VIDEO PODCAST: Discussion about Bernard Haitink (1929-2021), Salzburg, Roger Doyle's Finnegans Wake Project, the English Symphony Orchestra, the Chopin Competition Warsaw, Los Angeles Opera and other subjects in our hour-long November 2021 video.
French composer, conductor, organist and pianist Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was born in Paris on 9 October 1835. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire and worked as a church organist for the first decades of his career, but later became a freelance pianist and composer, working across Europe and in the Americas.
Camille Saint-Saëns died in Algiers on 16 December 1921, aged eighty-six.
CD Spotlight. A Spicy, Sexy Comedy - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Saint-Saëns' 'Phryné'. '... a very happy discovery where Greek myth marries French opéra comique.'
Ensemble. An Exciting New Partnership - Mike Wheeler listens to Dinis Sousa and the Royal Northern Sinfonia
CD Spotlight. Orientalism in Paris - 'La Princesse Jaune', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... an excellent vehicle for discovering a little known facet of Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns.'
Ensemble. A Booming Success - Ron Bierman reports on the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, live at its upgraded outdoor concert hall
CD Spotlight. On the March - Saint-Saëns wind music, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... a truly glorious Saint-Saëns anthology wrapped in a different soundscape ...'
CD Spotlight. Dash and Verve - Gerald Fenech listens to Piano Concertos 3, 4 and 5 by the enigmatic Camille Saint-Saëns. 'Alexandre Kantorow performs these highly attractive concertos with terrific panache, energy and a forward-thrusting momentum that make the whole project deeply distinctive while respecting throughout the composer's imaginative and innovative bravado.'
CD Spotlight. A Multifaceted Intellectual - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Saint-Saëns' opéra fantastique 'Le timbre d'argent'. 'From the very start of the overture, the listener feels that this is a brisk and expert ensemble.'
CD Spotlight. Highly Enjoyable - Gerald Fenech listens to film music played by Iain Sutherland and the Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra. '... brought to light with the utmost conviction.'
CD Spotlight. A Dynamic Vitality - Music for organ and orchestra by Saint-Saëns and Poulenc, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'A hugely enjoyable album, well worth hearing ...'
Classical music news. Tapiola Sinfonietta - The Finnish Orchestra has received the 2019 Diapason d'Or for its disc of Saint-Saëns' Piano Concertos
CD Spotlight. Something of Rare Beauty - Twentieth century oboe sonatas by York Bowen, Petr Eben, Henri Dutilleux, Eugène Bozza, Francis Poulenc and Camille Saint-Saëns, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'What a fantastic and inspiring team Alex Klein and Phillip Bush make.'
French Romanticism - George Colerick discusses orchestral music by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Delibes, Lalo, d'Indy, Debussy, Ravel, Honegger, Poulenc, Milhaud and others
Ensemble. Packed With Good Things - Roderic Dunnett reports from the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester
All Reeds Blazing - Roger Sayer at the Derby Cathedral organ console impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Airborne Twice - Giuseppe Pennisi attends a cello and piano recital unexpectedly
Ensemble. Simply Exhilarating - Music for violin and piano by César Franck and Camille Saint-Saëns from Hungarian duo Boglárka György and Brigitta Sveda impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Expressive Progression - Mike Wheeler enjoys a concert by Stephen Hough, Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra
CD Spotlight. A Unique Snapshot - French music for Christmas, sung in Oxford by a Cambridge choir, heard by Keith Bramich. '... Christmas music, much of it well-known in Britain, sung in French in various original and unusual versions ...'
CD Spotlight. Pianistic Acrobatics - Louis Lortie's Saint-Saëns thrills Anett Fodor. 'Louis Lortie's wonderfully led singing melodic lines, outstanding technique, musicality and cooperation with the conductor as well as the outstanding orchestral playing demand one's full attention.'
CD Spotlight. Hugely Enjoyable - Orchestral music by Camille Saint-Saëns, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... an exotic musical picture postcard full of perfumed sensuality and brazen march themes ...'
