Archive for February, 2015

Saint-Saëns, Piano Trio No. 1 in F major, Op. 18

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Camille Saint-Saëns, 1835-1921

Piano Trio No. 1 in F major, Op. 18, 1864

Around the turn of the 20th century, Camille Saint-Saëns was widely regarded by the English-speaking world as France’s greatest living composer. Throughout the later 19th century, he was not inaccurately labeled the French Mozart, the French Mendelssohn and even the French Beethoven. Saint-Saëns was a remarkable child prodigy demonstrating immense gifts as a pianist, composer and star pupil in a variety of academic subjects. His musical mind was nurtured on the Viennese classics (he could play all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas from memory at the age of 10), and he would eventually compose prodigiously and masterfully in all the classic musical genres for church, stage, orchestra, chamber ensemble, solo piano and organ. Upon hearing him improvise, Liszt pronounced Saint-Saëns the greatest organist of all time. Unlike most of his French musical contemporaries, the young Saint-Saëns championed the new music of Schumann, Wagner and Liszt and he was equally unusual in frequently composing chamber music, something most others regarded as a particularly Germanic specialty. (more…)