Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Camille Saint-Saëns published more than 435 texts on musical subjects in the general and specialized press, both French and foreign; not counting the articles that were sometimes far removed from the musical field, as he expressed himself abundantly on subjects as diverse as his interests. The whole constitutes a corpus of writings with a varied typology, a teeming and heterogeneous body of work, disseminated in over a hundred periodicals over half a century of writing production (1872-1921) in which periods of intense work and long silences alternated. 

Saint-Saëns only began to express himself in the press after the change of political regime. As early as 1872, under the pseudonym Phémius, he wrote a musical chronicle in the Renaissance politique et littéraire, the first journal created at the advent of the Third Republic. An atheist and free thinker of Republican sensibility, he was at the same time an organist for the church of La Madeleine, and protégé of Princess Mathilde, whose musical salon he visited.  This paradoxical position, and close protections from the imperial power, these links with the clergy and perhaps the fear of losing his position as an organist are among the reasons that can explain why he did not come forward sooner.  His motivations, however, leave some of his contemporaries perplexed and even irritated, as they wonder upon this sudden urge to speak up, even though he is already a renowned virtuoso and a composer whose reputation is on the rise. Some claim that, unable to get himself accepted at the Opera, he seeks, by way of compensation, to spread his opinions in the press; others think that a good article allowed him to advertise to his friends and publishers, or feel that he was too partisan to judge works that were not to his taste.

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birth year1835
death year1921
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Publications (265)

265 results


265 results

Translations (1)