Ensemble. Stravinskian Credentials - Rossini, Poulenc and Saint-Saëns from Nottingham Harmonic Choir and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Deep Impression - Less well-known music for oboe and piano played by James Turnbull and Libby Burgess, appreciated by Mike Wheeler
A Fascinating Programme - Dina Duisen plays Beethoven, Chopin, Saint-Saëns, Liszt and Nagim Mendygaliev, impressing Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Effective Combination - Music for viola and harp from Oliver Wass and Luba Tunnicliffe, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Centres of Excellence - Roderic Dunnett looks back to the 2017 Three Choirs Festival at Worcester, and forward to 2018 in Hereford
Ensemble. The Egyptian - Early twentieth century French music by Ibert, Saint Saëns, Debussy and Ravel, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Great Partners - Music for clarinet and piano, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'This great disc will bring joy to everyone who listens to it.'
CD Spotlight. Bags of Fun - Music for flute and piano, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... eminently commendable.'
CD Spotlight. Bring back Wieniawski! - Kelly Hall-Tompkins' violin recital, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... a sparkling account ...'
CD Spotlight. Puckish Effervesence - A piano recital by Stephen Hough, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... music from the sublime to the Antipodean.'
Punk Transformed? - Keith Bramich has lunch with Torsten Rasch, Roderic Dunnett and others, at the Three Choirs Festival
Elegantly Presented - Mike Wheeler listens to pianist Ji Liu
Dies Irae - George Colerick takes a look at secular and romantic uses of the old Latin hymn
CD Spotlight. Engagingly Delivered - Robert Meyer's 'Discovering the Double Bass', heard by the late Howard Smith. '... a rare and welcome initiative ...'
Ensemble. Famous yet Unkown - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Camille Saint-Saëns' opera 'Proserpine' in Munich
CD Spotlight. Engagingly Performed - Rachel and Vanessa Fuidge at one and two pianos, recommended by the late Howard Smith. '... technique, tonal address and aural poetry.'
Somewhat Congested - Jonathan Scott plays the organ of Derby Cathedral, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. 'Fantasia' Around The World - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the big screen in Rome
CD Spotlight. Star Musicians - Piano trios by Saint-Saëns, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... tonal variance and measured passion ...'
Ensemble. A Remarkable Service - Saint-Saëns' 'Samson and Delilah' at Grange Park Opera, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
CD Spotlight. Highly Commendable - Kim Cook plays French music for cello and orchestra, heard by Howard Smith. '... a musician to be reckoned with.'
Ensemble. A Wealthy Maverick - Music by the French composer George Onslow, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Challenging, Versatile and Unexpected - Roderic Dunnett visits Hungarian State Opera
CD Spotlight. Comparatively Tame - Richard Blackford's Great Animal Orchestra, heard by Robert Anderson. 'I can recommend the CD only to the very young at heart.'
Ensemble. Exuberance in Reserve - A wide-ranging programme from Christopher Stripp and Lucy Colquhoun, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Extraordinarily Beautiful - Joseph Summer's Shakespeare Concerts Series, heard by Howard Smith. '... immediately expressive.'
Ensemble. Orchestral Showpieces - Cristian Mandeal conducts the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Tonal Refinement - Christmas music from Derby Concert Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Colourful Treatment - French comedies launch the Buxton Festival, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Black and White - Saint-Saëns' 'Samson' as envisaged by La Fura dels Baus, enjoyed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. European Impressionism - Quartets by Ravel, Debussy and Saint-Saëns, heard by Howard Smith. '[Quatuor Modigliani] attack it with some vehemence.'
Ensemble. Serene Flow - Mozart, Saint-Saëns and Dvorák from the Aquinas Piano Trio, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. New Light - Mozart's Requiem from the Sitwell Singers impresses Mike Wheeler
Ask Bill! - Everything you've wanted to know about music (and more) from your self-appointed agony uncle, Bill Newman, who also visits London's Wigmore Hall to hear French pianist Bertrand Chamayou
CD Spotlight. Beauteous Tone - Flautist Lisa Friend's debut disc, heard by Howard Smith. '... pleasing and ideally accomplished.'
CD Spotlight. Delectable Music - Neglected scores by Saint-Saëns, recommended by Howard Smith. 'Not to be missed.'
CD Spotlight. Coruscating Brilliance - Spanish inspirations for two pianists, heard by Robert Anderson. '[A] joyous recital ...'
CD Spotlight. Compelling and Pleasurable - Arthur Friedheim plays Liszt, Chopin, Gottschalk and Henselt, heard by Patric Standford. '... a slightly improvisatory interpretation ...'
