Thursday, October 09, 2008
Today is the anniversary of the birth in 1835 of Camille Saint-Saens. one of my favorite composers from my earliest years as a musician and music-lover. One of the first records that I owned included a two-piano version of "The Swan" from "Carnival of the Animals" in collection of duo piano favorites performed by Whittemore and Lowe. When I was attending college I found Saint-Saens piano concertos acquiring a recording of the second and fourth by Phillipe Entremont. I even took the fourth piano concerto as a topic for analysis in a course on the Symphonic Concerto. Over the years I have become acquainted with other great works of his including his lovely concertos for cello and violin, the "Organ" Symphony with its majestic tres French finale, and his most famous opera, Samson et Delilah, which I have seen more than once at Lyric Opera. In his long life Saint-Saens was a polymath, but it is his music that remains with us and inspires to this day.