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Donald Macleod investigates the driving force behind Saint-Saens’s unstoppable ambition and his dogged determination to find an audience for his music.

Donald Macleod investigates the driving force behind Saint-Saëns’ unstoppable ambition and his dogged determination to find an audience for his music.
Saint-Saëns couldn’t have done it without the support of friends and fellow-musicians and the tough love provided by his mother. Private salons which attracted the social elite and concerts promoted by music societies were important platforms but there was one sure way to get his music out there – and that was to stage his own concerts.

Tarantelle
William Bennett, flute
James Campbell, clarinet
Clifford Benson, piano

Piano Quintet in A minor Op 14 (final mvt)
Members of the Nash Ensemble

Cello Concerto No 1
Christine Walevska, cello
National Opera Orchestra of Monte-Carlo
Eliahu Inbal, conductor

Septet
Nash Ensemble

Produced by Deborah Preston for BBC Wales

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