Camille Saint-Saëns's Musical Souvenirs

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Camille Saint-Saëns.

Even in his 80s, Camille Saint-Saëns didn’t slow down. He practiced the piano two hours a day and still managed to travel the world, creating musical sketches of his adventures. Claude Debussy and a new generation of composers might have looked down on this elder statesman as old-fashioned, but Saint-Saëns never lost his joie de vivre.

In this second of two episodes devoted to the life and music of Saint-Saëns, host David Dubal reflects on the composer’s fascination with Franz Liszt, his tireless wanderlust and his stoicism in the face of horrific personal tragedy. The program features Vladimir Horowitz playing Danse Macabre and Shura Cherkassy plays one of Saint-Saëns most famous works, a piano transcription of "The Swan" from Carnival of the Animals.

Program playlist (all pieces by Camille Saint-Saëns):

Scherzo for Two Pianos Op. 87
Isidore Philipp and Marcelle Herrenschmidt, piano

"The Swan," Carnival of the Animals
Shura Cherkassky, piano
Blank CD

Danse Macabre
Vladimir Horowitz, piano

Improvisation on the first movement of the Second Piano Concerto
Camille Saint-Saëns, piano

Fourth Piano Concerto, third movement
Alfred Cortot, piano

Prelude and Fugue in F minor
Shura Cherkassky, piano
Ivory Classics

Bouree, Molto Allegro
Joao Carlos Martins, piano