Camille Saint-Saens

Camille Saint-Saens : On Music and Musicians

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Camille Saint-Saens is a memorable figure not only for his successes as a composer of choral and orchestral works, and the eternally popular opera Samson et Dalila, but also because he was a keen observer of the musical culture in which he lived. A composer of vast intelligence and erudition, Saint-Saens was at the same time one of the foremost writers on music in his day. From Wagner, Liszt and Debussy to Milhaud and Stravinsky, Saint-Saens was at the center of the elite musical and cultural fin de siecle and early 20th Century world. He championed Schumann and Wagner in France at a period when these composers were regarded as dangerous subversives whose music should be kept well away from the impressionable student. Yet Saint-Saens himself had no aspirations to being a revolutionary, and his appreciation of Wagner the composer was tempered by his reservations over Wagner the philosopher and dramatist, suspicious as he was of what he called the Germanic preoccupation with goshow more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 22.86mm | 430.91g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195320166
  • 9780195320169

Review quote

...enlightening, provocative and thoroughly readable. * Chris Elcombe Classical Music * His [Saint-Saens's] intelligence and spontaneity make him unputdownable even on that most resistant of subjects, his own art, which provides the main content of Roger Nichols's selection. All would-be critics should learn from Saint-Saens's ability to catch the telling detail that supports the flowing argument...He treats Gounod with sympathy and enthusiasm, identifying the originality of his scoring, harmony, word-setting and aesthetic - a Catholic quality of fusing human with divine love...Nichols's translations do justice to Saint-Saens's underrated humanity as well as his familiar bite and wit. * Robert Maycock, BBC Music Magazine *show more

About Roger Nichols

Roger Nichols is a writer and broadcaster who specializes in French music of the nineteenth and twentieth more

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