Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Camille Saint-Saëns published more than 435 texts on musical subjects in the general and specialized press, in France and abroad; this does not include articles sometimes far removed from musical questions, as he also expressed himself abundantly on subjects as diverse as his interests. All of this adds up to a varied corpus of writings, an abundant and heterogeneous body of work, scattered over more than a hundred periodicals and a half-century of production (1872-1921), alternating between intense activity and long periods of silence.

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 column for Renaissance politique et littéraire, the first magazine created at the advent of the Third Republic. An atheist and a republican freethinker, he was at the same time organist at La Madeleine church, and a protégé of Princess Mathilde, whose musical salon he frequented. This paradoxical position, these protections close to imperial power, these links with the clergy and perhaps the fear of losing his position as organist, are among the reasons why he didn't write for the press earlier. His motives, however, puzzled and even irritated some of his contemporaries, who wondered about his sudden need to speak out, when he was already a renowned virtuoso and a composer whose reputation was only growing. Some claimed that, as he was unable to get himself played at the Opéra, he sought, by way of compensation, to spread his opinions in the press; others thought that a good column enabled him to promote his friends and publishers, or else felt 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 (331)

331 results


331 results

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