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Camille Saint-Saëns

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Nationality: French
Born: October 9, 1835, Paris Died: December 16, 1921, Algiers (age 86)

Fantaisie in A major, Op. 124

(for violin and harp)
Poco Allegretto - Allegro - Vivo e grazioso - Largamente - Andante con moto - Poco Adagio
Duration: 11 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1907 (age 71-72)
4 recordings, 5 videos
Ricci, Mildonian
Trostiansky, Verkholantseva
Szabadi, Vigh
(part 1)
Szabadi, Vigh
(part 2)
Dulova, Korsakov
From Kai Christiansen

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Fantaisie for violin and harp, Op. 124

Camille Saint-SaënsAt the age of 72, Saint-Saëns composed the Fantaisie for harp and violin in 1907 while enjoying some leisure time in the city of Bridger, on the Italian Riviera. He dedicated the duo to a pair of sisters, harpist Clara Eissler and violinist Marianne Eissler. It would become the second of three major pieces Saint-Saëns composed for harp including a previous Fantaisie, for solo harp (1893), and, eventually, the Morceau de Concert for harp and orchestra (1918). The Fantaisie, Op. 124 for harp and violin is a virtuoso piece for both players and the use of harp rather than the more typical piano lends a special, delicate if not magical sonority to this duo for two string players. As the title suggests, the work is a single movement of relaxed and spontaneous form comprising a number of distinct sections. The music is characteristic of Saint-Saëns as the traditional French composer: well crafted, clear, balanced and charming. The opening material recurs towards the end for a light touch of symmetry. Perhaps inspired by the ambiance of the Italian Mediterranean, a particular section of the Fantaisie switches to the minor mode featuring a basso ostinato pattern in the harp with variations from the violin in the manner of an old Italian Baroque dance form.

© Kai Christiansen Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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