Roger Nichols's Camille Saint-Saens: On Music and Musicians PDF

By Roger Nichols

ISBN-10: 0195320166

ISBN-13: 9780195320169

Camille Saint-Saëns is a memorable determine not just for his successes as a composer of choral and orchestral works, and the forever well known opera Samson et Dalila, but additionally simply because he used to be a willing observer of the musical tradition during which he lived. A composer of tremendous intelligence and erudition, Saint-Saëns used to be even as one of many most advantageous writers on track in his day. From Wagner, Liszt and Debussy to Milhaud and Stravinsky, Saint-Saëns used to be on the heart of the elite musical and cultural fin de siècle and early twentieth Century international. He championed Schumann and Wagner in France at a interval while those composers have been considered as harmful subversives whose tune may be stored good clear of the impressionable scholar. but Saint-Saëns himself had no aspirations to being a progressive, and his appreciation of Wagner the composer used to be tempered by way of his reservations over Wagner the thinker and dramatist, suspicious as he used to be of what he known as "the Germanic preoccupation with going past reality." no matter if protecting Meyerbeer opposed to fees of facility or Berlioz opposed to those that puzzled his harmonic seize, Saint-Saëns was once constantly his personal guy: in either circumstances, he claimed, it used to be "not the absence of faults however the presence of virtues" that distinguishes the nice composer.

Saint-Saëns's writings supply a well-argued counter-discourse to the powerful modernist tune critics who rallied round Debussy and Ravel through the fin de siècle. And principally, they exhibit a brilliantly sharp and lively mind, expressing itself via prose of a Classical purity and stability, enlivened all through with flashes of wit and, now and then, of sheer malice.

In this generously annotated quantity, popular student, pro translator and radio broadcaster Roger Nichols brings a number of the composer's such a lot extraordinary and evocative writings brilliantly to lifestyles in English translation, many for the 1st time. Nichols has conscientiously selected those choices for his or her intrinsic curiosity as old records to create a well-balanced and interesting view of the fellow, the song, and the age.

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Camille Saint-Saens: On Music and Musicians by Roger Nichols

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