organ" / Le Carnaval des Animaux / Cyprès et Lauriers (Philharmonia Orchestra feat. conductor: Djong Victorin Yu) Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1994 The Best of Saint-Saëns Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1994 Violin Concerto 3 and Symphony 3 (Olso Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariss Jansons, Fran Peter Zimmermann - Violin) Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1994 Violin Concerto No. 3 / Introduction And Rondo Capriccioso / Caprice Andalous / Morceau De Concert Camille Saint‐Saëns; Dong-Suk Kang, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Antoni Wit 1
1995 Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2 Saint-Saëns; Joachim Trio 1
1995 Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto no. 1 / Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto no. 2 Tchaikovsky, Saint‐Saëns; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Yoel Levi , André Watts 1
1995 Cello Concerto No. 1 / Piano Concerto No. 2 / Violin Concerto No. 3 Camille Saint‐Saëns 5 2
1995 Concertos pour violoncelle Saint-Saëns, Lalo, Fauré; Anne Gastinel, Orchestre National de Lyon, Emmanuel Krivine 1
1995 Musique de chambre pour harpe Ravel, Debussy, Saint‐Saëns, Caplet, Cras; Isabelle Moretti 1
1995 Samson et Dalila (Wiener Symphoniker, feat. conductor Sylvain Cambreling, singers Lipovsek, Cossutta, Fondary, Bisson) Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1995 Symphony no. 2 / Suite algérienne / Phaéton Saint‐Saëns; London Symphony Orchestra, Yondani Butt 1
1995 Violin Concertos Vieuxtemps, Ravel, Saint‐Saëns; Itzhak Perlman 1
1996 Delibes: Sylvia (Complete Ballet) / Saint-Saëns: Henry VIII Delibes, Saint-Saëns; Razumovsky Sinfonia, Andrew Mogrelia 1
1996 Le Déluge Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1996 Romantic: Schubert: Symphony No. 8, "Unfinished" / Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3, "Organ" Schubert / Saint-Saëns 1
1996 Symphony no. 3 / Dance Macabre / Phaeton / Danse Bacchanale Saint-Saëns; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Lorin Maazel, Anthony Newman 2
1996 Cello Concertos nos. 1 & 2 / Suite, op. 16 / Allegro Appassionato / The Swan Saint-Saëns; Maria Kliegel, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Jean-François Monnard 1
1996 Lalo: Symphonie espagnole / Chausson: Poème / Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3 Édouard Lalo, Ernest Chausson, Camille Saint‐Saëns; Yehudi Menuhin 1
1996 Lalo: Symphonie espagnole / Saint‐Saëns: Violin Concerto no. 3 Lalo, Saint‐Saëns; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jesús López-Cobos, Chee-Yun 1
1996 Le Carnaval des Animaux Saint-Saëns; London Festival Orchestra, Ross Pople 1
1996 Liszt: Piano Concerto no. 1 / Hungarian Fantasia / Saint‐Saëns: Le Carnaval des Animaux Liszt, Saint‐Saëns; Géza Anda, Béla Síki, Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Ackermann, Igor Markevitch 1
1996 Os grandes clássicos: Sinfonia no. 3 / O carnaval dos animais Camille Saint‐Saëns; Orquestra sinfônica de Munique, Alberto Lizzio 1
1996 Peter and The Wolf / Carnival of the Animals / Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns, Britten; Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy 1
1996 Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 "Organ" (Royal Promenade Orchestra feat. conductor: Alfred Gehardt, organ: Sinclair Wilford) Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1997 Songs by Camille Saint-Saëns Camille Saint‐Saëns; François Le Roux, Graham Johnson 1
1997 French Choral Music Saint‐Saëns, Fauré, Debussy, Poulenc, Duruflé, Villette; Elizabeth Lane, Richard Egarr, Nicholas White, The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, Timothy Brown 1
1997 L'Œuvre pour violon & piano Camille Saint‐Saëns; Gérard Poulet, Noël Lee 1
1997 Symphony No. 3 "Organ" / Phaéton / Le Rouet d'Omphale Saint-Saëns; Orchestre National de France, Seiji Ozawa 2
1998 Cello Concerto no. 1 / Cello Sonata no. 1 / Allegro appassionato / Suite op. 16 / The Swan Saint-Saëns; Mischa Maisky, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Daria Hovora 1
1998 The Complete Études Camille Saint‐Saëns; Piers Lane 1
1998 The Two Cello Concertos / Romance for Cello & Orchestra / Symphony in A major Camille Saint‐Saëns; Tapiola Sinfonietta, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Torleif Thedéen 2
1998 Samson et Dalila (London Symphony Orchestra & Choir feat. conductor: Sir Colin Davis) Camille Saint‐Saëns 1
1998 Chamber Music Dvořák, Saint‐Saëns; The Nash Ensemble 1
1999 Harfenkonzerte Boïeldieu, Saint-Saëns, Tailleferre, Ravel; Nicanor Zabaleta 1
1999 The Romantic Violin Concerto, Volume 1: The Three Violin Concertos Saint-Saëns; Philippe Graffin, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins 1
1999 Lalo: Cellokonzert / Saint-Saëns: Cellokonzert / Bruch: Kol Nidrei / Bloch: Schelomo Lalo, Saint-Saëns, Bruch, Bloch; Pierre Fournier 1
1999 Cello Concertos Dvořák, Saint-Saëns; Christine Walevska 1
2000 BBC Music, Volume 8, Number 6: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Symphony No. 3 (Organ) Camille Saint‐Saëns 1

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