CD Spotlight. Unaffected Restraint - Halida Dinova plays music that tells stories, heard by Howard Smith. '... a mesmerising interpreter ...'
CD Spotlight. Positively Spellbinding - Music for clarinet, piano and cello, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... a fine recording ...'
Ensemble. Poise and Grace - Bill Newman listens to Emre Engin and Alison Rhind
A Pleasant Evening - Lisa Friend and Mark Kinkaid in recital, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Unmistakably French - 'Les Nuits d'Eté', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi from Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
CD Spotlight. Perfectly Adequate - Jacques Rouvier's Debussy Préludes, heard by Julian Jacobson. '... the performances lack a degree of intensity and personal involvement.'
CD Spotlight. Wonderfully Deft - Choral and orchestral music by Camille Saint-Saëns, heard by Robert Anderson. 'The London Philharmonic under Geoffrey Simon gives of its best ...'
Ensemble. Vibrant Performance - Two concerts by the Symphony of the Americas, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Most Memorable - A recital by Soojin Han and Tadashi Imai impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Glowing Performances - Music by Koechlin and Jongen, recommended by Howard Smith. '... a truly outstanding recital ...'
CD Spotlight. Playing Rameau - Interpretations by Stephen Gutman, recommended by George Balcombe. '... not a million miles away from jazz.'
Ensemble. Great Fun - The Hallé Orchestra ends Nottingham's orchestral season, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Smiling Poise - Derby Chamber Music ends its season on a high, reported by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Powerful Beauty - Works by Fauré for Cello and Piano, recommended by George Balcombe. '... a profoundly moving sound ...'
Ensemble. High Voltage - Sol Gabetta joins Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. The Boys - Bill Newman was at Nettle and Markham's thirtieth anniversary recital
Ensemble. True Artistry - Howard Smith attends New Zealand's Music Fair of Japan 2009
CD Spotlight. Deceptive Naturalness - Red Priest's 'Nightmare in Venice', entertains Howard Smith. '... irrepressible, chic ...'
CD Spotlight. A Real Work-out - Jane Parker-Smith at the organ of St Gudula, Rhede, enjoyed by Kelly Ferjutz
CD Spotlight. Expressive Beauty - Chamber music by Marjan Mozetich, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... "Hymn of Ascension" stood out for its power and cogency.'
CD Spotlight. Consistently Refined - Debussy transcriptions, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... these alternatives are never less than striking ...'
CD Spotlight. Sovereign Horn Territory - Music for horn and orchestra, recommended by Howard Smith. '... stunning breath control and consummate understanding ...'
Ensemble. Meltingly Beautiful - Joshua Bell joins Vladimir Ashkenazy and the New World Symphony for music by Saint-Saëns and Mahler, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Shade and Nuance - Chamber music by Julian Dawes, appreciated by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Great Agility - The Aquinas Trio plays Haydn, Ravel and Saint-Saëns, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Real Barnburner - Another report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival, by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. Lovingly Accomplished - Forgotten music by Saint-Saëns, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... a performance of avowed committment.'
CD Spotlight. Virtuoso Credentials - Music for viola and piano by York Bowen, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... above praise.'
CD Spotlight. Sheer Enjoyment - Music by Saint-Saëns, reviewed by Howard Smith. 'The LPO is in peak condition ...'
Ensemble. Robust and Vigorous - Saint-Saëns' 'Samson and Delilah', reviewed by Maria Nockin
Bubbling Energy - An organ recital by Malcolm Riley, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Full of Life - Compositions by M Zachary Johnson premièred at Steinway Hall, reviewed by Anna Franco
Ensemble. Luminous display - Jung Lin returns to Lincoln Center, reviewed by Anna Franco
Ensemble. Winds of change - Malcolm Miller applauds a new work by Richard Dubugnon premièred by the Haffner Wind Ensemble and Min-Jung Kym
CD Spotlight. Entertaining tricks - Cello and violin CDs, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... silken, silvery tone ...'
CD Spotlight. Fundamental spirit - The Pergamenschikow-Gililov recordings 1990-1994, appreciated by Tess Crebbin. '... fresh and invigorating ...'
Ensemble. Roaring success - Malcolm Miller enjoys a children's concert by Dominic Harlan
Ensemble. Purpose and insight - Malcolm Miller enjoys two outstanding débuts by German and Italian artists