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Donald Macleod looks at Saint-Saens's critical views on emerging trends in music in the final decades of his life when he was condemned as a reactionary for his outmoded attitudes.

Donald Macleod looks at Saint-Saëns’ critical views on emerging trends in music in the final decades of his life. The man who’d been criticised for his progressive ideas at the beginning of his career was later condemned as a reactionary for his unfashionable opinions. Saint-Saëns may have been out of step with the times but in the years leading up to his death aged 86 he was feted all over the world and continued to perform for audiences who welcomed him with open arms.

L’Assassinat du Duc de Guise (5th tableau)
Ensemble Musique Oblique

Fantaisie for violin and harp
Renaud Capuçon, cello
Marie-Pierre Langlamet, harp

Piano Concerto No 5 (1st mvt)
Louis Schwizgebel, piano
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Romance for flute and piano
Jeffrey Khaner, flute
Hugh Sung, piano

Organ Symphony (2nd mvt)
Olivier Latry, organ
Philadelphia Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor

Produced by Deborah Preston for BBC Wales

23 days left to listen

59 minutes

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