Donald Macleod introduces a contrasting trio of pieces Saint-Saens composed in 1887, following success the previous year with Carnival of the Animals.
Beastly goings on as Noel Coward introduces the Carnival of the Animals. Plus, Saint-Saëns's much-loved Havanaise for violin and orchestra.
Camille Saint-Saëns reached the pinnacle of his career in 1886, when both his famous "Carnival of the Animals" and his "Organ" Symphony were first performed. He was 51 - and yet he'd live on for a further three-and-a-half decades, well into the age of Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Poulenc. His late works have often been unfairly neglected - seen as 'out of time' in a thrusting new century. This week, Donald Macleod explores the charming and eccentric variety of pieces Saint-Saëns left behind from the last decades of his life.
The week begins with a contrasting trio of pieces Saint-Saëns composed in 1887, following the huge success of the previous year. "La fiancée du timbalier" is a dramatic scene for soprano and piano, once popular at the BBC Proms but now out of favour - Felicity Lott brings it back to our attention. Then we hear the Latin-tinged Havanaise for violin and orchestra, perhaps the most popular of the composer's later works.
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